|TITLE: The Way We Fall SERIES: The Way We Fall #1 |
AUTHOR: Megan Crewe PUB: Disney-Hyperion
PUB DATE: 1/24/12 FORMAT: ARC, 304 pgs
SOURCE: from the publisher for review
It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.And then you're dead.When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.Because how will she go on if there isn't?
THREE WORDS: Heart-wrenching, Chilling, Thought-Provoking
MY REVIEW: Megan Crewe’s The Way We Fall turned out to be very different than what I was expecting…but that’s not a bad thing. I read this book in one sitting, not able to put it down because I just had to know how it ended.
MY BRIEF SUMMARY
Told through a series of unsent letters to an ex-best friend, recorded in a journal, The Way We Fall tells the story of sixteen year old Kaelyn whose community is plagued by a mysterious epidemic. The mysterious and deadly virus spreads slowly at first through Kaelyn’s small town, then begins to spread faster until most of the town is infected. Kaelyn’s letters to her once BFF Leo, give a first person account of how this epidemic effects people as she describes her family’s heart-breaking fight for survival.
Crewe has crafted a gripping, profound story that is chilling and frightful in its believability and realistic possibility. This book is a compelling blend of all things emotional, thrilling, thought-provoking, and even romantic. The Way We Fall captivated me with its startling and powerful story and left me thoughtful for long after I finished it.
The story is told through Kaelyn’s letters to her used to be BFF Leo, who is at school in NYC. I both liked and disliked this use of letters. I liked the way that these letters allowed an intimate look into our main character, Kaelyn, but I didn’t like the simple fact that they really didn’t feel or read like letters. I mean who really writes “letters” that include a play by play of everything that happens in the span of a single day, including dialogue? I don’t think the “Leo,” at the beginning of each chapter or letter was necessary, nor is it even consistently used throughout the novel. Somewhere near the middle of the book, it seems as if the letters stop and Kaelyn is simply narrating her own story, which is kind of confusing.
But, like I stated above, I did like that the story was told from one specific perspective and not in third person. This intimate perspective reflected the way that the epidemic wasn’t widespread nationally, but confined to one small town. It also gave the book a much needed focus.
The actual details and execution of the virus are well written and the author obviously did her research. But I love that readers aren’t overwhelmed or bombarded by too many unnecessary medical and scientific information. Yes, the virus itself is important, but the most significant aspect of this book is how this epidemic affects the people in the town.
Crewe does an exceptional job at presenting a deadly epidemic ridden town realistically. I was simply enthralled by Crewe’s exploration of the human condition and what people are capable of when faced with an impossible situation, and readers will be left shocked, moved, appalled, and thoughtful. But it wasn’t the overall bigger picture that gripped me the tightest; it was the inner look at one family’s struggle that had me reading all night. The poignant and heart-wrenching story of Kaelyn and her family was almost beautiful in its relentless and profound ache.
The last few chapters are heart-stopping and intense and took my breath away. The book ends on a hopeful, yet a could-go-anywhere-really kind of note. Supposedly, this is just the first book of a new series, so I’m anxious to see where the story goes.
Not-so-fun Fact: The chapters are organized by date and on Oct. 23 (my birthday) something horrible happens O_O
Since this book is told from Kaelyn’s perspective, we only meet other characters through her, which can be limiting.
Kaelyn is sixteen years old, but to me she seemed younger. There’s one part in the book where her mom tells her to take the car somewhere and it took me a minute to remember that she was actually old enough to drive. It isn’t that she’s particularly immature or naïve, her character just comes off as younger than sixteen. But she is a likable character and quite relatable in her averageness. She grows and evolves a great deal throughout the book, and naturally so, which was refreshing. This is a character that readers will easily feel invested in.
Kaelyn’s family (dad, mom, older brother, younger cousin) add a nice mix of different personalities. Tessa, Kaelyn’s once sort of enemy (and Leo’s girlfriend) and eventual friend, was a really intriguing character. She’s very different from Kaelyn and I was really fascinated by her.
I also liked that the virus itself wasn’t the only “bad guy” in the book.
Yes, even amidst a deadly epidemic, our main character finds time for romance. Well, actually romance kind of finds her and it’s a really well-written romance. Gav, her romantic interest, is a really likable guy. Kaelyn and Gav’s friendship forms out of a simple common interest-helping people during the epidemic. I love the fact that this romance feels natural and we actually get to see it progress from friendship to flirtation to real feelings.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS: The Way We Fall is not a perfect book, but it is a captivating and riveting read. This book thrilled me, moved me, and left me wanting more. I will definitely be reading the next installment and definitely recommend this book.
Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and three cats (and does on occasion say "eh"), she works as a behavioral therapist for children and teens with special needs, and she's spent the last four years studying kung fu, so you should probably be nice to her. She has been making up stories about magic and spirits and other what ifs since before she knew how to write words on paper. These days the stories are just a lot longer.
Megan's first novel, the young adult paranormal Give Up the Ghost, was published by Henry Holt & Co. in 2009. Her next novel, the young adult dystopian The Way We Fall, will be published by Disney-Hyperion in January 2012. She has also published short stories in magazines such as On Spec and Brutarian Quarterly.
I have a handful of promotional The Way We Fall bookmarks, courtesy of Megan Crewe, to give away!
If you'd like a bookmark, simply leave a comment below letting me know you'd like one. Please include an email address too.
I'll pick winners at random on Sunday 1/15 at 7pm ET.