Review – How I Fall by Anne Eliot

August 29, 2014 Reviews 13 ★★★★½

Review – How I Fall by Anne EliotHow I Fall by Anne Eliot
Series: How I Fall #1
Published by Butterfly Books, LLC on 2014-06-15
Genres: Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Source: BEA
My content rating: PG (Nothing more than kissing)
My rating:
4.5 Stars

*CAM LIKES ELLEN*

What if you discover the one person you can't stop thinking about...can't stop thinking about you? And what if during one long school day you failed at everything because you met this glitter-crazed new girl who practically ruins your life? Worse, she insists you and your secret crush become best friends-with her?!! Only you don't have time to be friends with insane people, and you think your crush might need to stay the way it's always been: Distant. Impossible. In your head. This is because you have problems and secrets a crush would never understand.

*ELLEN LIKES CAM *

But what if the three of you wind up assigned to your group photography project where rumors are already circling about the new girl being ridiculous? You know she's nice but very alone, so you convince your crush to help protect the new girl. Working on the project together suddenly makes hanging out, texting, talking-and even high school-seem completely normal when it's never been normal for you.

* CAM LIKES ELLEN * ELLEN LIKES CAM*

What if you fall for each other just enough to kiss...and it's perfect? You tell secrets, share dreams and make the kind of promises that might be impossible to keep when you're only sixteen. Which is why, long before it all falls apart, you already knew nothing so beautiful could have been meant to be. But what if...

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My Take

I’ve been a big fan of Anne Eliot ever since I read Unmaking Hunter Kennedy, which was just a really sweet, really fun read. So, when I saw that she was going to be signing at BEA, I jumped at the chance to meet her. I thought I’d just be getting a signed copy of Unmaking, but was really happily surprised to see find out that she was giving away ARCs of her newest book as well. Of course, I happily accepted this one and I’m so glad I did! How I Fall was a delightful read that focused on the trials (and joys) of a teenage girl with CP.

What I loved:

  • Life with Cerebral Palsy.  One thing that I love about Eliot is the way that she always integrates some sort of issue into her books. Unmaking dealt with depression (though it wasn’t necessarily the center of the book) and Almost dealt with PTSD after a near-sexual assault. This book tackles a different sort of issue – living life with a disability. See, what the synopsis doesn’t mention is that Ellen, the main character, has mild CP. She has struggled her whole life to overcome her disability, working incredibly hard to gain mobility and to put her limitations behind her. But, no matter what she does, she can never quite get to “normal” and she can’t force the people around her to see her as anything more than the “handicapped girl” who needs special care. The book explored how Ellen felt about herself and her own limitations as well as how others saw her. Life was a struggle for Ellen, but she did NOT live her life as a victim – she constantly pushed herself and focused on her dreams rather than the things that held her back.
  • The characters. While Ellen was a fantastic main character, there were lots of amazing supporting characters that shaped her story too!  First off, Ellen’s best friend Patrick, who was a constant in her life. He was very protective of Ellen, but also incredibly supportive. I appreciated that Eliot portrayed a solid friendship between these two characters and didn’t feel the need to turn them into a couple. Then there was Laura – the new girl who’s referenced in the synopsis. Laura was sort of a force to be reckoned with – bubbly, full of positive energy and very quirky (and Irish to boot!). She added a breath of fresh air to the story and was really the driving force that brought Cam and Ellen together. Speaking of Cam – he was kind of the perfect boy. Sweet, good looking, popular – if a little quiet. We find out right away that Cam had been harboring a secret crush on Ellen for a very long time. He admired her strength in adversity and shared a love of photography with her, all of which drew him to her. Cam had his own struggles, giving his character a bit more depth – he wanted desperately to escape his father’s control over his life. All of these characters impacted Ellen’s life in major ways, and I formed attachments to all of them as the story progressed!
  • That ending.  The book ended with a cliffhanger after a major, unexpected event.  Now I can’t wait to get my hands on book #2!

The negatives:

  • Too perfect?  There were times when I felt like maybe Cam was a little too perfect (the super popular football player who’s really incredibly sensitive and has a crush on Ellen despite – or because of – her disabilities). I also occasionally thought that Laura seemed almost a bit too perky and adorable. But these were minor complaints.

I think that this book was perfect for the younger YA set. I loved the story and thought that it was a realistic and engaging portrayal of living with a disability. I highly recommend it! 4.5/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

13 Responses to “Review – How I Fall by Anne Eliot”

  1. Bregje

    This sounds like a really cute book! I can appreciate that the main character has a disability, it’s not to often that I come across a main character that has one.

    I’m not exactly sure what you if you have a different website or just changed it a bit, but I like the change! It now seems a little easier to navigate.

    Bregje recently posted: Review Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
    • Nicole

      Thanks, Bregje! I recently switched to WordPress and updated the look and feel of the blog. I’m still playing with a few things, but I think it’s about 99% there. Glad you like it!

    • Nicole

      Yes, the supporting characters did sometimes feel a bit too perfect, but I thought that Eliot did a fantastic job with the story, so I didn’t mind too much.

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