Series: How I Fall #2
Also in this series: How I Fall
Published by Butterfly Books, LLC Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Physical Impairments, Young Adult
Source: Blog Tour
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
*What if it’s time to move on?*
Over six months after an accident that broke her legs as well as removed her boyfriend from her life—because Cam Campbell left town and dumped her—high school senior, Ellen Foster, wants to move past her broken heart. She’s off to attend a summer photography workshop at a real university along with her best friends. Ellen’s determined to find a new love—or at least a summer boyfriend. In the dorm, she meets Harrison Shaw. He’s a handsome photography student, a charmer who likes her, and a perfect way to forget her past.
*What if it all goes perfectly?*
Ellen thinks she has everything she wants. Her summer program couldn’t be better. She’s half in love with Harrison Shaw, and she’s going after her next scholarship. But when she kisses Harrison, she can only remember how Cam Campbell used kiss her better, sweeter, and how he used to make her feel like she could fly…
*What if something’s not right?*
When Cam shows up at the university it’s a shock, especially to Ellen’s new boyfriend. Cam’s distant, different and very afraid to hurt Ellen again. He asks Ellen if they could be friends despite the past and how they’ve both changed and Ellen agrees. But after all they’ve been through, can Cam and Ellen ever be just friends?
How I Fall, is the first book, bestselling, high school romance series ending with: How I Fly. Though they can be read as stand-alone-it is recommended readers read this book first. The series is about friendship, boyfriends, taking risks and first love. There’s a photographer heroine who has left-sided cerebral palsy (hemiparesis) that makes her weak on one side and she falls often; all while she’s falling deeply in love with football jock, Cam Campbell. A guy who also dreams to be a photographer like Ellen but can't because of his parents’ controlling rules.
***NOTE: This review is for book #2 in a series, but it doesn’t really give any major spoilers for the first book in the series (or this book, of course!). Click HERE to read my review of the first book, How I Fall.***
How I Fly is the sequel to Eliot’s How I Fall, which I absolutely loved. I have to confess that this book didn’t thrill me quite as much, which made me a little sad because I’m a huge fan of Eliot. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with the book at all and I enjoyed it. It just didn’t blow me away like her other books have. This book is cute and sweet – and really perfect for the younger YA crowd, which is who it seems to be aimed at.
What I enjoyed:
- Cam’s story. The best part of this book, for me, was Cam’s story. I really felt for him – how he was trying his best to do the right things in a very bad situation and then he was stuck with the consequences. He comes back to Ellen to find that she’s moved on, and he truly wants the best for her – he wants her to be happy – so he steps aside. Cam struggles to get over Ellen, though, and he certainly doesn’t want her out of his life completely, so he watches her from the sidelines, wishing things were different and yet hoping that this is all for the best. Cam’s family issues and what happens because of them felt a tiny bit unrealistic to me in certain parts, but I was able to mostly look past that and appreciate his story. I definitely enjoyed the parts of the book that were in Cam’s point of view most.
- Growing pains. This story is really about Ellen growing up a bit and learning how to make her way on her own. She makes some mistakes, but that’s all part of her story. I think that this will probably resonate really well with younger YA readers, who will especially appreciate Ellen’s struggles to figure out what she wants, who she really is, and how to accomplish her goals in life.
- Laura and Patrick. Fans of the first book will love that Laura and Patrick are still front and center in this book. Laura is every bit the Irish spitfire that she was in How I Fall, and Patrick still adores her. These two are cute and fun, and I was really rooting for them, hoping that Laura would finally figure out what she’d been missing!
- Felt a little too juvenile for me. I think the main reason that this book didn’t work as well as Eliot’s others for me is just because it read just a little bit younger than her other books. I honestly think the book would probably sit well with the younger YA crowd, but I sometimes felt like I couldn’t connect with some of the characters as well this time around because they somehow felt a little younger to me. I found myself rolling my eyes a bit at the love triangle. (I had figured out really early on what was going on with one of the love interests and I was just waiting for Ellen to catch up.) In fact, I didn’t quite understand why Ellen was even trying with the one guy when she and everyone else knew she was hung up on the other. And then, once we hit the climax of the book, it got a little melodramatic and silly for me, with one of the characters turning into kind of a two-dimensional villain. I think I preferred the first book, where the focus was really on Ellen’s disability and how she manages it – how she feels about her CP and the way the world responds to her. This book had a little bit of that, but the focus was much more on the love triangle.
So, overall, this book was a cute, fun read, but it didn’t quite live up to Eliot’s other books, at least for me. I give it 3/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
Anne Eliot is the author of the How I Fall/How I Fly two book series, and bestselling, young adult teen issue romances, Almost and Unmaking Hunter Kennedy. She loves writing about teens who live outside the ordinary and she’s devoted to stories about teens who live outside the ordinary but who also get to find sweet first kisses and first loves.
Anne resides in Colorado with a very patient husband, two teens of her own whom she adores (and some teens near and far thanks to hosting many exchange students) who are all growing up too fast.