Monday, March 18, 2013
Falling For You
Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder
Simon Pulse, 2013
YA Contemporary Issues
So because I'm bad at reading reviews, I thought this book was solely focused on an abusive relationship since that is what the blurb was teasing. Actually it has a wider perspective, looking in on the dark private drama of a family (flashback to Eleanor and Park for me). I found this to be an intensely emotional read and I had to put it down and gasp for breath several times before the halfway mark.
Rae lives with her mother and jerky stepfather whose bad decisions and selfishness at first seem almost manageable but that facade quickly disappears as he dogs her steps and demands her paychecks to cover his debts. At school, romance with new kid Nathan seems like it could be a dream come true but his real self is soon revealed.
This is a hard review for me to write, just because my experience with this book was more about feeling. Usually I can point out what I really liked and what bothered me pretty easily but here everything is tangled up in a ball of emotions and it is hard to separate all that out. There are two points I would like to mention though.
I guess I could say that I liked that this was not "just" an abusive relationship book because Rae figures out pretty quickly that Nathan is bad news and spends more time ducking her stepfather. Still I wonder some things about Nathan. It seems like he left a bad situation at his previous school and I wondered if he had hurt a girl there. Also was he telling the truth about his bad family life or was he making up a story in order to get attention and sympathy from Rae? As a reader who likes getting answers, I would have appreciated knowing.
Something else I liked was that Rae's school had a poetry column in their newspaper that originally allows for anonymous content but Rae ends up questioning this decision. Does keeping the writer's identity secret mean we are encouraging everyone to look perfect and never admit the bad things that are going on in their life? This is something I've thought about a lot in terms of social media, especially facebook. Some days it seems like everyone has the best life ever while you're the only one struggling, which is just not true.
Overall: This is a story with so much depth and emotion-be prepared for an intense journey that thankfully ends on an optimistic note.
Cover: Doesn't this cover look like it belongs on an intensely romantic story?
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