Falconer (Czapnik) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
[An] electric debut.… Lucy's fierce first-person point of view is as confident and fearless as she is on the court; she narrates her story with the immediacy and sharpness of a sports commentator, mixed with the pathos and wisdom of a perceptive adolescent charting the perils of her senior year of high school.… But it's arguably the nonhuman characters that give true shape to Lucy's evolution: basketball and New York…Her self-descriptions on the court are as visceral and vivid as any sex scene.… Czapnik, who herself grew up in Manhattan around the same time as Lucy, captures nostalgia—for both a vanishing New York and Lucy's evaporating childhood—with the lucidity of a V.R. headset.… Reader, beware: Spending time with Lucy is unapologetic fun, and heartbreak, and awe as well.
Chloe Malle - New York Times Book Review

The book is filled with highly caffeinated badass riffs on Manhattan's scenery and soul, on feminism and art, on Lucy's generation, and on basketball itself.… Lucy's simmering sexuality, her reaction to the male bodies around her, is never off the page for long. After all the books we've read about horny, frustrated adolescent boys, it's nice to get a different perspective.… Lucy may come from 1993, but her voice and her energy are just what we need right now.

Here's a sentence of critical praise I never expected to utter: The descriptions of basketball games in this novel are riveting.… Lucy's sweaty, all-in passion for basketball, which Czapnik captures so vividly in The Falconer, gives me a sharp sense of what I missed out on.… In The Falconer, Dana Czapnik displays this same gift: In bringing Lucy to life, she sees the whole game.
Maureen Corrigan - NPR

[E]lectrifying.… [A] frank, bittersweet coming-of-age story that crackles with raw adolescent energy, fresh-cut prose, and a kinetic sense of place.… And Czapnik, a seasoned sportswriter, has written exactly the book that every smart, strange, wonderful teenage weirdo like Lucy deserves.
Entertainment Weekly

[F]lawed first novel…. Despite a lived-in sense of place, this coming-of-age novel seems to be about jaded young characters who have already come of age, leaving them—and the reader—with little room for emotional development.
Publishers Weekly

You can try, but you’re unlikely to find descriptions of basketball as elegant as those in Dana Czapnik’s debut novel.… The Falconer offers astute observations on the difficulties women confront when trying to succeed in male-dominated fields. In Lucy, Czapnik has created a great character who refuses to conform to expectations.

(Starred review) A 17-year-old basketball player faces the complications of growing up smart, talented, and female in New York City circa 1993..… Coming-of-age in Manhattan may not have been done this brilliantly since Catcher in the Rye. That comparison has been made before, but this time, it's true. Get ready to fall in love.
Kirkus Reviews

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