Thursday, December 22, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Air by Ryan Gattis

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

When 17-year-old Grey witnesses the tragic death of his mother in Colorado, he is shipped off to live with his aunt in inner-city Baltimore. Grey struggles to fit in to his new school and environment until his new friend, Akil, introduces him to the enigmatic Kurtis, the leader of a group that uses high-octane sports as a form of social activism. By challenging the police with death-defying stunts and then posting videos of them online, Kurtis, Grey, and their group become unlikely heroes in the fight against the prejudice that surrounds them. As Kurtis takes Grey under his wing, they come up with a name, an insignia and attract more and more followers to their extreme acts. The lines between social activism and criminal behavior blur and their escalating stunts become a rallying point for the underprivileged and disenfranchised around the country, spreading like wildfire across the Internet. How far will Grey and Kurtis go to push their message, and can their fragile alliance withstand their growing power?

I wish I loved this book as much as other people loved it. There were some things I liked: I liked the character of Grey (though I didn't always understand his motives) and I loved that his guardian was a big part of his life. She pushed him to read new books and I loved that. I felt bad for the fact that Grey felt so out of place because he was biracial. He had a black mother who died and his white father killed her. He actually saw his mom's body and that messed him up. It sucked that he had to be split up from his siblings, but there were four of them and it was realistic that one family member probably wouldn't be able to take them all.

Okay, so here are some issues I had with the book. First of all, the author starts the book with a prologue and this prologue actually takes place after most of the action in the book. I don't always have an issue with these kinds of prologues, except for the fact that the author revealed a major plot point in this chapter. I despise spoilers and I hate them even more when the author is the one who reveals them. When this major plot point happens later in the book, there is no emotional punch because I saw it coming. And even though I liked the character of Akil, I thought the friendships were a bit underdeveloped. And I really didn't understand Grey's need to do death defying stunts. The stuff with the police was a bit over the top. Since when do police in Baltimore focus their energies on kids on bikes even though they haven't committed any crimes? But when there was an accident with a kid on a bike that injured a child, Grey and his friends still thought they weren't doing anything wrong. I didn't really understand any of the biking stuff honestly. There were times when the police were overreacting and there were times when Grey and his friends are deliberately antagonizing the police, which just irked me. 

This was an okay book with an interesting concept. I just wish the author would have gone deeper with some of the characters and relationships.

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one.


  1. Great book dear. Thanks to publishing this,

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  2. Oh, that's too bad. It sounded good and a very different way of protesting. I might still check it out, though.

    Thanks for sharing!