nicole's Reviews > Falling In

Falling In by Frances O'Roark Dowell
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's review
Dec 29, 2010

bookshelves: 2010, couldnt-finish, cybils
Read in November, 2010

I couldn't tell you the main plot. After 86 pages, we still weren't there and I was starting to grow restless. I couldn't get behind Isabella, even though I myself was not often picked until last for gym class and had a penchant for wearing accessories I believed to be quirky and adorable. I didn't like that the narrator would break world-building in order to say nonsensical things that were later repeated, such as the traveling nature of spiders. I know some of the other Cybils panelists had had great things to say about it, even noting that the second half of the book picks up more than the first, but I just couldn't hold on long enough.

I will say this may be a good read for girls who feel lonesome and cannot connect with their classmates, but I had a little trouble telling who were the popular kids snubbing her. For example, the description of Charley Bender:

If you had to see somebody in the hallway, Charley Bender wasn't so bad, Isabella supposed. She wasn't exactly Isabella's cup of tea, but she was okay for the kind of girl who was usually picked third or fourth for games in PE, who stuttered a bit at the beginning of class presentations but calmed down after a minute or two and was only halfway borning on the topic of the Major Domestic Imports of Southern Lithuania.
From this description, I took her to be just a regular kid, picked towards the top in gym class, with a stutter that faded and a bad eye for easy class assignments. Call me old-fashioned, but I like my popular girls obvious. It's hard to give this one the old college try, given the pace I've been keeping for Cybils reading, I've got to go with my gut for this one and fall into something else.
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