Monday, January 28, 2013

Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder

Falling For You 

Summary from Goodreads: Rae's always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her...and the less she wants to give. 

As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous. 

Then a tragedy lands Rae in the ICU. Now, hovering between life and death, Rae must find the light amid the darkness…and the strength to fight for life and the love she deserves.

Genre: Young Adult 
Pages: 355
Publisher: Simon Pulse 

First Line: "At last I can breathe." 

Favorite Quote: The whole "Cherish" poem. 


Once in a while, I really want to read a bunch of contemporary novels. Not too often, though; mostly I'm all about fantasy, dystopia, etc. But I appreciate a good, emotional book like this, too, and I'm glad I selected this one.

Throughout the story, the tone is pretty dark. We follow Rae and her struggles in dealing with her abusive stepfather, her boyfriend, and a mess of other things. One of the ways she deals with the things going on in her life is by writing poetry. Personally, I've never really been able to write poems or appreciate them in ways I know other people can. But I liked the ones that Rae wrote, because they all spelled out her emotions in a really raw way. They made my heart hurt. 

I figured that this whole book would mostly center on the abusive relationship, but really, it was more about Rae's home life than anything else. After Rae and Nathan(view spoiler), he's more of a background presence than anything else, constantly showing up and telling Rae how much he loves her and needs her, even though he actually knows next to nothing about her. Honestly, I did feel kind of bad for him, but most of the time I was very irritated. It was like, yeah, Nathan was going through some bad stuff, but I felt like Rae's problems were even worse than his, and he just didn't take any time or put any effort into her ever. 

I really liked Rae as a protagonist; I'm not sure how I would react in a situation like hers, but I like to think we'd be similar. She was compassionate in all her relationships with people throughout the book, and very patient. I felt like she did all she possibly could have done for Nathan. When he was doing something she didn't like, she told him. When he messed up repeatedly, she gave him chances to fix it. The other love interest in Falling For You, Leo, was a cute character. I liked their interactions together and was hoping they would get an HEA. I wasn't largely surprised by the main confrontation; everything seemed to be building up to something like it, and obviously something bad happens since the novel opens up in a hospital. 

The pacing of this was fairly slow, but there was something about the writing that made me want to keep reading. I'm not exactly sure what it is. Even though I'm not a fan of novels in verse, I know Lisa Schroeder's other novels are and if I ever decide to pick one up to see if I like it, hers will be the ones I start with. At the end of the day, I feel like Falling For You conveyed an overall message of hope to good people in bad situations, and was a powerful and moving story. 

4 stars. 

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