PJV Quickie: Honestly this was my first disappointment for 2012. Maybe I was expecting a little more “pow” and “wow” with all the hard-hitting dystopian I’ve been reading lately.
Author: Megan Crewe
Series: The Way We Fall #1
Publication: Expected publication: January 24th 2012 by Disney-Hyperion Friends
Paperback ARC Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for a review.
Links: Author Web >> Author Twitter >> Purchase Book >> Goodreads
Rating: 1 out of 5
My first thoughts revolving around this book was that it was a sad impersonation of the Matt Damon, Kate Winslet movie Contagion. ‘The Way We Fall’ by Megan Crewe was like Contagion in the fact that they were both accounts of a sweeping virus and the steps one family/person takes in protecting their loved ones from the ravages of the disease. Contagion, though, took a broad Global POV which explained the disease and also showed the effect on the world around the effected characters, where ‘The Way We Fall’ was from a first person, diary narrative, which failed in it’s presentation.
My dislike of the novel stems mainly from the narrator, who was rather naive and uninformed — so there was hardly any substantial information coming through, which always strikes me as an uneducated author. This sounds terribly personal, so I’ll explain. I mean that the author does not have a background in the information being relayed. The author might have watched a movie like Contagion or read a few books about pathogens, but is not what you would consider an “expert” on diseases. Therefor, she took this naive narration approach so she wouldn’t have to explain the spread of the disease from an informed perspective. This is one of the reasons they always give authors the advice “write what you know.”
The second dislike also stemmed from narration style. The novel was written as a diary/letter to an ex-friend, Leo. The diary/letter was going to repair their lost friendship, but turned out to be an account of the deadly disease that strikes the island that she calls home. This letter form made me feel like I was out of the loop. Kaelyn would reference his girlfriend, or “that time” and there was no other explanation, leaving me questioning what was occurring. Then, to make matter worse, as you got deeper into the novel it switched from letter format to just straight-up narration, with dialogue written out and overly descriptive sequences. By the middle of the novel it didn’t ring true that this was a diary/letter.
The overall effect on me wasn’t what I expected. There are quite a few positive reviews out there that describe the novel as “enthralling” and “emotional” but I just didn’t feel this. It was just a very dry recitation of events. The main character is watching her friends become sick, some even dying, her neighbors on their lawns acting like lunatics and there is very little emotional response. Combine that with the poor narration and ‘The Way We Fall’ is elevated to the worse book I’ve read of 2012 (don’t worry I’m sure it’ll be replaced sooner rather than later). Can you tell I’m rather disappointed in this read.
I am not recommending this novel, but there was nothing questionable that parents should be worried about. Recommended ages 12+