AIR, by Ryan Gattis, is one of the best books I’ve read all year.
Grey is a guy who loves to get air – to ride his bicycle as fast as possible before taking off of a ramp or other stable structure and doing flips or other risky stunts. He doesn’t do this to be a risk-taker. He does it for the satisfaction of accomplishing something that seems to be impossible. He lives for the feeling of the air rushing past him and the pride he takes in planning and executing a difficult move.
Upon the murder of his mother, Grey is forced to move to Baltimore to live with his Aunt Blue. Once there, he finds that it’s not only his bi-racial heritage that makes him different, but the fact that he is new to town. He doesn’t get the jokes, have the accent, or know his way around. He also doesn’t live with his brothers and sisters any more. It’s a difficult adjustment and in the course of settling in, he is befriended by Akil Williams. Continue reading