Friday, January 18, 2013

Review: The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

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The Way We Fall
Megan Crewe
Series: Fallen World, #1
Publication date: January 24th 2012
by Disney-Hyperion

When sixteen-year-old Kaelyn lets her best friend leave for school without saying goodbye, she never dreams that she might not see him again. But then a strange virus begins to sweep through her small island community, infecting young and old alike. As the dead pile up, the government quarantines the island: no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for the island’s 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?

Poignant and dizzying, The Way We Fall is the heart-wrenching story of one girl’s bravery and unbeatable spirit as she challenges not just her fears, but her sense of what makes life worth living.

*A copy was provided by myself for secret purposes*
Gah! This was good but that was so not an ending! Almost knocked off a start for the lack of conclusion, then I eyed the sequel which is only a few weeks away, calming me down some. Lucky, duck, Mrs Crewe!

As far as post apocalyptic books go, I have read aplenty, and although I would not class this in with my top favorites, I found it compelling and appreciated that it offered something new. For one, it’s not actually a post-apocalyptic book–at least not yet. This one stands out from the crowd simply by giving us something a lot more real than zombies or a futuristic dystopian society. In The Way We Fall, we have a flu epidemic–of which we are all familiar after the most recent (H1N1) scare–that has taken over an island, leading to a quarantine. This means no one comes on, and no one leaves. The other flair of uniqueness exists in the way it’s written– in journal form. This puts you into the shoes of the protagonist, letting you to understand how a situation like this affects a person’s thoughts and mental processes. One drawback of this structure is that is does lessen the suspense; however this story is more about dealing and surviving, than thrills and scares. As expected with a teenage voice, we get angst and romance mixed in there as well. The latter introduces a love interest that, in my opinion, was a little too selfless, but otherwise enjoyable.

When we begin this book we’re introduced to Kaelyn by her own hand. She’s writing a journal to a friend she’s on the outs with, and then it begins… People start getting sick with the flu which soon turns into delusions, and then they die. We see the island deteriorate in front of our eyes. With the population dwindling, gangs arising, and an all around feeling of malaise,  the vibe of the book is kept very distressing–uncomfortable even–which I enjoyed immensely. There is the constant fear of catching this easily contracted disease everywhere you go. I kept wanting to hold my breath whenever Kaelyn ventured outside. Then we have the suspicious abandonment of the government on the mainland. As if they were waiting for the island to obliterate itself. The seclusion is nerve-wracking. They are at the mercy of a heartless, unsympathetic enigma.

This unsettling plot is joined by a rather large cast of characters–at least at the beginning–making it impossible for us to connect with all of them. I did care about them–little Meredith especially–but not in a particularly profound way. I’m sure a lot of you will have favorites you will come to care about more than others, this diminishes the emotional impact of some of the deaths that occur throughout this story. Deaths that I’m sure were meant to have a more powerful affect only becomes another unfortunate event.

This leads me to the ending. I was hoping for a gutting ending. One that puts the nail in the coffin. Instead we’re left with a story that feels unfinished–even for a first book in a series. We get zero answers, no real development as far as the actual plot. Nonetheless, I can’t say that I wasn’t completely engaged in this book from the very start. Hence the complete 4 stars that I’m giving this novel despite what I just mentioned. It also helps that the sequel is just around the corner, I can pretend it’s really one big book.

If you get a thrill out of seeing a secluded island and its inhabitants crumble at the hand of a deadly virus (who doesn’t?) then this book is for you! ;)

4 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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26 Responses to “Review: The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe”

  1. Amy

    I have this one and don’t know why I haven’t read it yet!! Well, right now I certainly wouldn’t want to since we are having a massive flu epidemic and I have a never ending cold. It would get me all freaked out lol!! I will definitely be reading this at some point though. Fabulous review chicky!!

  2. Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    I am kind of glad I didn’t read this one yet, since you said the ending felt unfinished. Waiting between books in a series is bad enough without cliffhangers and leaving the readers with a million questions, unanswered. I have a signed copy, since I met the author at a local event last year, so I will definitely be waiting until the sequel is out to pick it up so I don’t have the long wait. And now I know why there was hand sanitizer swag for this one. lol Great review! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  3. Michelle

    Not a big apocalyptic fan, but this sounds interesting…. although idk about the lack of ending! I might have to wait until book 2 comes out before I read book 1 :)

  4. Bailey

    Love that this one is a unique apocalypse book with so many of them coming out now. BUT a lack-luster ending that is totally meant to force people into buying book 2? Not cool!! I hate books that do that! Glad that it was good up until that point, though! Thanks for the honest review, Giselle. :)

  5. Alexa Y.

    This would probably creep me out! I always get nervous when epidemics sweep across the country – these things take and affect countless lives. But this does sound like it would make for a unique, interesting read.

  6. Kat Balcombe

    Ah the ending of this one nearly killed me! Or, more correctly, nearly killed the book with a hard fling across the room. I love virus stories, but I did find the first part of this one kinda slow, but the second half definitely picked up.

    Lucky it’s not long until the next one! Great review, Giselle!

  7. Shooting Stars Mag

    This sounds pretty exciting, to say the least! I’m so bad at keeping up with series, though, so it would probably take me awhile to get to it. I’m glad the sequel is fast approaching, though, so you don’t have to wait long…especially with a non-ending!

    Thanks for sharing. :)

  8. Jen (A Reading Daydreamer)

    I’ve been really hesitant on reading this one because of the mixed reviews, but the premise seriously sounds great! The little sprinkles of romance and survival sound like great elements in a story. I’m sorry the conclusion didn’t wrap up the story well– that’s what book two’s for! Lovely review, Giselle! :)

  9. Nick

    I’ve been meaning to read this since forever now, but I haven’t had the time. I’m glad to hear that it kept you engaged although the ending was somewhat disappointing. I probably wouldn’t be fan of the ending either. I hate when a book leaves me with unanswered questions. It makes me want to rip my own hair off out of frustration! Still, this does sound very interesting especially with the idea behind the book!
    Lovely review, Giselle! :)

  10. Aneeqah

    I actually found myself loving this one, I think, because I went in with absolutely no expectations whatsoever. I’ve had a copy of the ARC sitting on my shelf for a while now, but haven’t had the strength to pick it up, because I don’t want it to be a disappointment for a book that I found so unique and harrowing. I definitely agree that the ending was quite something- and not really in a good way. Also, while I totally see why you couldn’t connect with all of the characters, and therefore their deaths didn’t make much of an impact, I didn’t have this problem much, because we felt Kaelyn’s loss, and that’s what really connected me with them- through Kaelyn.

    Fantastic review Giselle! I hope the sequel lives up to our expectations! <3

  11. Jesse Burgoyne

    This sounds really good. I love that it’s an epidemic and not one of the overused post apocalyptic elements I’ve been reading lately. Definitively has the potential to make this book a little more scary. I’m a little sad there’s not more of a conclusion, even for book one, but the sequel coming out soon is good. Maybe I’ll get them both and read them together!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

  12. Sarah Elizabeth

    I hate it when a book doesn’t have an ending, even one where there are more books to come. Drives me mad! Will have to pick up a copy of the sequel before I read this one! Thanks Giselle!

  13. Renae

    I’m so glad you liked this! I recently read Crewe’s debut novel, which was about ghosts and high school or whatever, and I was less than impressed. The concept for this series sounds great, and I like that it kept you reading and wasn’t a snorefest.

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