Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review + Giveaway: The Way We Fall

THE WAY WE FALL
Megan Crewe
Young Adult
304 pages
Disney-Hyperion
Available January 24th
Received through Big Honcho Media for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.

MY THOUGHTS
The Way We Fall is a story that creeps along, symptoms of a new and deadly virus presenting themselves slowly to give our fear plenty of time to grow and expand as the virus itself does until our mind can focus on nothing else but the questions of who is going to survive it and who is going to succumb. As we read, we find ourselves victims of one psychosomatic symptom after another, convinced every tiny itch and every sneeze is indicative of something far worse–as though the sickness can spread from the world of fiction to our reality and claim us as the first casualty of an epidemic that's history in the making. We have no choice but to watch through Kaelyn’s eyes as she records every detail of her changing world in her journal, our utter helplessness to stop the spread of infection combining with our fear for the day to day survival of those about whom we're reading to settle like a lead weight in our guts that refuses to budge.

Kaelyn is a fairly unremarkable young woman, a quality that makes her feel all the more tangible and allows us to easily transfer pieces of ourselves to the somewhat blank canvas she represents, giving us a beautifully normal starting point from which we can begin this traumatic journey together. She’s strong and courageous without being overly so, her fear of the unknown a character unto itself and one with which both she and we as readers walk hand in hand throughout this entire first installment. Our response to her isn’t an overly visceral one though, instead we react more to the situation itself than to Kaelyn in particular, making her feel more like a conduit through which we experience the action rather than a vital part of the action in her own right.

Readers who are looking for a fast paced read will likely lose patience a bit with this story, events progressing slowly but inexorably as the island is quarantined and the population culled body by body, friend by friend, and neighbor by neighbor. That being said, this pace is a perfect way to build tension as we watch symptoms progress in the ill and the ethical and mental status deteriorate in the healthy, though at times we can’t help but want something big to happen to grab us by the heart and yank us kicking and screaming into the story.

Overall, The Way We Fall has a fascinating premise that makes our skin crawl with phantom itches and our throats cough away imaginary tickles with each new case of the virus, but the pacing does add significant weight to the story, making us feel as though we’re trudging through thick mud as opposed to sprinting weightlessly over clear ground. Interesting developments at the end definitely cause our curiosity to spike in the last few pages, and the promise of perhaps some increased emotional intensity shines brightly enough to have us jotting down a reminder to look up the release date for the second book

Rating: 3.5/5

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the fabulous people at Big Honcho Media and Disney-Hyperion, I have 2 copies of The Way We Fall to give away on the blog today! To enter, please just leave a comment on this post with a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. Giveaway is open to US residents only and will run though midnight EST on Friday, January 27th after which time the winners will be chosen and announced on the blog. Good luck everyone!



63 comments:

  1. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Jessica
    curledupwithbooks@gmail.com

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  2. Lovely review. This sounds very creepy in the way that dystopia/survival/post-apocalyptic stories usually do. The psychosomatic itch reminds me of when my husband was doing his psychiatry rotation. He said that after awhile he started to wonder if something was wrong with him because he DIDN'T hear voices :-)

    alisoncanread at gmail dot com

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  3. Great review! Thanks for sharing! :-)

    valialind(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  4. The premise DOES sound so creepy-cool, Jenny! I can't imagine what it would be like to be condemned to death on an island and not being allowed to leave! *shivers* Epidemic books are always somewhat scary to read like this one because, unlike an alien invasion, there's actually a bigger possibility that something like it might happen!

    Thanks so much for the awesome honest review, Jenny! <3 Even though the pacing felt like it dragged, I'm still kind of intrigued to read this one! :)

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  5. the book sounds interesting. Though I am not big on epidemic-set stories, would be happy to give this a try.

    thanks for the giveaway!

    -Len of Musings of a Reader Happy
    maidenveil(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. Please count me in. Thanks.
    ldsmomof03 at yahoo dot com

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  7. If I'm warned about the slow pace of a novel, I usually have more patience for it.

    No need to enter me.

    Good luck everyone!

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  8. I can't wait to read this one! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

    Peggy
    pawingthroughbooks@gmail.com

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  9. This book sounds interesting. Thanks for the review and giveaway. :)
    sarabara081(at)aol(dot)com

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  10. That sounds like a fascinating book! I'd love to receive a copy. Thanks for having the giveaway!

