Book Review: The Way We Fall

While I’ve read other books since the last time I wrote, I didn’t find them strong enough to discuss. I’d prefer to talk about the books I enjoy rather than the ones I didn’t, as everyone has different tastes, and I’m not really that fond of criticizing others for the hard work they’ve done. Unless it’s constructive criticism, of course, but it’s hard to offer constructive criticism of a book if you don’t personally know the authors.

Anyway, I recently finished The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe. The back of the book reads:

For the first time in what seems like forever, there were people on the streets. Everyone was going to see the shipment come in. Some people were carrying signboards with messages like END THE QUARANTINE NOW, as if that was going to change the government’s mind.

Parked cars clogged the streets around the harbor, so we pulled over to the sidewalk a few blocks away and jogged the rest of the distance. My face mask made it hard to catch my breath. I heard coughing in the crowd, and we passed a woman who’d stopped to scratch her knee. My lungs started to burn. All I wanted to do was go back to the car and leave. But Mom caught sight of Uncle Emmett’s truck and hurried on. I was afraid if I took my eyes off her for a second, I’d lose her.

The inside of the dust cover reads:

It starts with an itch you 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 sixteen-year old Kaelyn lets her best friend leave for school without saying good-bye, 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 the people she holds dearest, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save those she loves.

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.

That last paragraph from the inside of the dust cover pretty much nails it. The book is written as a series of letters to Leo, Kaelyn’s best friend. While I’m not usually a fan of books written in such a style, Megan Crewe really nails it. The reason I generally dislike the letter style is because it must, by its very nature, utilize second person. And second person writing, no matter the reason it is being used, is incredibly difficult to pull off. That Crewe managed to write such an engaging book utilizing any form of second person perspective amazes me, and this book is one I would recommend to anyone.

I’d especially recommend it to those who are fans of young adult novels that deal with infectious disease, suspense, and the human interaction that unfolds in the face of trauma. The Way We Fall is definitely a poignant book that tackles some of the hardest questions that we all face everyday – what does it mean to live when others have died? What does it mean to love? What makes life worth living, even in the hardest moments? This book gets a 10/10 from me, and I’m very rarely that generous with my ratings.

 

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