Audio Book Review: Sadie By Courtney Summers, Narrated by Full Cast

Book: Sadie by Courtney Summers, Narrated by Rebecca Soler, Dan Bittner, Gabra Zackman and Fred Berman

Published September 2018 by Macmillan Audio|Length: 7 hours 57 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page. 

I’ve heard a lot of buzz around Sadie, and I finally got around to listening to it!  I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would and it was just okay for me.

The story was pretty interesting, and I did like that you had a combination of podcast episodes and Sadie’s story.  You see West try to figure out what happened to Sadie as you actually see what happened to Sadie.  It’s two definitely two stories in one, and it made the book interesting but it also…I don’t know, something about it really bothered me.  It’s liked, I liked that the two stories ran alongside each other but they didn’t really come together the way I thought they would.

I did want a little bit more resolution at the end, which is pretty open-ended.  While I don’t mind stories with open-endings, I really wanted one for this book.  I think I assumed the podcast would bring some sort of closure to Sadie’s story, and that didn’t happen.  At least to my satisfaction.  I know it’s not always the case with stories like Sadie’s but it didn’t stop me from wanting it.

I did feel for Sadie, and she really did everything she could to take care of her sister.  She certainly went on her own path for revenge and I don’t blame her.  It’s a lot darker than I expected, and I’m not sure why.  I do like that she took care of her sister, and wanted to protect her and keep her safe.

It does inspire a Serial-like podcast, and that was more interesting to me than Sadie’s story…not that her story didn’t interest me, because it did.  I think I was just more interested in seeing West try to piece Sadie’s story together.  Still, it was nice to actually get Sadie’s story as well, because it certainly would have been easy to not write Sadie’s side.

I’m in the minority in my opinion of Sadie, in that everyone else seems to love it.  I wish I did, but I’ve read a few of her books, and I’m starting to think that her books aren’t for me.  The mystery didn’t grab me, and I can’t say I’m surprised by any of what’s revealed throughout the book.

I am glad I did Sadie as an audio book because I don’t think I would have finished it otherwise.  With several narrators, I did expect to hear from all of them pretty equally, but I mostly felt like we heard from two of them for most of the book.  That was slightly disappointing to me, since I think they all did a great job.

2 stars.  I didn’t love Sadie as much as I wanted to.  I was disappointed by the ending, and I wanted more closure to Sadie’s story.

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Book Review: There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

Book: There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

Published May 2019 by Simon Pulse|384 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Dimple And Rishi #2

Genre: YA Contemporary

The irresistible companion novel to the New York Timesbestseller When Dimple Met Rishi, which follows Rishi’s brother, Ashish, and a confident fat athlete named Sweetie as they both discover what love means to them.

Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so…sucky. After being dumped by his ex-girlfriend, his mojo goes AWOL. Even worse, his parents are annoyingly, smugly confident they could find him a better match. So, in a moment of weakness, Ash challenges them to set him up.

The Patels insist that Ashish date an Indian-American girl—under contract. Per subclause 1(a), he’ll be taking his date on “fun” excursions like visiting the Hindu temple and his eccentric Gita Auntie. Kill him now. How is this ever going to work?

Sweetie Nair is many things: a formidable track athlete who can outrun most people in California, a loyal friend, a shower-singing champion. Oh, and she’s also fat. To Sweetie’s traditional parents, this last detail is the kiss of death.

Sweetie loves her parents, but she’s so tired of being told she’s lacking because she’s fat. She decides it’s time to kick off the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she’ll show the world (and herself) what she’s really made of.

Ashish and Sweetie both have something to prove. But with each date they realize there’s an unexpected magic growing between them. Can they find their true selves without losing each other?

I really liked There’s Something About Sweetie!  It’s really cute and I really liked Sweetie.

Sweetie’s a great character, and she was really easy to relate to.  I think, at some point in our lives, we all feel like we’re not good enough for some reason or another, and that made her really easy to relate to.  She really wanted to prove people wrong.  In particular, I think she wanted to prove her mom wrong, and show her that she can do anything she sets her mind to.

I finished the book with the sense that her mom meant well, and just wanted to protect Sweetie.  Sweetie is this amazing athlete, and a great student, and that never seemed to be good enough for her mom.  Overall, she’s a pretty good kid, and she really could have used a lot more support from her mom.  Her dad’s pretty awesome, though.  I was glad to see that her mom came around, and did stand up for Sweetie in the end.  It was long overdue, in my opinion.

Seeing Sweetie and Ashish together was really cool, and I liked them together!  They balance each other out pretty well, and they have more in common than you would expect.  He’s definitely a different Ashish than the Ashish we see in When Dimple Met Rishi.  Speaking of…both books are set in the same world, but they stand on their own, so you don’t need to read When Dimple Met Rishi to know what’s going on in this book.  I still think you should read it because it’s a great book and you’ll understand Ashish a little bit better but overall, you’ll know what’s going on in this book without reading the other one.

I liked Ashish in this one and he’s definitely different after everything that happened with Celia.  I was angry at him for texting her back when he was so into Sweetie.  And the fact that he didn’t mention anything about it, and she just happened to see the messages…that didn’t help at all, but I’m glad they were able to work it out.

Their dates (planned and approved by Ashish’s parents) were definitely different but the cover made a lot more sense after one of their dates.  I couldn’t figure the paint out on the cover and I’m sad to say that I cannot remember the festival if my life depended on it but it did sound really interesting.  It also reminded me of that one run where they throw paint at you throughout the race, though I’m positive this festival came first.

Overall, There’s Something About Sweetie is a super-cute romance and worth reading!