    Leslie
    workingforthemandroid at gmail dot com

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  11. Sweet...love the review- Ive read some very mixed reviews for this one, but Ive had it on my radar since I saw it on Netgalley...(smacks self for not trying to get it)

    So Id love to win a copy...:)

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  12. I'd love to read this book, it sounds very interesting. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Krista R
    kmritchie02@gmail.com

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  13. Interesting! Though I'm concerned of the pace. Great honest review.
    (not an entry)

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  14. I am really looking forward to picking up a copy of this book! It sounds exactly like something I will enjoy. I'm glad that you mentioned the pacing of this novel actually. Although I usually prefer a fast pace to stories in this genre, I reckon a slower pace could be very effective here. Great review! :)

    Sam @ Realm of Ficton

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  15. I have to admit that I'm a little bit bummed to hear that this one is slow paced. I really like the premise, and hopefully knowing it's slow (in advance) will help!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

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  16. I would love to read this book—please enter me to win!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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  17. Yikies! This sounds like a creepy read. (LOVE IT!) I'm not crazy about the cover though. I probably wouldn't have picked it up to read the blurb if I saw it in the bookstore.

    Thanks for the review - and the giveaway!

    nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com

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  18. Hrm..I'm a little torn about reading this one. The flaws that you pointed out would also drive me nuts so I think I might pass this one up. Thanks for an honest review, Jenny.

    p.s. Don't enter me in the giveaway.

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  19. Euwww skin crawling, I know all about that. Freaky book. but then anything that brings out sounds good too

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  20. So what you're saying is that a habitual hypochondriac probably SHOULDN'T read this one?! Lol!! I think I grabbed this one off NetGalley! Now I'm freaked out!

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  21. ohh that sounds like a great read. I cannot wait for this to come out.

    terilhack at gmail dot com

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  22. Love the sound of this. OK secluded island, check. Outbreak, oh yeah. Bat shiit crazy sick people going nuts on tiny island, adventure-check.

    When I saw this online I was intrigued, but now I totally cannot wait to see how the trapped island can spread the fear and perseverance of the human condition.

    thanx for the giveaway

    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

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  23. I like the sound of this one because it sounds a lot more psychological than other post-apocalyptic type of books that I've encountered. However, I don't know if I'd enjoy this one since it doesn't seem like a lot happens. I'm a bit hesitant to start a new series. :/ Thanks for the review though.

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  24. ooohh, apocalyptic/epidemic read, awesome! Interesting review, can't wait to read it:)

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  25. I love the premise of this book. I'm really looking forward to it. Thansk for the giveaway!

    erinberry12 at gmail dot com

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  26. Lol, I'm a total hypochondriac which makes me think I PROBABLY shouldn't read this one but... wow. I just can't wait too! I love the sound of it. Great review, Jenny! You made me even more excited to read it.

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  27. Oh, man, books about disease/plague scare the crap out of me! The Way We Fall sounds amazing, though. I'm glad the main character is easy to relate to! Thanks for the review, Jenny. :)

    365daysreading(at)gmail(dot)com

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  28. Hi Jenny, I just saw this book for the first time today on the upcoming release list. Sounds like an interesting scary read but I don't know about the slow pacing. Thanks for the informative review!

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  29. Oooooohhhhh... I haven't heard of this one before! While I am kinda iffy on the fact that the storyline is somewhat slow-paced I do think that it is a good trade-off if it makes the tension all the more worthwhile! Thanks for the great review Jenny- I will have to add this one to Goodreads!

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  30. Eke! I have this one on my reading pile for this month, and I don't know how I'm going to handle that slow build. I don't mind it for romances, but for creepiness factor, no thanks. LOL

    Thanks for the warning. I'll be sure to have a lot of wine handy...(to go with my whining)

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  31. Oooh, sounds awesome!

    Mag
    mag.geekchic@yahoo.com

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  32. Okay, this is definitely not a book for me! I am SUCH a germophobe! My poor kids barely get out of the house as it is! If I read this we'd NEVER leave the house again!

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  33. I like the sound of Kaelyn's character, but the pace would probably bother me. I've never read a book about diseases of the like, but my mom is a nurse, so it really interests me. I may have to read it!

    Thanks for the review!

