Brandy's Reviews > The Fall

The Fall by James Preller
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's review
Jul 18, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2015, boy-books, bullies, ebooks, netgalley, potential_booktalks, realistic, teen

Sam knew it was wrong to post things on Morgan's profile. He knew it was mean. But when his turn came, he did it anyway. How could he not, when to refuse would bring Athena's wrath upon him? Athena, the beautiful, popular, charismatic girl named for the goddess of strategic warfare: not someone of whom Sam wants to run afoul, and ruin his own social standing. He knows it's mean to torment Morgan. But it's just Morgan, so does it really matter?

That's broad strokes of the plot, but that's not what the book it's really about. Sam was a participant in the bullying, but he feels awful about it. He felt awful about it at the time, especially because Morgan was pretty cool. Sam's narrative -- his journal entries -- are a palpable blend of grief, of regret, of remorse and loss and sorrow and self-loathing. he's been a mean classmate and a terrible friend, one whose betrayal led to Morgan stepping off the water tower. From the first page, Sam's confusion, anger, grief are their own characters, part of Sam himself but so much more.

There's a subplot in Preller's Bystander about girl-on-girl bullying, about the words posted online and the more insidious types of bullying than beating each other up, and this book is a more thorough exploration of that idea, aimed at older readers. There are plenty of comparisons to be made with 13 Reasons Why, but this feels truer, maybe because Sam admits wrongdoing from the start -- he's not the White Knight who didn't do anything, for better or worse; Sam participated and regrets his actions. Fantastic read.

Via NetGalley.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 18, 2015 – Shelved
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: boy-books
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: bullies
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: ebooks
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: netgalley
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: potential_booktalks
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: realistic
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: teen
July 18, 2015 – Finished Reading

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