Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Published: January 24, 2011
Publisher: Disney, Hyperion
Pages: 304
Copy: Netgalley and Publisher
Summary: Goodreads

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 was lucky enough to meet Megan Crewe a little while ago at DarkLitFest in Oshawa.  I bought her first book Give up the Ghost at that time and really enjoyed it.  She had mentioned that she had another book/series in the works, so when I saw The Way We Fall available on Netgalley I knew I just had to give it a shot. I was not disappointed.

Written as a series of letters, or diary entries, addressed to a friend who has left the island, The Way We Fall gives a clear picture of what happens to a small community when tragedy strikes.  Kae's first person POV allows us to get inside her head and feel as if we are experiencing things for ourselves.  Ms Crewe manages to clearly paint the break-down of society and shows us how some people fall apart in a crisis, and other people shine.

I realise that I read an ARC and that quotes are not final, but this one illustrates how difficult it is to understand people.

'Maybe the gang thought it'd be fun to destroy a few buildings.  These are people who'll shoot someone just for being sick, after all.  But it seems to me like they're sick too - sick with fear, sick with selfishness.  How can anyone do all the things they do without hating themselves for it?' (p243 from ARC)

'And you know what? As long as they keep their bullets and their fires away from the people I care about, that's all reight with me.' (P246 from ARC)

Gav was an interesting character.  Someone who appears one way, but is in fact completely the opposite.   Just a normal kid who's trying to make a difference any way he can.  I think I'd like to meet him in fact.

'I don't know if I would have opened up to him if I hadn't seen how he acted when the town was falling apart.  I want to believe that we'd have ended up together no matter what, that our feelings go beyond the awful circumstances that've thrown us together, but it's not like either of us can say for sure.' (p280 from ARC - Kae talking of her feelings about Gav)

Sorry, that last one may be a spoiler, but to me it just illustrates that we can be victims of circumstance, and that we never really know how we will react to people or situations. And sometimes people surprise us.

Ms Crewe has written a believable and very moving story about what might possibly happen to any of us, given todays climate. About finding our inner strength and overcoming adversity.  It's scary, in a day to day way, and I really enjoyed it.  I look forward to seeing what happens next to Kae and Gav. Highly recommended for everyone, but especially for those who enjoyed Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It. 

On a side note, there is a sure-fire way to tell a writer is Canadian, and that's when the characters take their shoes off when they go into someone's house -  Canadians eh!


  1. Great review! I love reading Canadian lit because the customs are right. And I am Canadian to the core - it seriously annoys me when people come in and don't take off their shoes!

  2. How right you are Dana. There were several other Canadianisms in there as well, but the shoes stuck out most. There must be other countries where they do that, right? Japan and where else I wonder?