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How We Fall (2014)

by Kate Brauning(Favorite Author)
4.11 of 5 Votes: 1
1440581797 (ISBN13: 9781440581793)
Merit Press
review 1: It used to be Jackie, Marcus, and Ellie selling vegetables at the farm stand. But Ellie disappeared four months ago and Jackie and Marcus are in the most complicated relationship. One, because they are head over heels for each other, and two, because they are first cousins and live in the same house with their parents and Marcus’s multiple siblings. They have rules not to be too close and so they don’t get caught. But it feels impossible to keep away from each other.Mystery surrounds them as Ellie’s backpack is found, and someone in a white truck is following Jackie and Marcus. The same man is suspected to have slashed the tires on Marcus’s truck. A new girl named Sylvia moves to town and Jackie doesn’t trust her. She also doesn’t like the way Sylvia throws her... moreself at Marcus. They both try to move on and to find people it’s okay to date, but Jackie doesn’t want Marcus dating Sylvia. As things go on, Jackie tries to figure out but things are getting worse. She knows she’s falling hard for Marcus, but not being with him is breaking her. They’ll have to work things out before things come to a head and the truth about everything is revealed.At first, I was a bit thrown with two first cousins secretly kissing, but as the story went on, I started rooting for the two of them to be free to love each other. I understand why Jackie was so adamant against letting others know, but Marcus really was such a sweet guy. The intense plot was captivating! A few of the twists had me gasping out loud. I stayed up late so I could finish the book and couldn’t put it down until I knew what happened. I really enjoyed this story! It’s a wonderful book!
review 2: I'm not entirely sure what to think of this book. My opinion of it changes rapidly from one moment to the next, and there are some elements I loved and others that I'm not exactly a fan of. (Honestly, I almost rated it 3.75 but stopped myself.) But the general consensus in my head is that I liked the book itself. It's a very strong contemporary read, and it's well-written. Most of the time I would round this up to four stars.I don't know - there's just this sinking feeling that I can't quite catch about How We Fall that stayed with me throughout the whole reading experience, and it might have something to do with the fact that it almost seemed like two books mashed into one. One was an enjoyable contemporary book, while the other was a poorly done mystery. I think that trying to tackle these aspects simultaneously in a review won't go too well, just like it didn't go too well in the book itself, so I'll divide them up.The contemporary half:Jackie herself is a serviceable but not totally memorable main character. She doesn't stand out much as a person at first, but her narrative voice is very compelling, almost conversational in its delivery. She has subtle and realistic flaws that I as a reader could definitely appreciate and relate to. She works really, really well in the frame of her story, and she can definitely stick up for herself. This was all well and good.I have to admit that I was a tiny bit squicked out in the beginning about Jackie and Marcus's relationship. I felt bad about my hesitation because Jackie was so obviously convinced that her cousin was "the one" for her, but I couldn't really get into it. Part of it was probably due to Jackie's dramatic and slightly overdone idea that if she couldn't have Marcus, she wouldn't have anyone. She was throwing around thoughts like "I'll never get over Marcus", which isn't exactly the healthiest mindset to have about a relationship you're having in your teens.However, Jackie and Marcus are definitely a real couple in terms of emotions, and I was tentatively supporting them by the middle of the book. Although their frequent and pretty intense kissing scenes disrupted the plot's flow, I rolled with it, interested in seeing how it would end up. I wanted the end of this book to be a quiet, bittersweet separation that was ultimately for the best, because I didn't feel like Jackie and Marcus were really that good for each other.But then Will got there, and I was shipping him with Jackie like there was no tomorrow. I was like please let them be a thing. Will and Jackie's easy, comfortable chemistry, Will's relentless and adorable flirting, Jackie's surprise at being treated so wonderfully by an attractive guy - YES. These are the kinds of contemporary couples I live for. And while I knew my heart wasn't doing what the story wanted it to do and I would undoubtedly not get the outcome I wanted, I stuck with my ship anyway, because I am a stubborn shipper if there ever was one. I would have liked to see more of Will, I admit, and his presence was one of the brightest aspects of the whole book.(I have a weakness for book boys named Will. *ahem* Infernal Devices *ahem* Ranger's Apprentice *ahem*. Don't judge.)The mystery half:The mystery element that surfaced later felt really tacked on, and this significantly detracted from my enjoyment of the core romance as well. This was my main problem with How We Fall - I would have liked to see more focus on Jackie and Marcus's problematic relationship, but the mystery kept popping up and reminding me that it was there at the most inconvenient times.The pacing of the mystery also felt constantly off to me. One minute Jackie would be agonizing over her relationship status with Marcus, and then suddenly she would be lost in thoughts of her missing best friend, Ellie. This switch was disorienting, and it felt so forced that I couldn't really get into it. The mystery also didn't hold much urgency for me. The climax of the mystery and the big reveal where the person behind it was unveiled to me felt really rushed, and I found it disappointing.So to sum up my general thoughts:How We Fall was okay, and readers with different tastes than mine will definitely enjoy this book. It's a great exploration of a different brand of forbidden relationship than most contemporary YA depicts, and I think it would have worked much better as a straight-up contemporary romance. It's a difficult book to review as well - hence my awkward wording and short review. So take my words here with a grain of salt, because other readers can certainly find something to love about How We Fall. less
Reviews (see all)
I cannot wait for this book to arrive at my house! It seems awesome.
An intruiging mystery/thriller with a complicated romantic component.
A well written and quick read. It's a must read.
Sounds amazing! Love that incest shit.
3.5 Stars
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