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While I'm Falling

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  2,957 Ratings  ·  386 Reviews
"While I'm Falling deftly captures the moment a child realizes that growing up means being responsible for your parents' mistakes--and preventing yourself from making the same ones. Laura Moriarty keeps getting better and better."
--Jodi Picoult, author of Handle with CareIn While I'm Falling, Laura Moriarty presents a compelling depiction of how one young woman's life chan
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Hachette Books (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Linda Lipko
Jan 10, 2012 Linda Lipko rated it did not like it
Oh, what a disappointment this book is! After reading The Center of Everything, I was eagerly anticipating another wonderful book by the same author.

The story line of a college age girl whose parents are getting a divorce simply felt contrived, flat and lacking of depth.

I finished the book, but long about 1/2 way through I wanted to chuck it out a 20 story window.

Not recommended.
Oct 23, 2012 Sheri rated it it was ok
I'm feeling like I'm in kind of a slump here. The past several books I've read have just been too unbelievable and all the plot-wise events have felt convenient and contrived. This one was not an exception.

For starters, the whole ice storm/accident/trucker pick up event was unnecessary. I think Moriarty was trying to add suspense, but then the trucker just lets her out anyway. Kind of ridiculous. And then, Jimmy was the thug that bullied her like they were in 3rd grade. Totally unbelievable seri
Clif Hostetler
Oct 22, 2009 Clif Hostetler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
The angst of the mother-daughter relationship is thoroughly explored in this book as only the skillful writing of Laura Moriarty can do. However, also contained in this book is exploration of an example of how a long time marriage can end up in divorce. The book is structured around the parallel actions of a mother and her daughter, and as things develop their lives appear to be mirror images of each other. They both make mistakes, and they are both "falling" from their former lives into a poten ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Lorilin rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
What I liked most about this book was its completeness. Sometimes authors find the laziest possible way to define a problem and then solve it--especially in modern fiction--but Moriarty really took her time developing the story and the characters. She made me care about the people in the book. She gave their lives depth and meaning, so it was easy to relate to them.

I was especially impressed that Moriarty was able to create a believable relationship between a mother and her two daughters. Each
Diane Chamberlain
Oct 15, 2009 Diane Chamberlain rated it really liked it
A charming book. I love how Moriarty put her character up a tree and then threw rocks at her. Lots of rocks. :)
Sep 10, 2009 Lisa rated it liked it
Veronica Von Holten is a pre-med student at the University of Kansas and is struggling through an already tough semester when she gets the news that her parents are divorcing. The stress leads her to a couple of bad decisions over a long weekend, which are only the beginning of an upheaval that will change her life: Her plans, her goals, her relationship with each of her parents.
When her mother shows up at her dorm room, homeless, elderly dog in tow, Veronica is pushed nearly to the breaking poi
Tensy MB
Dec 25, 2009 Tensy MB rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Moriarty is a local Kansas writer and I like that she sets her novels in the area where I live. She certainly understands the pulse of campus life and her protagonist, Veronica, deals not only with the pressures of college, but those of her disintegrating family. At one point in the novel she explains, "I was still screwing up. I couldn't stop. It was like I was in free fall." We have all had those moments when a series of events go so badly that the rug is literally pulled out from under our fe ...more
Sonia Reppe
Mar 02, 2010 Sonia Reppe rated it did not like it
Disappointed in this one. Theme is things falling apart: Veronica's parents marriage and her college classes are out of control. Then she makes some bad choices and those get out of control. For me the premises and situations of this book were so unimaginative. Like if the author was in a hurry and said to herself, "Okay, how can I give my character Veronica a really shitty day? Like this: She'll get in a car wreck and she'll throw a party that gets out of control. And I'll have her cheat on her ...more
Aug 02, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it
If you’ve read The Rest of Her Life, you already know that Laura Moriarty has such an easy command of language that not a lot needs to happen in her books for them to seem gripping. While I’m Falling is no exception. To over simplify, a college student, Veronica, struggles with a pre-med course load and her parents divorced resulting from her mother’s indiscretion. Veronica makes one bad choice after another over the course of a pretty crappy weekend. Her mom, Natalie, is reeling from the financ ...more
Joy H.
Added 5/26/15.
I decided to read this book after I enjoyed this author's other novel, The Chaperone.

