Danny has been desperate to have a relationship with her father, Cougar, since her parents divorced when she was seven years old. When she was little, she was in an accident that caused her to lose her eye, and she was traumatized from that. Prior to the accident, she wasn’t afraid of anything and was a little daredevil with her father. But afterwards, she became afraid of everything.
Her father went off to become an international star with his survival television show, and Danny has been left with her bitter, demanding mother. Danny can’t understand why her mother seems to hate her father so much. When her father calls and offers her a place on one of his shows for her 16th birthday (it is actually her 17th but her father doesn’t seem to realize that) with one of the biggest teen heartthrobs out there, Danny is super excited. Maybe now she’ll have the time to show Cougar how much she has been wanting to have some kind of presence in his life. And clearly, he wants her around, after all this time.
Danny has no idea that the father -daughter reunion she has been dreaming of will be taking place in the Amazon rainforest after their small airplane crashes in the jungle. How will she be able to prove to her father she is worthy of his love and admiration when she’s terrified of well, everything? To complicate matters, Gus Price, the teen heartthrob is there to witness every single misstep she makes. And of course there is the very real possibility that none of them will make it out alive.
The Speed of Falling Objects by Nancy Richardson Fischer is a survival story with lots of deadly moments and some death as well. At the heart is a girl who has been telling herself one narrative about her whole life and who she is because of it – only to realize she’s been reading the wrong script.
Recommended for mature 8th graders and up.