Thursday, November 3, 2011

Teen Read: The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Release Date: January 24th 2012

I must have zombies on the brain! When I read the synopsis of this book on Netgalley, I thought there were going to be zombies.

When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn's community, the government quarantines her island-no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

Because how will she go on if there isn't?

I must have read "deadly virus" as "zombie virus." I was 60 pages in before I realized, "Hey, I don't think there are going to be any zombies in this book." It was like that time I bought an Anne Rice book that turned out to be a Romance novel. I kept waiting for the vampires the entire time.

Even without zombies, Crewe wrote a compelling novel about loss and fear. Kaelyn is a character who transforms in this novel and not just because she is surviving an epidemic. She begins the novel as a quiet, self-contained protagonist. When she moves back to her hometown from the big city, she vows to change her ways. In the middle of this metamorphosis, the epidemic hits. She has two choices, go back to the way she was and stay safe inside her house OR try to help the island and its inhabitants by continuing her journey out of her shell.

The book is written from Kaelyn's point of view in the form of a journal. It is raw in some areas and realistic throughout. There are moments of beautiful clarity, "We're on a cliff, all of us, and surviving isn't about who's the best or the brightest. It's about holding on as long as we can, and trying, and failing, and trying again until we've inched a little closer to getting through this."

Perhaps, the greatest indicator of the strength of the novel was the fact that I DIDN'T want it to end. I kept flipping past the last pages asking, "Is this it?" I wanted more, but I didn't feel cheated by the ending. I'm not being blackmailed into reading the next book in the series. I want to finally meet Leo.

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