The One That May Have Instigated A Fear Of Flights: Falling by T.J Newman | Book Review

I remember scrolling through one of my Goodreads group discussion pages and seeing someone recommend this book. I forgot what is was exactly that made me click the link to the book’s page, but I did. The book’s synopsis immediately had me gripped— so much so that I immediately went onto Waterstones to see if they had a copy of the book but ended up turning to Amazon just so I can take advantage of the next day delivery option. The next day rolls around and I have a lovely parcel waiting to be opened with this book nestled inside.

After reading this book I can say I have never grabbed my laptop so quickly to write out a book review than I have just now. As soon as I read the last line of this book, I immediately jumped out of bed and grabbed my laptop. My thoughts are a bit jumbled up at the moment so hopefully you can make some sense of what I’m trying to illustrate in this book review but I needed to get my thoughts and feelings down right away

because wow.


by T.J. Newman

Hardcover, 304 pages

Published July 6th 2021 by Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster 

ISBN: 1982177888 (ISBN13: 9781982177881)

Goodreads blurb:

You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

“The truth that people are only as good as the world lets them be. You’re not inherently good and I’m not inherently bad. We are just working through the cards life dealt us.”

Falling by T.J Newman takes us up to the sky where a pilot is forced to make a decision between the worst possible choices— his own family or his 144 passengers that are onboard his plane. He is told that the only way his family can be saved is if he crashes the plane and everyone on it dies. If he refuses to do as he is told, his family will die.

First thoughts after reading this book: Wow.

Before picking up this book, I didn’t have a fear of flying. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a well-experience traveller of the skies, so I never really feared planes. I was aware of possible dangers and incidents that could occur, but I never really paid any mind because I love travelling by plane. However, after reading this book I might be more cautious in the future.

This book was an absolute rollercoaster from start to finish. Right off the bat we are given an intense, gruesome and action-packed opening scene that puts us right int he middle of the horror that is about to ensue. I stand firm in my belief that being in a life-threatening situation is scary anywhere, but imagine being in a life-threatening situation on a plane— one that is 30,000ft off the ground, an enclosed space where there isn’t too many places to run or hide. It’s terrifying. Now, what if I told you that all your unexpected fears about flying on a plane were put altogether and presented to you in the form of this book.

This book was literally a film. The writing was exceptional and so detailed that it was like having a movie playing in my head as I was reading. Usually I can rely on fantasy books to be more descriptive, but this book as a thriller did an amazing job of writing out such intense, action-packed scenes that can be played out in your mind through words alone. The author did such an incredible job setting the scenes that you feel like you are right there in the middle of all it all and witnessing the chaos. There is no flowery writing or overly complicated descriptions, which I appreciated because the last thing I needed was to be overwhelmed with language that only a pilot would know. That being said, the author clearly knows her stuff when it comes to planes and the ins-and-outs of being a stewardess considering she was apparently a flight attendant before becoming an author— which is evident by the pilot lingo sprinkled throughout the book. There was some repetitive language that was more noticeable towards the end, but I have no doubt that the author will greatly improve and maybe find a writing style that works for her considering this is her debut novel.

In a lot of the thrillers I read I don’t really find myself connecting with the characters in the books, which is fine with me because I don’t need to connect or relate to a character is order to enjoy the book. However, this book genuinely had me caring for the characters (especially little Scott who literally had me tearing up at one point!). This was the first time I had read a thriller novel where I feared the worst for the people in this book, and I think it was due to this uncertainty about what will happen to the characters that had me holding my breath at some parts. I also really liked how the story was told by switching through between different POVs of multiple characters in the story. I felt like this kept the tension and intrigue high throughout the book.

When deciding my star rating for books, I usually look at elements that I might not have liked or things I would’ve added or change to make the book more enjoyable to me. However, in this case there was only one thing that I wanted to point out which could be a concern. The “villain” in this book is portrayed to be from Middle Eastern country, and was made out to be a terrorist. There’s been enough negative stereotyping about terrorists in the media as it is and I don’t think we need any more. That being said, this book serves as a reminder to thank the men and women who are pilots and flight attendants – thank you for your service!

Falling is a thriller that I will now be recommending to everyone and their mother. If you are a fan of fast-paced, high tension thrillers that will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time then this book is the one for you. This book was a thrill from start to finish and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience reading it. This would make a terrific movie btw!

4 stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Do you like travelling? Any favourite destinations? 

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