The first 75% of this novel I would give 10 stars to. How Not To Fall is about Annie Coffey who is completely having A Thing for Dr. Charles Douglas. The first 75% of this novel I would give 10 stars to. How Not To Fall is about Annie Coffey who is completely having A Thing for Dr. Charles Douglas. Dr. Charles is a professor who works in the same lab as Annie. Annie is nearly finished with her bachelors degree and will soon leave for a graduate program. Over time a relationship develops between the two as Dr. Charles helps Annie with her mock dissertation however Dr. Charles decides to put it on hold for a short while until Annie has graduated. He's very serious about wanting to get rid of their unequal power dynamics. They have important conversations about consent, contraception, their past sexual experiences, and what each other likes and doesn't like. The snarky, nerdy, tension-filled conversations are great. The wait doesn't last for long and then it just perfectly captures that manic infatuation with each other's bodies that comes with a budding relationship. The plot just turns into straight erotica but the writing is still A+++. There are some ridiculous new adult tropes here such as Annie is initially a virgin but she suddenly becomes a sex expert in very little time and there's no awkwardness or discomfort. There's a few other quibbles I have about the story but in general the writing and great dialogue had me hooked.
However..... around 75% into this book it sort of randomly out of nowhere turns into every bad new adult/Fifty Shades of Grey wannabe cliche. Dr. Charles is English and it's revealed that he's part of the minor nobility. He's hinted previously at a troubled childhood but suddenly it's "I'm so broken you cannot fix me. I will turn into my abusive father because it is fate and I must leave you." There's also this weird usage of calling Dr. Charles' mental trauma as "The Monster", capital letters included. Suddenly these very smart and rational people are seriously discussing "The Monster" as though Charles has this caged animal inside that he cannot control and cannot be fixed or cured. How Not To Fall had so much promise to be one of the best new adult type books I've read. The author could have easily used some other form of tension to introduce into the story without falling into a trope or cliche. I also feel like the author could have used mental trauma and mental health less as a plot device to separate the characters and instead had the characters seriously discuss these issues over time similarly to how many other topics are brought up in this book. It's just so disappointing. I would definitely read more by the author as the majority of this book was so excellent but I have somewhat lowered expectations....more
I found this book to be somewhat disappointing. To me it felt meandering and the relationship with Denna and Kvothe drove me up a wall. All the otherI found this book to be somewhat disappointing. To me it felt meandering and the relationship with Denna and Kvothe drove me up a wall. All the other female characters in this series I like except her. I get that since it's Kvothe's POV and she appears to him as this ephemeral fantasy woman but I don't like their relationship. I will still read the next book whenever it comes out but I have lower expectations. ...more
While this book wasn't necessarily bad, it feels like an afterthought. It resolves some things but then brings in a ton of new issues which aren't resWhile this book wasn't necessarily bad, it feels like an afterthought. It resolves some things but then brings in a ton of new issues which aren't resolved in any way. ...more