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3.59  ·  Rating details ·  180 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Everyone expected fifteen-year-old Matt Shaw to be Jeffords Junior High's star basketball player. But Matt never went out for the team. He won't even touch a ball anymore, and he hardly talks to anyone. No one understands why he's changed, but Matt knows that it's his "golden child" older brother who's really been doing all the changing. Matt can't imagine what would happe ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 20th 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Saiema Marium
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book “Falling” by Doug Wilhelm involves a fifteen-year-old girl named, Katie who lives with her single mother and gets lectured every day about making the right decision in life. Katie also has best friends, with whom she has been friends for ages and who are always looking out for her. Everything was fine in Katie’s life until she meets a boy named, Matt Shaw. Matt comes from a very privileged family and used to be a basketball star, but suddenly he stopped playing without any explanation t ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Precious Tolentino
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Everyone wondered how a kid like Matt Shaw turned into a different person. He was a great basketball player now he doesn't want to play anymore - he changed. But why? No one knows. Until an unknown girl from a chat room came into his life. Little does he know that this girl is someone near him. I guess destiny played a big role in this! But can she bring him back to the old Matt? or is she just another girl that'll mess up his life? You'll see. I believe that this book shows how much love can im ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
It honestly didn't move me.

I feel like the story could've been more detailed. Part of me feels like the story was rushed and it didn't show a full development of the characters. Yeah, Matt spoke up but reading it felt like he wasn't talking, he met a girl, trusted again, got into a fight, then called the cops and spoke.

The ending was a bit cheesy and again it felt like it was rushed.

Would I recommend it? Eh... if you can pick another book go for it. It is a quick read (only 241 pages) but your b
Nov 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The book Falling, by Doug Wilhelm is an amazing book! It is a fictional teen book. It involves a bit of romance. My mom brought me home the book one day and told me the author signed it since he was at my younger brother’s school that day. I personally love the teen romance novels so she knew this would be right up my alley. It involves a fifteen year old girl named Katie, who has her three best friends Sam, Hope, and Tamra. Her and her friends tell each other everything. Katie becomes very int ...more
Jessica RiffeKincaid
15 Year old, Matt walks and listens to his music, only to drown out the noises of the world around him. He goes to school and as soon as he is out, he walks and listens to his muisc lost in his own universe. Why does he do this? No one knows. He was a famous basketball player before high school and then his freshman year he just stopped playing. All of his fans, after being ignored, just quit asking him why he did'nt want to play ball anymore. He trusted no one. Until, one fateful night while in ...more
Feb 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young Adults
Wow! I couldn't put this book down. Matt Shaw is a 15 year old teen whose life is out of control and the way he controls it is by walking and listening to his ipod. He walks so he doesn't have to go home and deal with his older brother Neal's increasing drug use. Matt won't talk to anyone because he feels like he would betray his brother and his parents, who are never home, by the way---so they are clueless! As he falls further into emotional chaos, he meets Katie online in a chat room. Katie re ...more
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
-What is your opinion of the book and why?
I like the plot of the story. At the beginning of the book, I enjoyed the setting and third-person omnisent point of view. These qualities made the novel more enjoyable. Toward the climax of the book, however, the story became a little to descriptive (if you know what I mean). I also thought the author should’ve written another chapter or two to conclude the ending of the story. The resolution seemed to be cut off too early.

-How can you currently relate
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up
Matt Shaw was the star basketball player on his junior high team in Rutland, VT, so everyone is surprised when he doesn't try out for the high school team. During his freshman year, he becomes withdrawn and walks the streets listening to his iPod and dreading the thought of going home because of the frightening change in his older brother. Neal, a former basketball star, didn't receive a scholarship, so he turned to heroin. Matt is fearful of his family's reputation
Apr 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
The novel "Falling" by Doug Wilhelm is a fictional romance novel with a bit of suspence. I chose this book because a classmate of mine did a great job giving an oral report and the book caught my interest. The protagonists in this novel are Matt Shaw and Katie. Three important supporting characters are Sam, Hope, and Tamra. Being Katies bestfriends, they tell eacheother everything. Matt was expected to be an All-Star on his Junior High basketball team, but he never ended up trying out, nor did ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Matt has a huge secret that causes all kinds of problems in his life.

Once the star basketball player in a small city that lives for sports, he now refuses to go out for the team. Instead, he keeps to himself and creates a barrier between himself and the rest of the world. He avoids going home after school so he won't have to deal with his older brother and his "friends."

