Thursday, March 22, 2012

Julia Reviews The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Title/Author:The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
Publisher/Year Published: January 2012 by Hyperion
How I got this book: From my library system
Why I read this book: I saw it show up a few places in the blogosphere and the description intrigued me
Rating: 3 stars

Let's start with a brief summary. Kaelyn just moved back to her home, an island with her mom, dad and brother, and is feeling a little blue. She misses her best friend Leo, who she had a thing for, and starts writing letters to him in the form of a journal to feel connected to him. Inadvertently, she also starts to document the spread of a new unknown virus on the little island. This story is about that virus, how it ravages the island, and how people turn either bad or good when the going gets insane.

The Way We Fall was a refreshingly good book. It is pretty much is just what I told you in the paragraph above. There is an island and a disease that no one has seen starts cropping up and killing people throwing everyone into a panic. Once the island was quarantined, the book picked up speed and did not slow down. It was what Lord of the Flies would be if it was an island of people of all ages, supplies, was set in modern day and was enjoyable...

I really enjoyed the medium that the story was presented to us. I thought since the journal was to someone not on the island, some of the more specific details made sense. Granted I never would expect a journal to have paragraphs of dialogue that this one did, but it really didn't bother me.

Kaelyn, our narrator, is interesting and yet still a teenager. Not that the two are mutually exclusive, it's just you can tell that she is a teenager with her stressing about fitting in, and pinning over a boy. But when the going gets tough, her personality goes beyond just that and over the course of the book grows. At times, she can be a little frustrating and at one point I was thinking "Oh yeah? You figured that out and not the experts? Please." but the book actually schooled me a bit on that thought.

Some of the secondary characters can be one note, but the ones we see a bit more of, like the family, round out a bit around the edges.

It is hard to say much specifically about the story, considering it is pretty much just a pandemic attacks an island. Everything you think may happen does. The characters are believable. Our narrator, reliable. It was enjoyable story in the way a story about a pandemic can be.

In a slight aside, remember how I mentioned that all current YA are series? Well, as soon as I had fished this I was thinking about how I was going to go online and profess my love for finding an excellent standalone young adult book. Then once I went to Goodreads, I see "Fallen World #1". What a disappointment.

So where does it fall short? Before I knew this would continue, I thought that the ending was a perfect open ended ending for a book that is so weighty in its subject. With a teeny bit more closure I would have been happy. I would have known what I needed to know to form my own conclusions about the future of this world. I am actually really disappointed though not surprised that this is the beginning of a series.

I had a whirlwind relationship with this book (I read it in 6 hours. I was sick, which I thought was pretty ironic) and I think I am judging the ending more on what I wanted it to be more so than what it actually was. There were some pretty loose ends, three major ones, that I sort of wrapped up to myself. But I really believe that this book would have been AWESOME if it's ending was a little more conclusive and wrapped up those loose ends (to an extent, leave us to draw some of our own conclusions) and call it a day. One book and out.

I don't know if I want to know more though. I like where my mind took it. I like not knowing the whole picture or the after. And I wish that the author could have done it, but I've babbled on about my wishes long enough.

Summary: It was a good book; solidly interesting. I would recommend this for people who don't mind a little death (because seriously it is a pandemic) and for people looking for a good survival story.


12 comments :

  1. I really want to read this, but I'm a little weary of starting another series. I decided that I won't continue series unless I absolutely love them.

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  2. I agree... while I love series, sometimes it's refreshing to read stand alone novels and just leave it at that. I like getting invested in a story, having it wrapped up, and just letting my mind wrap around the one book rather than wait months for the next one only to be left hanging and forced to wait more months. I sort of like that you aren't wanting more from this and are happy to let things loose ends stay that way - reminds me of Lost and how you're left to make your own conclusions (or at least I think... I never watched Lost!)!

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  3. I've heard a lot of interesting things about this one, and I really want to read it. I thought this was a standalone book as well, it seems like the type of book that would be good as one book, but I'm interested to see how Megan makes it into a series. Great review, I'm interested in the idea that it's written as a journal.

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  4. I thought this was a stand-alone when I got it, and I was disappointed that it wasn't. I'm probably not going to continue, just because I was satisfied with where it ended.

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  5. It is sort of interesting the predicament that series put authors in... if they leave the reader hanging off a cliff, we rage, but go out and purchase the next book. If they wrap it up in a satisfying way, we won't buy the next book because we're sick of series/don't need to hear more. I, too, am a little weary of series at this point, but you can't really argue with their economic/marketing purposes.

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  6. I'm glad to hear that even though this is a book of journal entries, it still reads like a regular novel with "paragraphs of dialogue" (this was similar to how Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer was written, and I talk about that in my review as well). I know it ruins the effect of reading someone's journal but that's okay with me. I don't think I would enjoy a book that was sparse on details and dialogue like actual journals/diaries are.

    I'm so excited about this new trend of virus outbreaks in YA books. I love books about plagues. I'm looking forward to reading this book and Maaque of the Red Death (which I pre-ordered).

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  7. I've been interested in this book, but I haven't seen too many reviews. Thanks!

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  8. This book is very nice. I am very interested on it.

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  9. I really liked this book. It reminded me of the movie Contagion and I haven't really read a YA book like that so it was a new experience. I agree this could have worked as a standalone but I am interested to see how the town recovers after the pandemic. Whenever I read/see about pandemics you never really get to see what happens after. I'm also intrigued because she said the next book won't be in journal form. Wonder if it'll be just as good.

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  10. Kaelyn is amazingly resilient. Her characters endures so much loss in the novel, but she still comes up fighting. The other characters the reader meets will intrigue him/her. The author has a way of making the reader miss the characters who don't make it to the end, a rare quality. The love interest, Gav, is brave and a survivalist, the reader will enjoy meeting him and getting to know him through Kaelyn. Kaelyn's family is complex and will feel like the readers' family not long after the reader picks up the book. Her brother and father butt heads over a few issues, Kaelyn's mother loves her children to a fault, and Kaelyn's uncle and cousin are special to them all. If the author did not create such dynamic and likable characters, this story would not be as fantastic as it is.

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  11. I thought this was a standalone when I picked this up too but I think a series could be interesting. We see books that pick up after the disaster but not many that actually walk us through it. Now for the second book, we will get to see that aftermath.

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  12. I'm so predictable. Your review (and the somewhat medical nature of the book) made me fast-track it to number 1 on my TBR-list. It was awesome!
    My only complaint is that we were never told what Gav and Weber did to the nasty 2nd Grade teacher... and that's a bit of a cliffhanger at the end, wouldn't you say? Definitely a great book, yay!

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