Friday, 9 March 2012

review: The Way We Fall

by Megan Crewe
Disney/Hyperion, January 24, 2012
young adult sci-fi

Kaelyn’s back in a town, alone with her only friend Leo far away in NYC, and everything seems more estranged than ever. But her social pariah state become the least of her worries when a virus sets in. It isn’t your ordinary bug. The normal cold symptoms give way to hallucinations and low social inhibitions, and worse, it’s spreading—and leaving death in its wake. As the government quarantines the island and rebellious feelings grow, even the best resources in the hospital won’t be enough.
The cover:

We seriously need more colours in yellow. I’m a big fan of solid colours and type masks together, and though the image behind the title is a little too shadowy, this cover still is lovely. Snazzy font, too.

The book:

I went into this extremely curious. Megan Crewe’s debut Give Up the Ghost was paranormal, on the short side and pretty darn wonderful. The Way We Fall, on the other hand, is sci-fi (ish?), 300+ pages and…potentially wonderful. Well, now I can say for sure it is wonderful.

Kaelyn’s introduction is perfect. Though it’s her writing letters to Leo in a journal, we see enough of her own actions through what she writes to like her right off the bat: her efforts to become a “new Kaelyn” and work through her tumultuous history of moving about endear her to us with ease.

The concept of family structure is explored subtly (unintentionally?) through characters like Meredith, Kaelyn’s realistically portrayed younger cousin, and Tessa, Leo’s girlfriend. The latter plays a surprisingly prominent role in Kaelyn’s survival plans, and even in Kaelyn’s character development.

And Gav. I’m giving this guy a paragraph to himself because his full name is… I won’t give it away, so you can have the pleasure of discovering it yourself, but my God. If a name can be swoonworthy, Gav’s is. Oh yeah, and he’s a pretty cool love interest too—nobleness is underrated. ;)

Usually, letter or journal style I hate. (Dear Canada and Love, Stargirl were the banes of my elementary English class days.) Yet somehow Crewe mashes the two and make them work in a way that is far more engaging than weird. It’s almost as if Kaelyn is speaking to herself, and the mix of present and past tense is handled deftly as well.

It’s enough to keep you reading through the plot, which isn’t breakneck—it’s more of a bell curve. And that, combined with all the other elements, was enough to keep me reading until I’d finished this in one day. And man, that ending. Not precisely cliffhanger in the “WTF? I can’t believe this” sense; more like “Whoaaaa. What’ll happen next?”

Good things, mes amies. Good things.

Rating: 4.4 out of 5