A timid girl with one eye must survive in the Amazon rainforest.
Ever since losing her left eye at age 7, almost 17-year-old Danger Danielle Warren hasn’t fit her first name. Preferring “Danny” but nicknamed “Pigeon” by her classmates for her lack of depth perception, she’s collected a plethora of fears, including heights, snakes, blindness, and being a burden or embarrassment—especially to her fearless, estranged father, Cougar, who hosts a survivalist reality show. When he invites her to an episode set in the Peruvian rainforest featuring hot teen actor Gus Price as a guest star, Danny vows to regain Cougar’s respect. But when their plane crashes, Danny’s life depends on conquering her fears. Vivid descriptions of the rainforest’s lush, unforgiving landscape, teeming with oppressive heat, poisonous creatures, and edible grubs, plunge readers into the brutally realistic action. But as Cougar and his crew keep the camera rolling, the exploration of human nature becomes paramount, and Danny learns a harsh truth about her father. Through Danny’s reflective narration, the group’s expository confessions, and Gus and Danny’s lightly described romance, Fischer (When Elephants Fly, 2018, etc.) perceptively examines such issues as divorce, narcissism, parental expectations, and forgiveness. Characters’ interactions largely ring true, as does Danny’s hard-won metamorphosis from self-conscious to self-confident. Danny, Cougar, and Gus are white; one crew member is Japanese American, and another is cued as black.
Part adventure, part coming-of-age novel, and altogether a page-turner. (Fiction. 13-18)