Neal used to be the basketball star, but now he spends his days locked in his
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Book Review
Falling by Doug Wilhelm

Star basketball player, or drug lord? That is the question Matt Shaw keeps asking himself throughout the whole entire novel. I couldn’t put it down. It made me think about the things in life that makes us who we are. This book shows two kids with different problems who find hope in each other and for once again the feel like the world isn’t a gray place where you just sit around on and do nothing. They both feel like they have a meaning in the life they are liv
Karen Ball
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Doug Wilhelm will be visiting us next month, so check out The Revealers if you haven't read it (one of my all-time favorites). Falling is the story of Matt Shaw, who up until this year was the star of every basketball team he'd ever been on. But this year, he refused to try out. He refuses to even touch a basketball. And no one knows why -- he has withdrawn from everything and everyone. He doesn't even go home after school. He just wanders the streets of Rutland, VT, until he knows it's close to ...more
I loved this book, but I wish that a better closing came at the end for Matt and Katie. I wanted him to go to her and apologize and for them to get back together. And being Katie, she would forgive him immediately. *Sigh*. Oh, well. At least I can imagine my own ending in my mind.

I loved how Matt and Katie just clicked together. From the first day they were holding hands. They were the cutest couple I've ever read about in a book. I usually like teenage romances when they're a bit...older. Usua
Samantha Mccoy
Sep 30, 2010 rated it liked it
I liked Matt..Katie is one of those, always in your business types..she lied from the start so as a fan of Matt's, no, he should've never trusted her lol and her freggin friends, omg, she told them to stay out of it but yet they kept prying as though at 15, they are experts at boys and relationships..yeah, right! Katie, imo, should've been more upset w/them but that's just me and the respect you expect from best friends. And how they couldn't see why Matt would be pissed is annoying AF..I hope I ...more
Bonnie Ferrante
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is written for reluctant readers so the vocabulary isn't very rich. The characterization and plot, though, are solid. A teenage boy has an older brother who's gotten into something dangerous. He doesn't want his parents, or anyone else, to find out. Neither does he want to be around to see what's happening. This has a huge impact on his life and the only one who might possibly be able to help is his new girlfriend, Katie but trust is difficult.
Lauren Diaz
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
It took a bit for me to actually get into this book. I considered returning it and starting a new one. But reading the plot made me want to see how the author ended this book. It was worth the wait. I feel I would have enjoyed the book more of it was actually written from Kate and Matt's point of view, rather than third person.
Nov 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
I was dithering in front of the YA section the other day when an intense young man of about 15 rushed up to me, grabbed this book off the shelf and pressed it into my hands, saying that it was a great read, and I should try it. Who could resist that? Certainly not me, and he was right. This is a realistic and gripping story of drugs, a brother, a bystander, and a family.
Taylor Love
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is very well written. I read Doug Wilhelm's other book "The Revealers" and I was impressed with that book also. But this one blew me away. I love the 3rd person narrative so you can see both characters point of view. This book was very hard to put down. Props to you Doug Wilhelm.
Marcy Marrill
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Quick read. Teen romance with troubled teens. Interesting that female lead falls so quickly after SECONDS of chatting, but I remember falling quick and hard when I was that young too.

Decent climatic end.
Feb 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is a sort of twist to a romance novel. Both kids have family issues and both have a different perspective of the world, which the author always comments on. This book generally asks a lot of questions with an infinite number of answers.
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
I luved the beging and the middle was ok but the end of the book was awful. Bad endings ruin books for me!
Jan 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Pretty darn good. It was a lot different than I expected, and I wished that it had more at the end, but I'd read it again.
Jen O'neill
Great book but I'm not so sure it should be available to 6th and 7th graders.
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Helped kick off my interest in reading.
Kelly Montesi
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. It is a must read.
Jun 26, 2011 rated it liked it
OK, this was a good book but not great.. Not what I look for....There was the background story and the buildup which was fine, but the climax happened to fast and the that was it.
Niamh Langfitt
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites. Cutes love story and a realistic issue
rated it liked it
Mar 18, 2011
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Doug Wilhelm is the author of 14 books for young readers, including The Revealers, a novel about bullying that has been the focus of reading-and-discussion projects in over 1,000 U.S. middle schools. His newest book is Treasure Town, Doug’s first for younger readers. Doug’s realistic novels for grades 6-8 include True Shoes, the Revealers sequel on cyberbullying, and his newest, The Prince of Deni ...more
More about Doug Wilhelm...

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“The flow. Yeah. Knowing you could step on the court and make it happen. You practiced, sure. But then, when you walked out there, you could just go. You could flow, that was it: you created and you didn't totally know how. You just knew you could, so you did. It wasn't thinking and it wasn't imitating somebody else's moves, though you always looked carefully when you watched good players play. But when you played... it was something you couldn't explain. Neal used to know. It didn't come from thinking about it.” 10 likes
“You can't know what difference you'll make, but you are part of something. I think so. We all have things we're meant to do. People we're meant to care about. We're all meant to matter.” 7 likes
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