Release Date: January 24, 2012
Series: The Way We Fall #1
Preorder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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?
The Way We Fall is a grim, unflinching look at one girl’s fight for survival in an apocalytpic world. Though the journal-like narrative style seems rather simplistic at first, it ultimately proves an effective method of conveying Kaelyn’s doubts, fears, and slow loss of control over an unfathomable situation. Through the journal, readers see the secret thoughts that she hides from the rest of the world: strength tempered by insecurity, determination tempered by doubt, love tempered by loneliness. Kaelyn experiences tremendous growth over the course of the novel, and her resilience in the face of unimaginable loss is both awe-inspiring and believable. Her complexity and vulnerability make her the grounding force in a world thrown into chaos, and readers of all ages and experiences will see something of themselves in the conflicted young heroine.
Unfortunately, the rest of the characters seemed rather one-dimensional, possibly because there are so many. A large cast of characters is necessary for this kind of tale, but the losses would have hit home more profoundly if the most important secondary characters had been given more depth. They each had one defining trait that, while interesting, did not give them the roundedness afforded to Kaelyn’s character. They felt a little flat, given a backseat to the inexorable march of the disease.
Megan Crewe is unflinching in her systematic destruction of Kaelyn’s world. The novel does not begin with much setup, but launches readers straight into the downward spiral of an apocalyptic epidemic. It was a little disconcerting to be dropped headfirst into the conflict, but The Way We Fall never pauses for breath. Crewe powerfully evokes both the best and worst in people, brought out by horrific tragedy. While some handle the devastation with compassion and proaction, others become animals in a total state of nature. Readers will find themselves nervously awaiting the next heart-wrenching blow to all Kaelyn holds dear, for nothing is safe or sacred in this degenerate world.
This gripping novel leaves readers with little resolution, and I am eager to see what Crewe can salvage from the ashes of Kaelyn's annihilated world in the next installment.
Disclosure: I received an advance galley from the publisher for an honest review.
Thanks to Disney-Hyperion and Big Honcho Media, one lucky winner will receive a copy of The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe plus a Minimergency Kit!
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