Regina's Reviews > The Way We Fall

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
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's review
Dec 19, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: ya, post-apocalyptic, arc-publisher-netgalley-edelweiss
Read from January 06 to February 12, 2012

So there is a disease spreading in a geographically isolated community, an island. The setting is perfect for an apocalyptic event. Kind of like how an abandoned summer camp is perfect for a horror movie -- all alone, set away from society. Gradually the island is cut off from the rest of the world and as the title suggests, not so gradually society unravels. This had all the makings to be a great read. But something kept it from being great; it was, however, more than just an average read. The Way We Fall has an interesting story line and well written characters. These two things make the book somewhat worth it.

Okay, back to the story and back to the island. Society is coming apart, people are dying, but there are some people who step forward and want to help take care of others and there are some people who decide to take advantage of the unprotected. There is never any true starving in this story – definitely going without; but, because of the disease, there is sadness and death. The author weaves in issues of race and sexuality but she does this so covertly that it is not too preachy. Perfect for a young adult book. Just the facts and the readers can make up their own minds. I am guessing if a reader is not interested in these issues or perhaps, comes down on the other side of the political coin than me – that reader would still enjoy the story, that is how subtly it is written. One of the characters is gay and his parents are disappointed in him; when the boy’s sexuality is discovered there are consequences for the entire family. Several of the characters are mixed-race or a race that is not common to island; very subtly the issue of “difference” is addressed. I am mixed on whether this issue was a throw in to appeal to a broader audience and whether it was to subtly addressed. On one hand, subtle is better and the book is marketed to teenagers. On the other hand, it is so subtly done that readers who want to miss these issues, can miss them.

The story begins very slowly, so slowly that I initially put this book down and decided not to finish it. But eventually I wondered what happened with the characters and well, I felt guilty for not following through, so I returned. The first 80-90 pages (up through about the first 30%) are slow, not badly written just incredibly slow with no action. Crewe sets the atmosphere and introduces the readers to the characters. I strongly suggest that if you plan to read this book, you just accept that the beginning will be slow going. The lack of action is compounded by the method of storytelling. The main character is writing a letter to a friend, but the letter turns into a journal.

I love survivalist themed books and movies. I don’t care if the enemy is a virus, the weather, zombies, corporations, a government or another country – I love this sub-genre. And this book fits directly into what I love. So why could I not get into the first 80 pages of this book and why did I ultimately rate this book with just three stars? The beginning of the book has no action, nothing is happening and the journal format is a dry and removed way to experience the story. I kept thinking – haven’t I read this story before? Then I realized in a way I had read this story before when I read Life as We Knew It which is young adult apocalyptic themed book told by journal. Each book has very similar stuff. Teen-aged girl, has issues with both her parents, witnesses an event that leads to society’s breakdown, we are treated to the before the event and the slow unraveling of society. The young girl likes to go scavenging in empty and abandoned homes. She takes on the responsibility of helping and caring for people. Where the books differ, is the event and the perspective. The Way We Fall involves more characters outside of the main character’s home and so the reader is able to see more of what is happening in the community. So is it worth reading The Way We Fall if you have already read Life as We Knew It? I don’t know, if you are a fan of the genre than yeah and I do think Crewe wrote a better story than Pfeffer. The main character in the Way We Fall is much more likeable and less whiny. The plot is less depressing in the Way We Fall compared with Life as We Knew It.

The story ends with hope, but it is not resolved and there is room for a sequel. Will I read it? Probably, will I rush to buy the sequel the day or month of release? Probably not.

There are slight references to sex and sexual activity, but nothing explicit. There is some kissing scenes. I can see this book being appropriate for kids aged fourteen and older.

Read this and more of my reviews at BadAssBookReviews
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Reading Progress

8.0% "This is just not pulling me in." 2 comments
25.0% "It just got significantly better -- I am happy that I picked this back up."
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog) I recently read a review of this saying it was amazing, I take it you aren't feeling that?

Regina Not yet anyway! It will likely get better. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

message 3: by Damali (new)

Damali So bad you couldn't finish it?

Regina Well I didnt want to. Olivia Butler distracted me away. I will try again in a week.

message 5: by Kat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat Glad to see you did finish it Regina ;) And I also had flashbacks to Life As We Knew It whilst reading (I don't tend to reference to other books in reviews, but I was definitely thinking it!). I think the reason I enjoyed The Way We Fall more is in a big part to the main character, but also to the fact that not everyone made it safely to the end, unlike in Life As We Knew It.

Regina Kat I agree - both that I am glad I finished it and that the main character was so much more likable in this book. Did you finish the Life as we knew it series?

message 7: by Damali (new)

Damali Gina, will you be continuing with the series?

message 8: by Kat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat No I didn't and to be honest I have far too many other books I want to read far more.

Regina Damali wrote: "Gina, will you be continuing with the series?"

Yes I think so, the ARC will be available this summer (2012). From the ending I think #2 will be much better.

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