By: Megan Crewe
Published: January 1, 2012 by Disney-Hyperion
Source: Won paperback copy during Armchair BEA 2013
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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.MY REVIEW:
And then you're dead.
When sixteen-year-old Kaelyn lets her best friend leave for school without saying goodbye, 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 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?
Poignant and dizzying, The Way We Fall is the heart-wrenching story of one girl's bravery and unbeatable spirit as she challenges not just her fears, but her sense of what makes life worth living.
This book is written in journal form following a sixteen year old girl named Kaelyn during a viral epidemic that sweeps through her community, eventually killing nearly all of those who become infected. Her Dad, a microbiologist, is on the team of people who are working nearly round the clock to find a cure. Eventually school's are closed down, the island is shut off from the mainland and no one is allowed to leave or enter. Trying to do so will get you shot. Cut off from the rest of the world, Kaelyn details daily what she experiences as she tries to not lose herself or lock herself away in her room while the rest of her town dies.
I'm not an overly big fan of books written in this journal form. Especially not a fan of it during an apocalypse type of story, simply because when everyone around you begins to die from such a sickness and you are simply trying to stay alive and uninfected, how on earth do you have time to write the events of the day? Sometimes I find this form of writing to be too choppy instead of easily flowing through a story. The choppiness, for me, makes me more detached from the characters versus submerging myself in what they are experiencing which helps to really make the story come alive.
Having said that, as always one of the things I enjoy most about these type of stories, whether it's zombie related or some virus killing off humanity, or aliens killing off humanity, the one thing that intrigues me the most is the human will to survive, the tenacity to live even with all the sadness and death around you. This will to survive will push you to do things you didn't think you were capable of. It'll force you to open up to those you wouldn't have otherwise made a connection with. It pushes you past what you thought were your strengths and you either cave and become someone who only looks out for yourself, or you let your strengths help those around you. This story is filled with both spectrums. People who become so afraid that they choose to do whatever it takes to look after themselves in essence becoming no better than criminals, and those who rise above the fear to help and care for others.
Our virus is a lot smarter than the ones you see in zombie movies. It doesn't make its victims stagger around slobbering and moaning so anyone in their right mind would run the other way. It gets you cozying up to people so you can cough and sneeze it right into their faces.
...if we don't celebrate the things that are going right, what's the point in hanging on?
This is what we do. We make tea and read books and watch people die.
We're on a cliff, all of us, and surviving isn't about who's the best of the brightest. It's about holding on as long as we can...
Final Rating - 3.5 stars