The Paradox of Vertical Flight Review


Author: Emil Ostrovski

Publication Date: September 24th 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Format: Hardcover (Giveaway)

Page Count: 260
Synopsis:What happens when you put a suicidal eighteen-year-old philosophy student, his ex-girlfriend, his best friend, and his newborn baby in a truck and send them to Grandma’s house? This debut novel by Emil Ostrovski will appeal to fans of John Green, Chris Crutcher, and Jay Asher.

On the morning of his eighteenth birthday, philosophy student and high school senior Jack Polovsky is somewhat seriously thinking of suicide when his cell phone rings. Jack’s ex-girlfriend, Jess, has given birth, and Jack is the father. Jack hasn’t spoken with Jess in about nine months—and she wants him to see the baby before he is adopted. The new teenage father kidnaps the baby, names him Socrates, stocks up on baby supplies at Wal-Mart, and hits the road with his best friend, Tommy, and the ex-girlfriend. As they head to Grandma’s house (eluding the police at every turn), Jack tells baby Socrates about Homer, Troy, Aristotle, the real Socrates, and the Greek myths—because all stories spring from those stories, really. Even this one. Funny, heart-wrenching, and wholly original, this debut novel by Emil Ostrovski explores the nature of family, love, friendship, fate, fatherhood, and myth.


Sometimes, your professional sweepstaker mother would win a book and then give it to you because it isn’t her type of book or she just has a huge TBR. And then you take the book because, well, it’s a free book and place it on your shelf, forgetting about it for months.

8 months later, you suddenly fall into a major reading sort of slump. You’re tired of dystopian, paranormal and even fantasy, so you take a peak at your contemporary shelf and realize wow… I read all of these already. But then you see this blue spine with yellow lettering and come to the conclusion that this is your last resort.

After reading the novel, an involuntary tear rolled down my cheek because this beautiful piece of work has been on my shelf for 8 months.

To be perfectly honest, I really don’t want to explain the plot because I think going into it blindly would help the reader fully appreciate the novel (since that’s what I did). Lets just say that its about a newly 18 year old named Jack who receives a surprisingly birthday present from a person whom he hasn’t spoken to in a long time. That’s when all hell breaks loose.

The characters in the story were slightly unstable yet relatable, the plot is epic, and this is probably the most quotable book that I have ever read. Every time Jack said something, I kept thinking to myself “wow that should be put on a t-shirt.”

Another great aspect was the amount of pop culture that was brought into the story. I was geeking out at almost every reference. There was practically half a page where Jack was applying Harry Potter into his situation. I also loved the Star Wars, Narnia, and Greek mythology references too. But philosophy played a major role which I really enjoyed. People in the other reviews said it was too much, but I think that is what makes this story amazing. It’s smart, honest, and downright hilarious.

There was so much thought put out in this book it’s just…I can’t explain it. Emil Ostrovski has such a powerful and intriguing mind. I hope he writes more books to see what else he has hidden up in his brain. I just really want more of Ostrovski.



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