Author: Megan Crewe
Genre: YA Post-apocalyptic
Pages: Hardback, 309
Published: January 2012
Opening Lines: "Leo, it's about six hours since you left the island."
"When sixteen-year-old Kaelyn lets her best friend leave for school without saying good-bye, she never dreams that she might not see him again. But then a strange virus begins to sweep through her small island community, infecting young and old alike. As the dead pile up, the government quarantines the island: no one can leave, and no one can come back.
"Those still healthy must fight for the island's 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 the people she holds dearest, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save those she loves.
"Because how will she go on if there isn't?"
~ Jacket copy
Thoughts: I admit, since I first read Speak, books written in the form of journal entries have had a special place in my heart. Even though it only gives the main character's POV of the other characters, there is something unique about the reading experience. When I discovered that The Way We Fall was written in a series of journal entries, I was pretty excited.
The book starts with Kaelyn writing in a journal to her best friend, Leo. After a fight, he left the island for a private boarding school in New York. Unsure whether she will be able to bring herself to talk to him when he returns for the holidays, she has decided to start writing in the journal as a pseudo catharsis. However, a strange virus hits the island, people start dying, and the Canadian government puts the island under a strict quarantine. Kaelyn sets out to chronicle everything that is happening. She hopes that—if Leo is able to return to the island—her journal will be able to tell him everything that has happened since the virus started.
When I could pull myself away from Resident Evil and knitting, I had a hard time putting this book down. It was extremely engaging, well written, and also heartbreaking. I loved how raw Kaelyn was in her journal entries. She was a very sympathetic character, and she was really easy to feel connected to. Even though the audience only sees the other characters through her eyes, the author did a wonderful job balancing how Kaelyn perceives them and who they truly are outside of her perceptions.
At some level, it would have been nice if there had been a little more gang activity. However, it is quite possible that there wasn't more because Kaelyn didn't spend a ton of time outside of the house or away from the hospital. That being said, the reasoning behind burning down houses and buildings was very interesting. Usually, it appears as though the gangs of people are just out for meaningless destruction. Crewe did a wonderful job of focusing their anxiety.
The love interest was wonderful. Considering that it was exceptionally horrible timing, Crewe was able to write in such a way that everything was still innocent and sweet. In a lot of ways, the fragile, budding romance was one of Kaelyn's greatest joys.
This is an excellent book following the outbreak of some unknown virus and human nature. It also shows the depth of character that some people are able to find during such trying times. The next book comes out February 12, 2013!
Current Pages: 15,126