Buddy Reads & Rants: Parachute (Jonny Pongratz and Iseult Murphy)
Hello Blogging World!
Hi, I’m Iseult and I come from the dimension of transparent spiders and unfettered plant growth.
And I’m Jonny, lover of colorful things and parachutes as long as I’m on the ground and not jumping out of a plane!
This buddy read and rant is for Parachute by Holly Rae Garcia
Angela Rodriguez and her friends aren’t sure what they want out of life now that they’ve graduated high school, but they think there is plenty of time to figure it all out. When a trip to an abandoned elementary school leads to a break-in, they discover an old gym parachute.
Raising the fabric above their heads, the group expects it to balloon out around them like it did when they were younger. But instead, the parachute reveals alternate universes and terrifying worlds.
There’s only one rule…
DON’T LET GO
Jonny is an Amazon affiliate and earns a tiny commission for purchases made through the Amazon links in this post at no cost to you. It’s a great way to help him keep things running on his blog if you’re already intrigued enough to make a purchase.
Buddy Read Book Rant:
I was so excited to read this book. It sounded so interesting, and I’d read the author’s other books and enjoyed them.
I was excited too! I haven’t read anything else by this author, but what drew me in was the cover and concept from the blurb. I don’t know about you, but in elementary school they’d bring out those big colored parachutes every once in a while and those were some of the best times. Nostalgia is a very powerful influence for me.
You see, I’ve never played the parachute game. I only knew about it vaguely, so there was no nostalgia for me coming into the book. I think that made it a different reading experience for me.
Oh okay. Well it’s actually a lot of fun. I’d do it now if I had one. It’s one of those simple joys in life.
Gotcha, I can see how not having experienced it before could affect your experience.
How did you like this book overall?
I enjoyed it. It’s a quick read and it certainly kept my attention over all. I love anything to do with inter-dimensional travel, so I was eager to get to the parachute game. I thought there was a lot of character building in the beginning, which slowed the pace for me in such a short novella, and I didn’t feel that work paid off once all the weird things happened.
What was your overall impression?
I also enjoyed it overall, but some elements didn’t work for me.
I did enjoy seeing Angela interact with her family at the beginning. I think it portrayed the late 90s pretty well and I enjoyed getting to know her better, but the build up took too long. I think it took up the first 30% or so, and that’s just too much time with how short this novella is (under 150 pages).
I like the twilight zone vibe that was present with the parachute game. There was definitely a horror element present and that really kept me going, but there wasn’t the resolution or figuring out of things that I expect with a horror story.
I liked Angels interacting with her parents too, and learning about her relationships with her friends, but once they played the game none of that mattered. How they were connected, their personalities, none of that had any bearing to how they reacted. It annoyed me that they were all so stupid, I expected more from the characters after the long set up. As you say, it was 30% of a very short novella that I would have rather spent on different worlds, unless it was going to have a big payoff.
I was also disappointed in the lack of resolution. Do you think it was metaphorical for growing up and getting lost? Friends drifting away?
Right. Angela’s squabbles with her family and learning about her relationships could have been sped up, especially since it didn’t matter much in the end. I also was disappointed in how they reacted when things started going south. Don’t get me wrong, teens make dumb decisions, and I definitely expected one or two of them to do so. But it felt like they all collectively could’ve been smarter about the situation. Teens can be very smart and resourceful. I would’ve preferred seeing those traits more.
Yeah, I actually think this could’ve been a longer novella and given some proper resolution with a different ending. I at least wanted to know more about the phenomenon with the parachute and we didn’t get that.
I can see how Garcia might’ve wanted to make a metaphorical point. Angela definitely fits the bill for feeling lost on the verge of this new chapter in life. She knows that things are going to change and she’s going to lose friends, and she hates feeling that way. That kind of depth I did enjoy because I’ve been there before, but like you said, it didn’t matter in the end so I think the opportunity might have been wasted.
I agree. I think there was enough to flesh this story out into a longer book. I wanted more about the parachute and how it worked (I thought it was like cycling through each world, both under and over the parachute, so they had to keep going to get back where they started). As you say, teens can be dumb, but most of the characters came across as smart and capable, so I was really surprised that they all behaved the way they did.
I had really high expectations of this novella going in, and it wasn’t at all like I thought it would be, which added to my disappointment. It’s not the book’s fault, and I did enjoy it, but you know when you’re really excited to see a movie and it can never live up to your expectations?
Totally! I really liked all the different worlds too. Some of those were definitely terrifying. We just needed to know what was behind all of these worlds and the parachute itself.
I get what you mean, and I feel the same. Fleshed out a bit more this could’ve been a real hit, but it didn’t quite get there. That being said, I do think Garcia has some skill with her craft and I’d still give her another shot in the future.
I loved the thriller she wrote, and I enjoyed the Bigfoot book she wrote with her husband. I’ll definitely check out more of her work.
Oh cool! I had no idea she wrote a Bigfoot book. My mom saw Bigfoot before actually, or at least she swears up and down that she did. Yeah, I’d be happy to give her other works a try.
I always have a lot of fun doing these buddy reads with you, and we’ve already got the next one picked out! Can’t wait to do this again, bestie.
No way! You have to tell me the story! That’s incredible. I love our buddy reads too. Looking forward to the next book! Thanks, Bestie. 😊
That’s A Wrap!
Thanks for joining us on our buddy read and rant of Parachute! We had a lot of fun, and hope you did too! We will definitely be doing some more buddy reads in the future, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, why not check out Iseult and Jonny’s other fun buddy reads?