Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Review: My Body Fell Off by BJ Rowley

Let's jump to the chase. If you're reading this on Friday the 13th, then you need to go here and download a free Kindle edition of this book. Right now. Then come back and read the review. It's only free for one day, so if it's not Friday you can still go and buy the book. Just sayin'.

I read My Body Fell Off by BJ Rowley several years ago. In fact, I've read all three Light Traveler books. They are exciting, funny, creative, and intense. It's great to see the series make its ebook debut.

This is a story about a teenage boy who can leave his body and transport himself to other places. That would be weird, right? But then he gets used to it and it becomes way cool. Imagine what you could do. Until he stumbles into big trouble when he overhears the plans of some dangerous criminals. That's where the flames and the airplane from the cover come in. Very exciting.

I've known BJ for a long time. He's a great guy and a good friend. He's always willing to help others, so when I asked him what made this book special, he shared several great tidbits.
"This was my first book. My family thought I was nuts for even thinking about writing a book, and pretty much dismissed my craziness out of hand. But I cranked it out submitted it. AND IT WAS ACCEPTED!! Of course, my editor immediately showed me several things that needed fixing--which greatly improved the story. I was vindicated. I proved that I could do it. I became a published author. It was an incredible few months."
I can confirm that BJ is crazy. I think all writers have to be, after all we talk to ourselves all day. Crazy in a good way.
"This story is great fun from start to finish. It's set in my high school. I attended Payson High School. I lived on the highway on West Mountain. I know exactly where Bart's locker is. I've sat on that couch up inthe light control room in the ceiling of the auditorium. The story is set in my own backyard with really fun fantasy at the same time. Who hasn't wished for that?"
I attended a much smaller high school, but I could still relate. It was the way he wove the fantasy and real life together than made this book fun.
"I remember one night writing and writing away. All of a sudden I realized I had to get up and work in 5 hours! But it was SO hard to walk away from that computer because I could hardly wait to see what was going to happen next! That's how the whole book came together. Those darn characters just kept getting themselves into trouble all over the place. Teenagers!! Before I knew it, they were bound and gagged, soaked in gas, and waiting for a bomb to go off . . . and I had NO idea how they were going to get out of there alive. It never occurred to me that I (the author) could back up and rewrite the scene and make it easier. They got themselves into that mess, and they were going to have to get themselves out of it. I stewed on that problem for several days before a solution finally presented itself. Then they got it done!"
If that doesn't hook you, then here's a bit of the prologue to whet your appetite.
The first time it happened, I was in third grade. I had been recuperating in the hospital after having my appendix removed. They had me all drugged up on painkillers, and I was feeling really goofy, so I just passed it off as a weird dream. I thought about the “dream” on and off for several weeks after that, but eventually it slipped into oblivion and was pretty much forgotten.
* * *
The second time it happened was two years later. Our school class was on an overnight camping trip for fifth graders. We were hiking in the dark, around midnight—no flashlights allowed and no talking. Our leaders thought it would give us a better appreciation for nature or something—I’m not sure. Anyway, I lost my footing climbing down a little hill and slipped several feet into a steep ravine. I landed headfirst against a big rock and was knocked cold for a couple of minutes. My friends told me that when I finally got up, I babbled and carried on, saying all kinds of stupid things. I don’t remember any of that.
The weirdness happened later, while I was lying in the back of the ambulance. It was like . . . floating and drifting and moving up and down. And I distinctly remember seeing myself strapped to the stretcher, with paramedics leaning over and doing things. It was like I was watching the whole event through a ceiling-mounted camera.
. . .
But eventually the headaches went away, and I came to realize that I was still the same old me.
. . .
* * *
The third time it happened, I still didn’t recognize the remarkable gift for what it really was.
I had just started my sophomore year in high school . . . and I thought for sure I was dead . . .
BJ has a few more chapters online if you want to keep reading.

No comments:

Creative Commons LicenseUnless otherwise noted, all posts on the John Waverly blog by John Waverly are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
* Background image based on Night Sky theme by Ray Creations