6/15/15 - I forgot to update this review after reading this book. The plot concerns a divorced mother who is having financial difficulties. She turns to her daughters for help. The book held my attention for the most part, but I didn't find it pleasurable. I don't enjoy reading about people's depressing troubles... but I suppose that's the stuff of novels.

I don't like the title of the book because
Sep 24, 2009 Denise rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy relationship driven novels.
I am a huge fan of Laura Moriarty, and I was not a bit disappointed with her latest offering, "While I'm Falling." It is wonderfully relationship driven and fast moving. Ms. Moriarity creates very real, multifaceted characters and has us caring about them before we know it. I sometimes gauge a book by how many times it makese me cry, and this one made me cry twice which is a very good sign. Lol

This is the story of pre-med student Veronica Von Holten and her family. Veronica is struggling and wo
Aug 29, 2009 Sarah rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok
Veronica's father finds Roofer Guy in the marital bed, and decides to divorce her mother. As a result, Mom starts on one of those downward slides where everything just snowballs into A Bad Life. Veronica, in college as a pre-med, is heading in the same direction. Not doing her job as an RA well, not getting Organic Chemistry, just Not Doing in general.

The problem is that I just didn't feel sorry for her. I know what depression can be like, and yet there was a part of me that wanted to say "Grab
Sharyn Hutchens
Dec 24, 2014 Sharyn Hutchens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
touching and realistic

I discovered this author by chance while searching to see if the 'other Moriarty' might have a new title out. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a new friend I can read when I'm taking a break from my usual mystery and suspense genre. 'While I'm Falling' is a realistic look at the end of a marriage a d the effect it has on each member of a family. It's not depressing, but it is realistic. People make some dumb decisions, some decisions that seem reasonable at the time b
Oct 23, 2009 Nette rated it liked it
I had to read this book in one evening because I had miscalculated when it was due back at the library, and luckily it was a quick read. A nicely done mother/daughter story, enjoyable if not memorable. But what's up with this woman's book covers? This one: one half of a girl with her red hair blowing in wind, snow and dead grass behind her. "The Center of Everything": one half of the face of a pretty redhead lying on grass. "The Rest of Her Life": the back of the head of a russet-haired girl sta ...more
Oct 03, 2009 Barb rated it it was amazing
We heard this author read at Watermark Books in Wichita a couple weeks ago and the selection she was reading was so exciting that the lady across from me was actually biting her nails! But really it's just a sweet family story about changes. With a very strong message that all women should work, no matter what their circumstances. The author mentioned that she'd read the book "The Feminine Mistake" that was all about that. Good, good author! Have enjoyed all 3 of her books and heard her speak tw ...more
Carole Roman
Dec 08, 2015 Carole Roman rated it it was amazing
A well-written account of a family in turmoil. Life is a neatly wrapped package for the Butterfield family. A happy marriage with two daughters, one a highly successful lawyer and the younger pre-med. The future looks settled for the couple and their children in their well-ordered world, until the father returns from a business trip and finds a strange man in his bed. His world shattered, he divorces his wife, and the family slowly unravels, the skeins of their lives pooling into a giant puddle ...more
Bethany Joannou
May 29, 2016 Bethany Joannou rated it really liked it
This book is about a college girl named Veronica who is faced with some hard times. Her father came home from a business trip and found another man in his home, and needless to say her parents ended up divorcing. Veronica has trouble with the divorce because it is like all she has ever known is slowly disappearing. She now has choices to face such as where she is going to spend holidays and who is she going to go visit first next time. Veronica's mother is very heartbroken by everything and at o ...more
Apr 25, 2016 Corielle rated it liked it
I grabbed this one from the library's free ebook site. I thought at first that it might be a Liane Moriarty book that I'd missed, but no -- different author, and not nearly as good.

