Author: Megan Crewe
Release Date: January 24, 2012 (hardcover)
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Overall: 5 Stars
It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.
And then you're dead.
When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back. Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival.
As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest. Because how will she go on if there isn't?
Megan Crewe crafts a powerful and gripping exploration of self-preservation, first love, and hope. Poignant and dizzying, this heart-wrenching story of one girl’s bravery and unbeatable spirit will leave readers fervently awaiting the next book in this standout new series.
I've never read a novel anything like The Way We Fall. Megan Crewe has taken your worst fears and brought them to life in an incredibly compelling way. Set on a fictional island in Nova Scotia, the novel is uniquely written in journal format as Kaelyn writes to her childhood friend, Leo, and chronicles everything happening around her as a deadly epidemic spreads across the island.
As Kaelyn's life falls into chaos and her island community is cut off from the rest of the world, she tries to find solace in her home and trying to do what can to help, despite the dangers that contact with others represent. There were times when The Way We Fall could be downright heartbreaking, but even in the darkest of times, hope continued to shine as Kaelyn found a strength within herself she didn't think she could ever possess.
The pacing is neither too fast not too slow, but rather something in between which allows the story to unfold perfectly. The book tests humanity and the actions people take when fear is all that lingers in their minds: Is it every person for themselves or do they work together to find a solution? When survival is the objective, all bets are off and the ugliness hiding inside us all begins to show. Kaelyn had some difficult decisions to make in the novel, and I have no idea what I would have done in her shoes.
As the streets quiet and those still living lock themselves in their homes, the deserted and eerie feeling which overcomes Kaelyn also begins to seep right into your bones too. You can't help but wait with nervous anticipation for a cure to come, for death to take everyone... or for anything, really, that could bring an end to the desperation. I was genuinely terrified as I read the book, holding my breath for the moment I was certain would come when I'd have to say goodbye to a character.
There were so many unpredictable possibilities where Megan Crewe could take the storyline and it only left me more anxious to find out what would happen next. I am absolutely looking forward to reading The Lives We Lost, the second novel in the trilogy, and seeing how Kaelyn's story will continue in the aftermath of everything that has happened in The Way We Fall.
Thanks so much to Hachette Book Group Canada for providing this review copy! You can learn more about Megan Crewe's The Way We Fall on Disney-Hyperion's unRequired Reading teen website, and if you're not already doing so, don't forget to follow Hachette Canada on Twitter and "like" their Facebook page! And, of course, you can learn more about The Way We Fall on Megan Crewe's website.