January 06, 2012

Review: The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected Publication: January 24, 2012 by Disney-Hyperion

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?
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 fascinating read, in a strange way.

The story is told through a series of letters from Kaelyn to her friend, Leo. It felt strange, because it was too formal and at times too much like traditional prose to feel like it was actually letters to her friend. The writing seems to be caught between the two—letter form and traditional writing, and it was very slow moving. It did have a simplicity that left a lot to the imagination, and gave the book a sort of darkness that made it feel very unique. While I can appreciate what this format accomplishes, I can’t say I was a fan of it. Much of the action is told after the fact, so there was a bit of a disconnect. I felt it lacked a lot of suspense that it had potential for.

The Way We Fall is also unique in its timing. In most of the recent dystopian/science fiction novels I’ve read, the story starts well after the initial outbreak. The Way We Fall starts before the outbreak, and you see the panic start to set in as the situation gets worse.  You’re actually inside the head of a teenage girl who watches as the people around her slowly die off and her community goes into panic mode. It was different and I liked that.

I can’t say I really cared for the characters. I never felt like I got to know Kaelyn. Even her physical appearance is a complete mystery to me. She mentions a few times about her parents being different colors, but that doesn’t tell me anything really, not to mention the lack of detail in that makes it impossible for me to imagine her parents’ faces. I didn’t really get to know anyone around her. So when sad things happen, I didn’t really feel for her because I didn’t know any of the characters well enough to care. And Leo’s role was much smaller than I anticipated, and it made the whole letter format seem even more pointless.

The Way We Fall has an interesting premise, and I may have loved if it had been written differently, and if there had been more depth to the secondary characters. But overall, it is definitely fascinating and I may read the sequel if it isn’t written as a series of “letters”.

2.5 out of 5 Stars


  1. Thanks for the review:) I like the premise.

  2. Great review; I've found it hard to read books in which the MC is hard to connect with before.

  3. this books sounds like a intresting book from the way u described it and the fact that you actually inside the character head makes it sound even more intresting

  4. I'm so disappointed that you didn't like this one. I was really looking forward to it. The idea of the writing style really intrigues me. Hopefully I'll have better luck.

  5. I can understand how you want to like/love a book but then it's a disappointment. Sorry it didn't work out for you.

  6. I like the concept of this book. Perhaps the author was trying too hard to be original with the letters idea. Such a shame.

  7. Maybe the lack of description for the main character was the author trying to give the readers a chance to out themselves as the character. Just a thought. Nice review though. This books sounds kind of depressing since the summary makes it sound like everyone dies. Oh well. Not really into those kinds of books.

  8. I have to disagree with you Nago. I feel as an author, if you want to keep your readers reading, you should be descriptive in your writing. So that we can easily visualize and continue to keep us entertained. I tried reading this book too, but I couldn't finish it at all.

  9. @Nago, I do think that's what the author was trying to accomplish. That's what I meant when I said " It did have a simplicity that left a lot to the imagination...", but it wasn't something that worked for me personally. (It was also a lack of description of everyone involved rather than just the main character, and to me the other characters were very two dimensional.)

    Others may have better luck with this one, and I genuinely hope you all do. :)


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