Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
2325 0
Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly
Age Range
13+
Release Date
April 08, 2014
ISBN
978-0544232693
Buy This Book
      
Seventeen year-old dirt-bike-riding daredevil Arlo Santiago catches the eye of the U.S. military with his first-place ranking on a video game featuring drone warfare, and must reconcile the work they want him to do with the emotional scars he has suffered following a violent death in his family. Adios, Nirvana author Conrad Wesselhoeft, takes readers from the skies over war-torn Pakistan to the dusty arroyos of New Mexico's outback in this young adult novel about daring to live in the wake of unbearable loss.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Video Games and Extreme Biking
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Arlo lives in a dying New Mexican town with his sister Siouxsie, who has Huntington's disease, and his father, who is barely functional. There are reasons-- not only was Arlo's mother killed in a convenience store robbery, but Arlo's father lost his job as editor of the local newspaper, which folded. Arlo survives by immersing himself in motorcycle riding and in planing war games where he manipulates drones. His skills are such that he comes to the attention of the Air Force, who want Arlo to come and try his hand at operating drones. He does well enough that the Air Force wants to train him, but Arlo is leery of the military, especially when they want him to operate a drone that will take out an evil leader. He is torn, however, because the Air Force promises him a large sum of money and care for his sister as long as it is needed. In the meantime, he hangs out with Lee, a motorcycle riding beauty from Washington state who is living with his mother's best friend while her father is off fighting in the Middle East, and attempts Evel Knievel style motorcycle jumps in order to get on a television program and secure money for Siouxsie's treatments. How can Arlo manage to take care of his family and still be true to his own values?

This had so many good elements to it: motorcycle stunts, video games, an adolescent fantasy scenario where the military needs Arlo to save the day, a romantic interest who is cute and shares Arlo's fondness for motorcycles, and an obnoxious dog to add a little vulgarity. Add a strong sense of place, a character with a specific ethnicity (Hispanic) that is important to the story but not the whole story, and a family dealing with grief in a realistic but practical way, and this was a winner for me.

I always enjoy books more when I am rooting for the main character, and Arlo was fully developed, flawed, but tried so hard to help everyone around him while relying on his own coping mechanisms. The supporting characters are interesting as well, and the plot device of having the Air Force interested in Arlo because of his skills is handled in a way that made me believe it could actually happen.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Fence: Striking Distance
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The boys of Kings Row bout with drama, rivalry, and...
Pirate Nell's Tale to Tell
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
From the author/illustrator team behind The Snatchabook comes a book-filled...
The Glass Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Once Upon a Time meets Game of Thrones in...
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A broken world. An overwhelming evil. A team of...
Finding Balance
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Jase Ellison doesnt remember having acute lymphocytic leukemia when...
Be a Voter!: 450 Stickers for Democracy
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Get out the vote! It’s...
I Believe In You
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A charming picture book that inspires confidence, boosts self-esteem, and...
Breathless
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Jennifer Niven, the #1 New York Times bestselling...
Of Thorns and Beauty (Twisted Pages Book 1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
You think you know the tale as old time,...
The Verity
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When being eaten alive is the least of your...
Meanwhile
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Celebrate 10 years of this completely original graphic novel take...
Grant Beagan: The Finder's Code
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He’s just an ordinary teenager who likes astronomy, video games,...

Latest Member Reviews

Twisting Minds
 
4.8
"The story: At seventeen, Claire Harper’s life has taken a turn for the worse – her mother..."
Fae's Prisoner (Crimes of the Fae)
 
5.0
"This is the book I didn’t know I needed! Fae’s Prisoner by M. Lynn & Melissa A. Craven is the..."
Fae's Prisoner (Crimes of the Fae)
 
5.0
"After reading Queens of the Fae, I had such mixed feelings about Griffin... but now I love him! This book..."
Just Shelby
 
N/A
"ARCs available for review @XpressoBookTours: http://xpressobooktours.com/2020/09/10/review-opportunity-just-shelby-by-brooklyn-james/?fbclid=IwAR2v9c-b9Z0YagynLTaMCNt-c-WW6nmWYZbuVBZYFoGNADs5c-DD6YayMGU"
Sword of the Seven Sins
 
5.0
" The story: Ari and Eva are young members of a society based on the seven deadly sins,..."
Things That Should Stay Buried
 
5.0
"Casey L. Bond has been on my reading list for years, and now I can finally say I have read..."
Of Thorns and Beauty (Twisted Pages Book 1)
 
5.0
"Dark and twisted just like I like them! Of Thorns and Beauty by Elle Madison, Robin D. Mahle is the..."
The Verity
 
5.0
"FEEDBACK Friends. FRIENDS. This book was so good. I apologize in advanced if it’s just a bunch of rambling..."
Emerge: Immortals of Indriell (Book 1)
 
4.3
"Emerge by Melissa A. Craven is the first book in her series Immortals of Indriell and is a fast-paced adventure..."
My Best Friend Prince Charming
 
5.0
"A cute and fun romp. What’s better than a Hollywood romance between a rising star and..."
Dare: A Bradford Academy Novel
 
5.0
"Really great story line , really great writing and I can’t wait until the next book because I have a..."
Chasing the Sun
 
5.0
"'Chasing the Sun' by Melanie Hooyenga captures the raw emotions felt after a breakup, as well as the ones that..."
Sunshine in the Shadows: Book 2 of the Sunshine Series
 
4.7
"This one is probably the least exciting out of the 3 books, but its lovely getting to know the characters..."
Sunshine Reigns: Book 3 of the Sunshine Series
 
5.0
"This my favourite book of the 3-part series. Sunny comes into her own with a very satisfying ending."
 
5.0
"Loved it!"
ExtraNormal Academy (ExtraNormal Academy, #1)
 
4.0
"A different take on Academy books with the main character as an alien from another planet, sent to observe humans...."
 
5.0
"I strongly recommend this novel. It has the perfect combination of action, plot twists, and cool characters that kept my..."
 
5.0
"I had no idea about how serious the fallout for teens who sext can be until I read this book...."
 
5.0
"I loved this book so much I didn’t want it to end! I totally related to the characters and the..."
Neon Nights: A Sequel
 
4.8
"'Neon Nights' by Katey Taylor is an addictive sequel to 'Inebriated'. Cait has moved to San Diego to live with..."