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!
24 thoughts on “Review and Giveaway: How We Fall, by Kate Brauning”
I’m not sure I could get past the cousin part but it does sound like the author did a fantastic job with this story. I’ll have to look for this one. There was no way I would read it based of just the blurb but now you’ve made me curious! Great review!
Thank you! I think reading this book goes to show how much good writing wins out over subject matter in the end. Even more than the cousin thing, I’ve never enjoyed a suspense novel before this one.
I am entering the giveaway 🙂 My favorite taboo content is when they kill the main character at the end. There is nothing like that finality to end it all.
That’s such a good one! I feel like writing teachers are always saying not to do that!
I am not sure what my taboo would be but I am really intrigued to read a “cousin” romance with some suspense – sounds fantastic. I have also added the book to my to-read on goodreads.
Thanks I will put your name in the hat twice!
I do like light suspense so this book seems really interesting and I always love great writing.
Thanks for entering! I definitely recommend the book!
Ooh that’s such a good one! I love it when the main character dies at the end. I’m not sure if this counts as a taboo, but I’m always blown away when the narrator is a liar – I’m completely gullible when it comes to trusting a character’s narrative, so I’m always so surprised when it turns out they’re lying.
I love an unreliable narrator! Richard III anyone?
Hmmm, my favorite taboo in books? Maybe liking your best friend’s boyfriend? And yet I hate cheating in books!
My current project that I’m working on in class definitely features this. Trying to figure out the morality of it, but it does create a very high tension situation.
Oooooh! Exciting!!! I switched my next novel, BTW, and will share more on my blog soon! It felt a little crazy to set aside a 65k-word draft to start from scratch, but I think it was the right choice!
I’m sure that was so hard, but it sounds like you are excited about the new project. I am so excited to hear about it!
I have How We Fall on my YA bookshelf on Goodreads. Looking forward to it and hoping I may win this ARC. Totally enjoyed the online launch party last week hosted by Kate Brauning and Nikki Urang for the release of their novels.
Thanks for commenting! I will enter you in twice! I was hoping to attend the party last week, but then ended up on a bus that broke down on the side of the road. It sounded super fun though!
The cousin love story is definitely making me raise my eyebrows, but you know I love suspense. Definitely intrigued by this book.
I definitely thought of you when I was reading this book.
Thank you for the chance to win. I’m always looking for new titles to add to my classroom bookshelf! Do you think this would be appropriate for mature 6th graders?
Added it to my list! https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/8282913?shelf=to-read
Thanks I will enter you twice! I would say it depends on the 6th grader but the School Library Journal rated it grade 10 and up. There are definitely mentions of drinking and sex in the book so that is something to consider.