Sunday, December 23, 2012

Book Review: Falling for You

Falling for You
Published By: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Page Count: 355
Source: Gifted ARC
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

I have been a fan of Lisa Schroeder's work since I first read I Heart You, You Haunt Me a few years ago. She has this uncanny ability to take painful, raw situations and add a silver lining. I know whenever I pick up when of her novels that it isn't just entertainment that will find me, but rather emotions will bombard me. It's possible to read one of her novels and not care about the characters. They become so real and I can't help but want them to get happy endings. 

Falling for You holds true to the things I have come to expect from Schroeder's work, but this time the structure was new and different. Typically, Schroeder writes her novels in verse, but I really enjoyed that this one was a mixture of prose and poetry. The main character, Rae, writes poems to help her deal with all of the negative aspects of her life. Instead of the poems being the driving force behind the narration, they serve only to allow the reader to connect with Rae on a deeper level. Her poetry is the only place she feels comfortable to truly express her emotions and thoughts. I loved seeing this format and hope that Schroeder will continue to do more things like this in the future. I do hope that poetry will always find some way into her works though as I feel it is one of her major strengths. 

Another interesting structural component is that time transitions between the present and the past. When the novel begins, you know that Rae is in the hospital and things are looking pretty bleak, but you have no idea who she is or why she's there. Knowing that something awful was going to happen kept me flipping the pages. I polished this read off in one day. I couldn't stop until I had all of Rae's story. I was compelled to know every detail. Falling for You ran me through an emotional gauntlet - there were smiles, angry moments, heart seized by panic moments, and tears. I love books that make me feel and pause to consider how lucky I am to have the life that I do. Rae's story isn't all negative - she taught me many things throughout the course of this novel. I am in awe of her strength and outlook on life. She is an inspiration that I needed and one that will benefit others.

This novel, like many of Schroeder's other novels, deals with some pretty difficult subject matter. Abuse (both physical and emotional) and neglect play a dominant role in the plot. Many novels have called attention to physical abuse, but I feel that teens need strong models in fiction for handling emotional abuse. Rae's response to these elements is something that filled me with awe. I do not know that I could have faced such difficulties. I also loved seeing that in spite of everything, Rae was such a source of happiness for so many others. She didn't allow her circumstances to dictate her other relationships. There were moments - particularly when she was with Nathan - that were hard for me to read. I think this sort of relationship is one that is really important for teen girls to see in fiction. 

This novel does a gorgeous job of balancing the darkness with the light. Even in the bleakest moments, Rae never loses hope and always seeks out the silver lining. I find stories like this one to be incredibly valuable. There is just something about Schroeder's writing that always speaks to me. Each time I pick up one of her novels, I learn something new about myself and my place in the world. You can't help thinking about things on that level if you allow yourself to become immersed in the story. Lastly, I loved the friendship between Rae and Leo. It was the perfect contrast to the relationship between Rae and Nathan.


One Last Gripe: I don't have one. I was totally lost in this story and its characters.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the secret flower sender and the lessons Rae learned from those deliveries.

First Sentence: At last I can breathe.

Favorite Character: Rae

Least Favorite Character: Nathan



Rae's always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her...and the less she wants to give. 

As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous. 

Then a tragedy lands Rae in the ICU. Now, hovering between life and death, Rae must find the light amid the darkness…and the strength to fight for life and the love she deserves.


15 comments:

  1. Well, I have read many stories of Abuse. There is Sarah Dessen's Dreamland which gave hope in the middle of such a raw subject There is also Amanda Grace's But I love Him which was much more emotionally charged, and more raw. It didn't exactly give a happy ending. But I absolutely love stories about abuse, and I think every teen, like me, should read them in this stage of their lives
    GREAT review, Andrea, as always!
    Your reader,
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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    1. I will have to add the Dessen and Grace titles to my TBR list. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  2. What a beautiful review! I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! I have it preordered it, so I'm excited for the opportunity to read it!

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    1. Thank you for your kind remarks. I hope you love this one as much as I did.

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  3. I am fan of Lisa S also, her books is what got me into Verse Novels. This sounds like an emotional punch, look forward to it.

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    1. She was the first writer who exposed me to verse novels as well. I love her style. This one was different than her normal format, but I loved that she told the story differently. I think it worked for Rae.

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  4. I keep seeing this one and hope to read it soon. I adore the cover and it just sounds so good and I love these emotional ones! Thanks for your thoughts and making me want to read it more!

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    1. This one is emotional for sure. It made me laugh and cry.

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  5. I haven't read this author yet but I plan on it soon. I've heard great things so I'm really looking forward to meeting a new author.

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    1. She's one of my favorites. Most of her books are written in verse which is a format I enjoy.

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  6. This is really the first that I have heard of this book, or this author. I am happy that I have heard of them both now. I love when a book hits all of the emotions. When it can make you laugh right along with the tears, that is something special. I think this book might be a very special read. I think I might go head over to Amazon and check it out. Thanks for the review!

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    1. I would highly recommend any of Lisa's novels. I love them all. I read most of them before the blog was opened, but I may need to do some rereads and get reviews for those books up.

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  7. I've never read anything by Schroeder, but the blend of poetry and prose sounds worth checking out. Hopefully my library has a copy :)

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    1. Most of her novels are entirely written in verse, but I liked seeing the combination in this one. I would recommend any of her novels.

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  8. I've loved all of Lisa's other novels and how she can say so much in so few words. It will be interesting to see a different writing style in this one -- I'll definitely be checking it out!

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