Review: The Way We Fall

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Way We FallThe Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
Series: Fallen World #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on January 24, 2012
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Pages: 309
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.

And then you're dead.

When sixteen-year-old Kaelyn lets her best friend leave for school without saying goodbye, she never dreams that she might not see him again. But then a strange virus begins to sweep through her small island community, infecting young and old alike. As the dead pile up, the government quarantines the island: no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for the island’s 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?

Poignant and dizzying, The Way We Fall is the heart-wrenching story of one girl's bravery and unbeatable spirit as she challenges not just her fears, but her sense of what makes life worth living.

In a lot of ways this book reminded me of Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, which I hated. Thankfully, I did not hate this one. The similarities are in the narrator and the scope of the story. Kaelyn and Miranda, at least at the outset are pretty similar characters, although Miranda is much more social. Both are whiny and a bit selfish at the beginning though.

Both stories are also written in a diary format, although Miranda writes hers to herself and Kaelyn writes to her friend Leo, in preparation for making up with him when he comes home or, once things start going to hell, for him to find once she’s dead. Their tales focus on the way their lives are affected and have no real view to the world at large.

However, the big difference here is that The Way We Fall is, in my opinion, much better written, although employing a similar simple style. Kaelyn is not an outstanding girl; she’s not extraordinarily smart or beautiful, and she’s socially awkward. At the beginning, I found Kaelyn pretty annoying, although I did think it was really cool that Kaelyn wants to study animals. She was awesome in her passion, if nothing else. As the book went along, though, she really develops into a much stronger character.

So far as the reader knows, this disease outbreak is primarily limited to the island, meaning that the scale is much reduced from that of most dystopias. However, not too far into the outbreak, the government stops helping like they should be. Left to their own devices, people seem to do one of three things: try to save everyone, hide from everyone and everything, or descend into anarchy and violence. Mankind is, as is often the case in dystopian literature, as, or perhaps more, terrifying than the disease.

The Way We Fall also had a couple of awesome quotes, which I would like to include, although the reader should keep in mind that they could have been changed before publication (although I hope not).

  • In reference to the disease which is starting to become a problem: “It’s like we’re trying to fill up every second of silence with meaningless talk so we don’t have to say anything real or scary.”
  • This is why I come to like Kaelyn: “If I need to be saved, I’ll do it myself. I think I can handle that.”

Crewe should also be given credit for resisting the urge to make the disease turn people into zombies, which has already been done quite a bit. I think what she did is so much cooler.

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