The Girl Who Fell ARC Review -- Damnnn Tika, Back At It Again . . .

The Girl Who Fell | Shannon M Parker
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Edition: E-ARC
Source: Publisher

High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense and volatile relationship—by the new boy in school.

His obsession.
Her fall.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and … terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



She Fell & I Didn't Bother To Help Her Up
when trying to deliver an important message goes terribly, horribly, wrong.


If I told you that for the first time ever I was nervous to share my thoughts on a title, would you believe me?  I mean come on, this is ME we're talking about right? Tika the review slayer, the black sheep, the infamous DNF Queen who enjoys writing negative reviews. No way should I have such feelings towards posting this right? But I do . . . well, I did. I first picked up The Girl Who Fell last year in December. I was on a promotional tour for it, and because I ended up disliking the story, I was asked to postpone my rating and review until after the tour was over. When I finally decided to review it, I just couldn't. I felt not only disconnected from the story, (as if I wasn't already) and because the subject matter is important, I felt my thoughts might rub someone the wrong way.

But who am I kidding? This is my blog, my thoughts, and if I hate a book, then I just hate it. 

Feel free to walk away, shit is about to get real.

Strike One: The Opener.
Not Another Teen Movie.

When the opening scene is a page ripped straight from teen horror movies such as, Friday The 13th, Scream, and I Know What You Did Last Summer, it's extremely hard to take the story seriously. Was this a tactic used to set the tone of the book? Were we supposed to be trembling under our covers, flashlight in hand, awaiting the crazed boyfriend's arrival? My guess is yes, this was the nail-biting build-up before the story started. Was I shaking in my mixed matched Spiderman socks? No, but I was surely peeing in my pajamas from laughing. I mean come on, the MC is alone in her house, the lights go out, and wait for it . . she runs to use the phone but the line is DEAD! THE HORROR! Yeah, beyond ridiculous. The last time I enjoyed such a cheap version of a lifetime drama I was like . . . I don't know . . . TWELVE? Let's just leave these cheesy scenes to the Neve Campbell's and the Jennifer Love Hewitt's of the world . . please. I'm begging at this point.

Strike Two: The Characters.
Ten Things I Hate About You.

I don't want to sound like an asshole, or be accused of victim-blaming with my following words, but I found Zephyr to be incredibly stupid, Alec to be a complete joke, and the few supporting characters to be irrelevant. First of all, Zephyr and Alec were unconvincing as hell. We're literally 2.5 seconds into the story when we're hit with the makings of insta-love. How does one become smitten with a person they haven't even made eye contact with? HOW? But oh, it gets worse. After chatting like twice around 16%, they become a couple.

Would you go out with me?
 He can't even know how his words paralyze, They tie and bind with a commitment I can't give after living with the aftermath of my father bailing. Or the mess with Gregg and his kiss. I can't do complicated. " Alec, I . . . " Alec's face waits on my words, patient and forgiving even though he appears to sense what I'm going to say. A small boy scrambles into the swing near us, reprimanding his mother's offer to help. " I do it! " He shouts at her. Alec smiles at the boy's independence, his fierceness, and that is when the word slips out of me. " Yes "

What in the actual fuck?

So pacing just gets thrown out of the window? Did a strong development between these two characters get tossed out too? What about chemistry, an emotional connection? These are things that relationships consist of. Zephyr started making dumb, selfish decisions before Alec even had the chance to fully turn on his creeper switch. She was surprisingly quick to turn on her friends and family, (which wasn't quite realistic IMO) so it wasn't that he was this smooth talking, cunning, charming, manipulative mastermind, (not completely anyway) she just liked him . .  and a little too soon. I understand the author wanted to get to the " toxic " part pretty quickly, but when your main characters aren't believable, especially in this type of scenario, well . . . nothing else really matters.

Strike Three: The Everything.
Cruel Intentions. 

Since this book covers the tough topics of obsession, manipulation, and domestic abuse, it's automatically labeled as " an important, powerful read, " but honestly, it wasn't . . .  at least not for me. Were the topics important? Of course! I've been wanting to read a YA novel that covered these aspects for quite some time, but is this a reason to give The Girl Who Fell a pass for its poor execution? No. After speaking with numerous of readers who loved the book, about 90% of them actually agreed with just about everything that I mentioned in our conversation. The lack of a connection between not only the characters but the reader, the characters themselves being undeveloped, the story lacking emotion, the pacing being far too quick, the unrealistic/ridiculous nature of the some of the scenes, the unnecessary triangle, the incredibly strange sex scenesZephyr and her odd behavior, I mean the list goes on. But even though we were all on the same page, they also replied with, " I agree with most of what you said, but it's important, the story was needed. " I can't say that these readers were overlooking these issues, but can we honestly say that another less " important " title with the same flaws would be slapped with as many 5 star ratings as well? I'm not too sure it would.

So what do you guys think? Do we as readers give books high ratings because of their important messages or controversial topics in spite of its execution? Are we more willing to give " passes " for subject matter? 


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