Happy 2018! I know its kind of late but I don’t think I’ve really posted anything on here yet since the New Year. Just like in years past I have set a reading goal for myself with how many books I want to read and this year I have set my goal to 18. As well as setting a goal that I have the goal of writing 18 book reviews, one for each book here on my bloggy.
I’m pretty proud of myself too because only one week into January (It took me a while to edit this but I did finish it in the first week) and I’ve already finished my first book! Before I start talking about this book I want to do a little self promo that I posted a video on my YouTube channel discussing all the books I want to read this year, you can check that video out here.
So, without further ado let’s talk about the first book I read this year, We All Fall Down by Natalie D. Richards, I have added the Good Reads link so that you can find places to buy or borrow the book if it interests you.
We All Fall Down follows two best friends Paige and Theo who had been friends since elementary school, I want to say the exact grade is fourth, but don’t quote me on that. Both Paige and Theo are harboring secret feelings for the other one. But on the night that Theo decided to confess his feelings an accident happens involving him accidentally punching Paige in the face leaving Paige with a broken jaw. After months of not talking Paige and Theo both mysteriously get drawn back to the bridge where it all happened. At the bridge, Theo starts hearing the events of the night repeating in almost surround sound and Paige keeps finding items she had on her that night like the sandals she wore and the purse she was carrying. With the help of another, younger, local who also feels haunted by the bridge they strive to figure out why the bridge is haunted and how they can stop it.
I think I’m going to start with the negatives I found with this book to get the bad out of the way faster. Which for me is a I think the way the novel ended. Through the whole book I felt like I was picking up on clues that would lead to an ending that followed a certain theme, I wasn’t sure exactly how it would end but I felt like it would be something within a board topic. (Sorry I know that was vague but I’m trying to avoid spoilers) But when I finally got to the end the ending was completely different then I ever would have thought. Which that wasn’t my real problem, I don’t care that I predicted it wrong. My main problem was that the ending felt like it came out of left field with nothing else in the novel pointing towards that ending. On top of that I found the ending kind of confusing and very unsatisfying.
Going off of the topic of confusing I found a lot of the places and events describe to be hard to picture. With the biggest place being bridge, the way that Richards describe the bridge was hard for me to picture. It might just be that I had never seen a bridge like that but I just couldn’t picture the way the bridge looked. The big climatic scene in the novel also came across as confusing, there was a lot going on at one time and a lot of players involved so it was hard to keep track of where each of the players were at any given moment.
When I first started the novel it was very captivating and I was excited to read it at night when I would have time. But the further I got into the more it felt like I was just reading it because I wanted to know who or what was haunting the bridge. I will say that I was excited to finish the book so the last 20 to 30 pages I read quickly because it did capture my attention a little bit more.
There were some things that I did like about the book, starting with the romance. At first I was like ugh, another cliche romance of the “bad boy” falling in love with the “good girl”. But in the moments when the romance would become more excited I enjoyed it. I also loved the little details that Richards put into their relationships. From Theo describe the moment when Paige went from being just his friend to the girl he liked to the little things that even before Theo fell for Paige that he would do for her. Like bring pretzals to parties so Paige would have something to eat because she refused to eat out of communal bowls.
The aspect of the novel that intrigue me the most wasn’t the paranormal moments which is what I was looking forward to but instead it was the mental health aspect of the novel. Paige suffered from pretty extreme anxiety as well as what I believe may have been some PTSD from the incident with Theo but I don’t believe it was ever “officially” confirmed or diagnosed within the novel. While Theo I believe also was suffering form some anxiety as well as ODD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. This novel was the first time I had ever heard of this disorder and from what I understand it basically means that he struggles with impulse control as well as being pretty defiant towards authority. Which describe Theo to a T. Richards showed both character’s disorders thoroughly and descriptively.
I felt that mental disorders really made me question one of the main topics of the book; was Theo accidentally punching Paige something that could be forgiven? Throughout the whole novel I would think about whether I felt that Theo punching Paige while under the influence was forgivable. There were times where I would think that it was an accident, that couldn’t be that bad. But upon further thought I wondered how I would feel if I had been abused or hurt by someone that I loved to the extend that Paige was even if it was a mistake. Having that thought and a theme within the novel to think that intently about was in all honesty my favorite thing about this novel.
And those are my thought on We All Fall Down. On a scale to 1 to 5 with one being the worst book and five being a fantastic book, I gave We All Fall Down a 3.25. I would recommend this book to someone who has likes mystery but not necessarily to huge paranormal fans because it doesn’t follow that feeling at all.
Have you read We All Fall Down. What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments down below.