Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Books CH (January 24, 2012)
Series: The Way We Fall #1
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Cover: I think this cover is interesting. It's not beautiful because that isn't what this book is about. It does jump out like a warning though with it's big bold yellow (like yellow tape the police use) and the silhouette of the girl running is quite striking.
First Sentence: Leo, it's been six hours since you left the island.
Mini-Review: The Way We Fall is contagious.
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?
Megan Crewe crafts a powerful and gripping exploration of self-preservation, first love, and hope. Poignant and dizzying, this heart-wrenching story of one girl’s bravery and unbeatable spirit will leave readers fervently awaiting the next book in this standout new series.Review:
Like the virus the novel is written about, The Way We Fall is contagious. Killer characters, a dire situation, a terrifying plot and a general feeling of paranoia run rampant through the novel creating an exciting read. It's like your favorite zombie novel minus the slow shuffling feet. But this virus is a killer and it takes over your mind right before it stops your heart.
Written in a journal as a series of letters, we get to see Kaelyn's thoughts as she sees them. And she's trying to be brutally honest. A situation like this, where so many people are dying, already lends itself to forcing the reader to feel sorry for the characters. The fact that I generally worried for Kaelyn's well being despite of the circumstances is an added bonus. The thing about Kaelyn that I really liked was that she was really trying to better herself before the virus struck. She constantly struggled with how to make herself into the person she wanted to be instead of the person she was. This carried through when the disaster struck and made her question her actions, thinking deeper than just surviving. I loved that she actually cared and was willing to admit it. Plus, I thought it was fascinating that she was so in to animals and would look at the world through the eyes of someone knowledgeable in the wildlife hierarchy. This shaped her view point in a pleasant, unique way.
As well-developed as Kaelyn was, you'd think the other characters would be lacking. Yet, they were all real too. You got the sense that the characters were doing something before Kaelyn walked into the room. They had their own interests and let things shape them in their own ways. Meredith survived perfectly as Kaelyn's motivation and Kaelyn's tenuous relationship with her family made for plenty of tension as people started dying. The fact her father was a lead doctor in disease research and was responsible for finding the cure made it all the more interesting. Kaelyn's budding friendship with Tess and starting a relationship with Gav at one of the most dangerous times to grow close to someone was sweet. What I loved about this story was that everyone was into their own things and they all felt whole. It was almost as if any of these characters could be the one writing the journal.
The journal form helped to grasp the enclosed feeling of being trapped on the quarantined island. Having Kaelyn write about each day and the gradual changes in her behavior was a really effective way to see how the island was changing and slowly unraveling. Then, to see Kaelyn slowly lose her mind as the virus spreads and fight to find her wa yback is both awesome and terrifying.
Terrifying is truly the word to define this novel. I was left with a feeling of dread at the horrible circumstances that the island faced in just a few short weeks. I picked up this story not realizing that what I was going to read was a horror but this disease truly is a killer and it's hard not to feel scared as everything we know from normal society begins to break down. All of a sudden Internet and phone lines are down, power is going out, gas is running low and people are starting to take the law into their own hands. Ms. Crewe is masterful at showing how people begin to crack under pressure and how disasters can truly pull out the very worst in people. But though the world is bleak, Crewe still manages to sprinkle little rays of light, Through her character's actions we see bravery in an entirely new way and we see how always questing to better oneself can lead to accomplishments far beyond one's expectations.
Blending the awesomely terrible and horribly amazing into one heartbreaking story is successful in The Way We Fall. The characters feel real so real that they will grip onto your heart and the illiness seems so plausible you'll find yourself wincing at every cough and sneeze. But should The Way We Fall become a virus, I'd suggest you catch it. Because like the virus contained within the pages it will take over you mind and make you want to spread it around to all your friends.
...I can imagine what it's like to fly. At least, I usually can. Right then I felt as if I had a weight strapped around my waist, holding me down, made up of all the things I should have said to you before you left.
--Pg.4 of an ARC of "The Way We Fall" by Megan Crewe
So I tried. If your girlfriend wants to risk her life for fertilizer or a spade or whatever, that's up to her.
-- Pg. 53 of an ARC of "The Way We Fall" by Megan Crewe
"...This is all I can say right now. The government's decided the area's too high risk. They're closing off the island."
--Pg. 57 of an ARC of "The Way We Fall" by Megan Crewe
His forearms were wiry with muscle. Possibly from pummeling his friends on a regular basis.
--Pg. 78 of an ARC of "The Way We Fall" by Megan Crewe
It doesn't make its victims stagger around slobbering and moaning so anyone in their right mind would run the other way. It gets you cozying up to people...
--Pg. 93 of an ARC of "The Way We Fall" by Megan Crewe
"You're always threatening me with violence," he said, his breath warm against my ear. "What's that all about?"/"You're the one teaching me how to hit people," I pointed out./"You're saying I'm the bad influence then?" he asked. I could feel his grin./"Oh definitely," I said.
--Pg. 223 of an ARC of "The Way We Fall" by Megan Crewe
This is what we do. We make tea and read books and watch people die.
--Pg. 279 of an ARC of "The Way We Fall" by Megan Crewe