Sunday, March 4, 2012

Review: The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

The Way We Fall
Author: Megan Crewe 
Series: Fallen World, #1
Summary: 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.

Review

When I first found out that I had won one of Megan Crewes "Infect Your Friends" giveaway prize packs, I was uber ecstatic. I have never read a book about contagion and The Way We Fall seemed like the perfect book to start with. With an amazing premise, I couldn't help but be drawn to it. When I found out it had finally arrived, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and begin reading. And I was definitely not disappointed.

The book is divided up into three section: Symptoms, Quarantine, and Mortality. I'm sure you can probably guess a little bit about each section just from the titles, but I'll break it down a little bit and hopefully without giving in to spoilers! The entire book is written as journal entries. Kaelyn is writing to her friend Leo who has moved away to New York, someone she hasn't seen or spoken to in two years and who she misses terribly. At the beginning of the book, we see that life on the island is normal. People going to work and school, going about their business as usual, and slowly this virus begins to spread. Kaelyn first notices something odd when she finds a bird dead on the beach. It doesn't look at all unhealthy, as if it had just dropped dead from the sky. And then her friends dad ends up sick: coughing, sneezing, itching and spouting out everything and anything on his mind without any kind of filter. And then he's taken to the hospital with hallucinations. A few days later, he's dead.

And that is how it begins. Within days, people all over the island were going crazy with this virus, cozying up to people, sneezing in their faces. Everyone's getting sick and no one knows why or how to stop it. Eventually, the government quarantines the island: nobody is allowed in, and nobody is allowed out. People begin to panic, going around stealing from businesses that have been shut down and killing people if they get in their way. The entire island is shut off from everything, with no connection to the mainland and no one knows how to deal with it. The healthy people have to stick it out and avoid the sick as best they can, but with the sick people running around being far too friendly, it proves incredibly difficult. Kaelyn's entire world is flipped upside down, with the people closest to her getting sick: friends, family, neighbors, teachers, everyone. She befriends people she never thought she would and a romance sparks between her and a boy desperate to help save what is left of the island. She struggles to find strength in the madness that is now her life, her community, by helping in any way she can.

I loved this book so much. It was incredibly scary in a way that I've never been frightened by a book before. It gets you really thinking about illnesses and how at any moment a virus could come in a kill most all of the human population in one fell swoop, leaving us all fighting for our lives and not just from the virus, but also by people in sheer panic. Every time I heard someone coughing or sneezing I would flinch thinking about the virus in the book and then I had to remind myself that I'm not Kaelyn or in her world. I'm eager to read more of the Fallen World series and see where Megan takes the story from here. It ended on a slightly happy note so I'm hoping there isn't too much sadness in the next installment, but even if there is, I'm definitely looking forward to reading it.


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-Kelly