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.
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
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!