In case you haven’t noticed, I am a huge fan of YA romance. I especially like books where the couple just has to be together, but there are seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their way. That being said when I started How We Fall, by Kate Brauning, I was a little wary of the romance between main characters Jackie and Marcus.
Why, you ask?
Did I mention Jackie and Marcus were cousins? Here is the summary from goodreads, which describes the book much better than I could:
Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle’s sleepy farming town, she’s been flirting way too much–and with her own cousin, Marcus.
Her friendship with him has turned into something she can’t control, and he’s the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left for…no one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn’t right about this stranger, and Jackie’s suspicions about the new girl’s secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus–and deepens Jackie’s despair.
Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else’s lies as the mystery around Ellie’s disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?
So yeah, even though I was a little wary about the cousin thing and even though I rarely read suspense, I totally fell in love with this story. Firstly, Brauning pulls off some incredibly tight writing. Every single word matters.
Furthermore, the cousin thing begins to seem less weird as you keep reading. It also does create some really fantastic tension and raise a lot of questions along the way. The romance between Jackie and Marcus was totally believable and complicated. Them being cousins in only part of that complication.
It was the suspense of Ellie being missing and the events surrounding her disappearance that kept me turning pages though. I actually finished the book in an afternoon, because I couldn’t put it down. With each page I finished I had to keep going to find out what happened next.
Couldn’t recommend this book more (especially for lovers of suspense or complicated relationships!), and don’t just take my word for it – the book has gotten high praise from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and School Library Journal.
In fact, since I received an advanced reader copy from the author (all opinions here are honest and my own!) I’ve decided to pay it forward and host a giveaway for this book. To enter one leave a comment down below. To enter twice add the book as a to-read on goodreads and mention it in your comment. To enter again spread the word about the giveaway through facebook, twitter, tumblr, or the social media platform of your choice.
I will put all names into a hat next Friday and draw a winner. May the odds be in your favor!