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The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostrovski

He Said/She Said

About the Author

About the Book

The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostrovski


Stereotypically, girl books are pink, have a girl on the cover and FILLED with sickeningly sweet romance. Boy books, on the other hand, are darker, have blood dripping or something more creepy on the cover and there are NO girls to be found. But we all know this isn't true, right? There are books that boys AND girls love!!! Teenreads.com's “He Said/She Said” feature aims to highlight a book each month to discuss its guy and girl appeal.

Last week, we put up a cover survey to ask YOU if you thought THE PARADOX OF VERTICAL FLIGHT by Emil Ostrovski looked like a boy book, a girl book or both based on it's cover. Out of all of you who answered, 65% said the book looks like it's a book for boys AND girls, 23% of you said it looked like a boy book and 12% said it looked like a girl book. This survey was much more split than our first one!

Here, Patrick C. and Amanda P. from our Teen Board talk about their thoughts on the book. The twist? They never saw the cover, title or author name! So they are weighing in without the visuals or context which may sway their opinions. Let's see what they have to say!

How would you describe the book?

He Said: The book was way different from what I normally read! It was nice to go out of my classic ya zone and read this book.

She Said: I see this book as a sort of bizarre coming of age story. At the beginning of the story, the main character, Jack, is immature and completely lacking in direction. As the story progresses, it is obvious that his experiences help him mature and develop a good idea of who he is and who he wants to be. I think that because the author shows Jack as both an adult and a kid in the story, it's easy to get a better understanding of how the events of the story affected him.

What are three words that you would use to describe it?

He Said: Odd. Different. Refreshing

She Said: Unique, enthralling, and philosophical. Unique because I've never read anything like it. It was a beautiful blend of many different elements used to form an unusual yet captivating story. Enthralling because of the brilliantly written characters and constant plot twists. I finished the book in a matter of hours without a problem. Philosophical because of the philosophy incorporated into the story. The author made it so that the main character was not only well versed on the subject but also adept at applying his knowledge to life.

What was your favorite part?

He Said: My favorite part had to be in the beginning when the main character decides to take his baby and leave the hospital as a supposed "kidnap." And it was funny how he named his son Socrates.

She Said: My favorite part of the story was the banter between Jack and his friends. I found it to be quite hilarious. The author did a good job of capturing the sense of humor and behavior of witty teenagers. It allowed for a deeper connection with the characters. I loved it because I appreciate quick-witted humor.

Did you have a favorite character and if so, what did you like about him/her?

He Said: I would say my favorite character would be Tommy since he was funny and gave the book more of a light feel to it. The scenes with him were hilarious.

She Said: My favorite character was the main character, Jack. I loved his brand of peculiarity. I've yet to come across a character like him in anything that I've read. He was an original in his way of thinking and as well as in his actions. Reading this book was an enlightening experience because of Jack and his interesting ideas.

Would you recommend this book to your friends who are girls? Why?

He Said: No, not really since it was heavy on guy topics in addition a male narrator.

She Said: I think that girls would like this book even though I feel that it is slightly more guy oriented. I'm a girl and I did. I believe the premise of the story would most likely appeal to most girls. The reactions to the baby and Jack's feelings are those of a guy, but I think that girls would be sensitive to it all.

Would you recommend this book to your friends who are boys? Why?

He Said: Maybe. If you're into a fun and different book, you should pick this up!

She Said: I would recommend this to guys. I think they might find the storyline odd, but I think most people would. It's not your typical young adult novel plot line. I feel that boys will have an easier time connecting to the main character and understanding him. He is extremely eccentric in many respects, but he is for the most part a normal teenage boy. His sense of humor, relationship with his best friend and rash behavior reflect this well.


There you have it! Patrick and Amanda both recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a different kind of read with a quirkly male protagonist. Amanda thought the book would be great for both boys and girls, but Patrick was iffier on whether girls would like it. Do you think YOU are going to pick up a copy of THE PARADOX OF VERTICAL FLIGHT? It will be on sale September 24th.

The Paradox of Vertical Flight
by Emil Ostrovski

  • Publication Date: September 24, 2013
  • Genres: Young Adult 14+
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books
  • ISBN-10: 0062238523
  • ISBN-13: 9780062238528