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  34. Oh and thank you for the giveaway (email: thebookwormsorgATgmailDOTcom)

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  35. I keep hearing the same comments over and over again about this one, that the last half is better than the first. Still, it sounds like a compelling read and I like the premise, so I'm looking forward to trying it out at some point. Thanks for hosting the givewaway, Jenny!

    thehappyhoneybee (at) gmail

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  36. The trailer is like a movie trailer, for Contagion or Outbreak. Both great movies, can't wait to read an epidemic book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    candicerjames [at] gmail [dot] com

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  37. The slow pace got to me too but I think it was appropriate because you're dealing with a virus and the story wouldn't exactly be kind of scary if everyone suddenly died. Crewe did a really good job of making it scientifically accurate.

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  39. Oops.. trying that again... LOL

    I was just looking at this book yesterday. I'm so curious. I don't mind it being slow, just as long as it isn't crawling at a snail's pace. Plus the medical side has me curious. I have enough medical people in my family to really make me interested (nope, I'm not one of them! LOL)

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  40. I've just been itching to get my hands on this one. The structuring sounds so intriguing. Really looking forward to it!

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  41. This book looks awesome! Thanks

    chelle2006[@]aol.com

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  42. I want this book so bad! :)
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    adsanders77 at gmail dot com

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  43. Thanks a bunch!

    This cover is so mysterious!

    ashtreygonesmokeya@yahoo.com

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  44. I've been hearing a lot of buzz about this book and I have to admit, I'm curious to read it.

    seriousreader at live dot com

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  45. I enjoyed the trailer, although it perhaps cut off a bit abruptly. I like the premise and the fact that it gives my lil-ol-germaphobe self a bit of a tingle. I am a little concerned about the pacing, but would love to give it a try myself. Thank you for sharing your review today and for the giveaway opportunity :)
    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

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  46. I secretly love books that make my skin crawl. Have to admit that this is a really unique concept. I'm sure it has a lot of potential.

    Lindadao2060 at yahoo dot com

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. Looks pretty interesting! :) Thanks for the chance to win.

    liforda(at)yahoo(dot)com
    GFC - Manda

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  49. Thanks for the review Jenny! I was surprised to get a copy of the book not long ago, but I'll admit, I'm almost afraid to read it because of its premise. I'm sure it will make all paranoid about someone coughing around me and the thought it could lead to something like in the book... I can't imagine what it would be like for Kaelyn to have to live through, so it should be interesting to see her side of the story.

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  50. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

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  51. I don't mind a slow-paced story, especially when the tension builds--it makes it even more dramatic. And the small symptoms at the beginning remind me of THE STAND by Stephen King (one of my very favorites by King) where the end of everything starts with a sneeze.

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  52. I've had my eye on this book and would love to read it! Thanks for the review and giveaway:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

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  53. I'd love to win this book. It has been on my tbr list since I knew of it's existence. Thank you for the giveaway.

    farinrochelle@gmail.com

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  54. Would love to win this book! Thanks for the giveaway :D

    supersonic182@gmail.com

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  55. This book looks flipping fabulousss! :) Thanks so much for hosting the giveaway.

    Sophia
    mashimaro401[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  56. Loved this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

    bwithbite at gmail dot com

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  57. I can't wait to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Julia
    bambbles{at}gmail{dot}com

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  58. Thanks for doing the giveaway! Sounds interesting.

    ivesiana at yahoo dot com

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  59. Oh my dear! I had no idea this book was about a virus!! I saw the cover many times but never really read the premise. It sounds totally interesting and Im looking forward to it! =) great review my dear! like always ^_^ muah! wish u a great Sunday! =D

    Dazzling Reads

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  60. This one sounds very intriguing, though the constant slow pace might be a bit bothersome...It always depends on the writing, though.

    Nice review!

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  61. Well I think that this book sounds very interesting. Thanks for the great review. Thanks for the chance.

    sariahwalters at gmail dot com

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  62. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I would love an opportunity to read this book! I love dystopian and post-apocalyptic books. This one sounds interesting even though the slow pace may frustrate me.

    Chen Chang
    jadedlittlegirlx AT gmail DOT com

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  63. I sometimes like slower paced novels, but they can get frustrating after awhile. It's like come on! Pick up the pace. I'm having that issue with Pandemonium. I like it, but it needs to get moving. I'm still interested in reading The Way We Fall. Great review!

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