While I'm Falling starts with a divorce -- Veronica's parents break up after not quite an infidelity, but some definite sketchy business on Veronica's mother's behalf. While Veronica struggles through her third year of college, her parents fight over money and the house and their own issues. Veronica's boyfriend wants
May 11, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
The plot offers no surprises and the story itself is pretty ordinary but what makes Moriarty's novel a worthwhile read is her ability to make her characters come to life. This has been true with all three of her books, I get the characters, understand the motivations that drive them and thus, the course of their actions.
Jul 15, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
I just love browsing randomly for books at the library, that was how I found 'While I'm Falling', the title immediately grabbing the attention of my somber nature. This is a great book about actions having consequences, and for better or worse, life changes. We must accept it, and learn to adapt.
Jan 30, 2014 Marisa rated it liked it
First let me start by saying, the writing is flawless, nothing to say about it at all, if it seems I'm stalling your correct in your assumptions. I'm just going to say it then, I have never read a more depressing novel ever. I hated the lawyer husband from the start, but yet thought at one point he seemed at least better able to deal with the girls, I was mistaken, however All the characters were held in contempt equally. This was a very sobering look at a family coming apart in a very desperate ...more
Debbie Gunter
Feb 08, 2015 Debbie Gunter rated it it was amazing
To be honest I picked up this book thinking is was by Liane Moriarty. It wasn't until I looked up the book on Goodreads to review it that I realized the difference.
However, I just want to say this is one of the best books I've read in a long while. There are no zombies, vampires, special powers, men with throbbing members, feisty heroines with emerald eyes or whips and handcuffs. No, just a wonderful novel with fully realized and realistic characters I cared about. There is a nicely developed pl
Diane Eichler
When everything in your life seems to be going the opposite of how you want it to be, you just have to let go and understand that the universe is trying to tell you to make some changes.
Oct 10, 2010 Lindsay rated it really liked it
Not really sure what drew me to this book, I think I just like reading about people who are having breakdowns and their life is just going downhill to make me realize that my life isn't that bad. How sad that I need a novel to remind me of that. It's just a reminder that no matter how bad things look, they can always be worse.
This book is about Veronica who is a pre-med student in college and is having a bit of a breakdown. And things only get worse when her parents get a divorce and her mother
Chris Blocker
Mar 05, 2012 Chris Blocker rated it liked it
I like Laura Moriarty. I really do. She's really, really nice and her first novel, The Center of Everything, was quite good. I had a lot of hopes for her. I scooped her second novel up right away. Huge disappointment. And when the third, While I'm Falling came out, I was slow to buy it and even slower to get around reading it. Word came out that a fourth novel was on its way, so I thought I better get to it.


Did I mention I really like Laura Moriarty? 'Cause I do. It's j
Jul 11, 2014 Peebee rated it really liked it
This author first came to my attention when her book The Chaperone received fanfare upon its publication, but apparently she's been writing for a while now. A friend of mine is friends with the author personally, and she lives in and sets some of her books in the Kansas City/Lawrence area, so there's that extra sense of connection. This is a good chick lit kind of book about the various ways life can fall apart for a family going through a divorce. The protagonist, Veronica, is trying to hold it ...more
Oct 22, 2009 Cindy rated it really liked it
Center of Everything is one of my favorite books - so I had high hopes for While I'm Falling. The story revolves around a college aged young woman whose parents get divorced and she is put in the middle. I went to the University of Kansas (the setting of this book) and enjoyed the descriptions of the buildings and the dorms - it brought back good memories. I also related quite a bit to her college experience (aka - I started off as pre-med too!) However, I was really upset with the main characte ...more
Aug 31, 2009 Carla rated it really liked it
Good story, but I was flabbergasted at the number of errors. Misspelled words, missing words, missing quote marks...I can't remember when I've seen a bound book with so many mistakes. (Well, a bound trade book that is. All you MGHers know textbooks have mistakes a plenty. :)) Anyway, I like Moriarty's style; it reminds me of Jodi Picoult in that she focuses on family dynamics, especially the relationship between mother and daughter. The ending was wrapped up a bit too neatly, but overall it was ...more
Christine Grant
Jun 19, 2016 Christine Grant rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread, audio
Original date unknown, 4 starts

June 2016
Well, it has finally happened. I started a book without realizing that I had already read it. It felt familiar at first, but it took 3 discs in to remember that I had read it. I guess I should have checked in with Goodreads. Anyway, I'm going to read it again.

I loved this book about a college student whose life seems to be falling apart. She is failing Chemistry no matter how hard she works, she isn't keep up with her RA duties, her parents are recently di
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Laura Moriarty earned a degree is social work before returning for her M.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Kansas. She was the recipient of the George Bennett Fellowship for Creative Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. She currenly lives with her daughter in Lawrence, Kansas, and is at work on her next novel. (from
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