Dear The Falconer by Dana Czapnik:
When I first finished reading you, one of the first thoughts that popped into my mind was: I don’t know if I can share my thoughts about this one on the blog. My connection to you became more and more personal as you progress and I didn’t know if I would feel comfortable putting it into words like this. While I certainly won’t be sharing all the personal details of my connection to you in this letter, I hope the feelings I do share will give other bookworms a sense of what a powerful novel you are.
I had never heard of you until one of my dear friends gave you to me as a birthday present this past year. While I trust her bookish taste to the moon and back, I must admit that I doubted you at first. Initially, you seemed to be a melodramatic, albeit lyrically written, sometimes cheesy young adult novel. Which there’s absolutely nothing wrong about being–some of my favorite books (Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Looking for Alaska by John Green, The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen) fall into a similar category. Set in New York in 1993, you tell the story of a seventeen-year-old girl named Lucy Adler. Lucy has a cool older sister and fantastic basketball skills and an enormous crush on her “best friend,” Percy–who doesn’t often seem to remember that she exists. Lucy is insecure and unsure but simultaneously hopeful for the future and frustrated by the obstacles standing in her way simply because she is a girl.
“How old do you have to get to stop feeling like something magical is just around the corner?”The Falconer by Dana Czapnik.
I absolutely disliked Percy as a character, precisely because I’ve known so many people like him. He is selfish and conceited and seemingly blind to the feelings of those around him. When it first became apparent that Lucy had a major crush on him, I was so afraid that they would somehow end up together. And I couldn’t stand the thought of it. I’ve known so many friends (and maybe even a certain letter-to-books writer herself) who have fallen for people like Percy, only to end up hurt. I ended up reading the majority of you all in one night because I just had to know what would happen between Lucy and Percy.
And then THE SCENE happened. I’m not going to specify which one, partially because I don’t want to give away too many spoilers. (If other bookworms have read you then they probably know what I’m talking about. ) I was about half way through reading you when all of a sudden I was crying in my bed and texting my friend about the scene involving Lucy and Percy that I had just read.
I had never read a book that so perfectly captured the emotions of that situation–the discomfort, the uncertainty, the nervousness, the strange sense of bewilderment and disappointment and maybe even loss afterwards. How I wish you had been written years ago so Holly of the Past could have seen her own feelings reflected on a page, or could at least have been given a heads up that it’s okay to feel this way. You made me feel understood and so much less alone, for which I am incredibly grateful. I’m so glad a book like you exists for other young women to read and experience similar realizations about themselves.
Are you a tad melodramatic? Absolutely. Are you a bit cheesy at times? Naturally. (Sounds like a certain letter…) But are you also powerfully feminist and well-written and heart-wrenching and just beautiful? One hundred percent.
I am so thankful that my dear friend gave you to me as a gift, The Falconer.