4 stars.  I really liked There’s Something About Sweetie, and Sweetie is pretty awesome, though her mom frustrated me at times.  Her mom did come around in the end, which was nice.

Book Review: Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

Book: Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

Published May 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers|304 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Royals #2

Genre: YA Contemporary

Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can’t believe her luck when she’s accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess.

She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other–Flora is both high-class and high-key–but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?

I liked Her Royal Highness!  I don’t know that I liked it as much as the first book in the series, but it was still fun and entertaining.

I wasn’t sure about Millie and Flora at the beginning, and by the end of the book, I still wasn’t sure how I felt about them as characters. They’re thrown together since they have to share a room for part of the school year.  They did have some pretty interesting interactions and I was curious to see what Flora would do next to get out of boarding school.  It didn’t work but it was fun to see what she would actually do, and I was glad that she actually found a reason to stay.

The nice thing about Her Royal Highness is that you don’t need to read the first book to know what’s going on in this one.  Some of the characters from Royals make an appearance in this book, and while it’s a good idea to read the first book for some background, you’ll know what’s going on in this one if you don’t.

One thing I didn’t like about the book was the timeline.  It seemed liked things were going really fast with not a lot of explanation of what was going on.  I felt like there were a lot of gaps in time with no indication time had passed and yet it also felt like it took forever to get to Millie and Flora getting together.  Don’t get me wrong, the book was entertaining and fun but at the same time, it did drag in the beginning.

As a couple, I didn’t really feel any connection between them.  Maybe because it felt like there were these weird gaps in time?  Honestly, I couldn’t tell you much about Millie and Flora, and maybe that’s why I’m not sure about them.  I wish there had been a little more time developing them as characters.

Speaking of characters, I couldn’t even begin to tell you about the other characters.  I can’t remember much of anything about Millie and Flora, so there’s no hope for any of the other characters that we meet in the book.  It’s also been a while since I’ve read the book, so that might be part of it, but you’d think something would stick.  Millie does make friends, which is great, and hopefully they’ll stick around for awhile.

3 stars.  Her Royal Highness was fun and entertaining, but things seemed to jump around and the characters didn’t stand out.

Book Review: Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Book: Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Published August 2013 by HarperTeen|272 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Confessions Of Georgia Nicolson #1

Genre: YA Contemporary

Angus: My mixed-breed cat, half domestic tabby, half Scottish wildcat. The size of a small Labrador, only mad.

Thongs: Stupid underwear. What’s the point of them, anyway? They just go up your bum, as far as I can tell.

Full-Frontal Snogging: Kissing with all the trimmings, lip to lip, open mouth, tongues … everything.

Her dad’s got the mentality of a Teletubby (only not so developed). Her cat, Angus, is trying to eat the poodle next door. And her best friend thinks she looks like an alien — just because she accidentally shaved off her eyebrows. Ergghhhlack. Still, add a little boy-stalking, teacher-baiting, and full-frontal snogging with a Sex God, and Georgia’s year just might turn out to be the most fabbitty fab fab ever!

I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to!  Angus ended up being an okay read for me, and I wish I liked it more than I actually did.

I was feeling pretty nostalgic when I started reading this book, and I’m pretty sure I read it back in high school and really liked it.  As an adult, I didn’t like it nearly as much.

It reminded me a lot of the Princess Diaries, in that it’s in a diary type format.  It’s pretty much a minute-by-minute account of what’s going on in Georgia’s life.  It was fine at first, but by the end of the book, I was really annoyed with it, because you’d have an entry, followed by another one five minutes later.  And sometimes, they were just a sentence or two.

I was pretty disinterested in Georgia’s life, and I think I was expecting something really funny, but instead, I was trying to get through the book.  It felt really long, and it was hard to get through.  I’d read a few pages and then have to put it down because I didn’t want to keep reading it.

This is sort of book I would have loved in high school.  Georgia was easy to relate to, and she’s a great character.  It really brought me back to navigating high school and everything that goes with it.  As an adult, this book wasn’t my thing but I can see the appeal of it.  I know I liked it when I was high school but now?  Not so much.

2 stars.  I wish I had more to say about Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging.  The writing style/format didn’t work for me, but Georgia was a great character.

Book Review: The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

Book Review: The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

Published April 2019 by Disney Hyperion|360 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: The Devouring Gray #1

Genre: YA Contemporary

Branches and stones, daggers and bones,
They locked the Beast away.

After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn’t: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.

Justin Hawthorne’s bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray—a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family’s powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can’t let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect.

Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny-to what extent, even she doesn’t yet know.

The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families’ abilities—before the Gray devours them all.

I was pretty excited about The Devouring Gray but it ended up being okay for me.

I was pretty bored throughout the story, which is a shame, because the idea is pretty cool.  I really liked the world and what each family could do.  I really liked the vibe and feel, and it reminded me a lot of the Beautiful Creatures series.

I didn’t particularly care for the characters and I still feel like I don’t know who they are.  I could not begin to tell you anything about them or what they’re interested in.  They just weren’t memorable, at least for me.  I felt like we didn’t get enough details of the characters, especially Violet.  Everything was really vague, and very surface-level.  The entire book, though narrated by 3 different people, honestly felt like it was narrated by one person.  That’s how similar each voice sounded.

It was a little bit confusing at first because you don’t really know what’s going on.  You’re thrown into things, which is fine, but it took a while for things to make sense.  I eventually got it, and I’m glad it made sense eventually because the world is really cool and interesting.

For some reason, I was expecting it to be a Beauty And The Beast re-telling.  To be clear, it’s not, but considering the bad guy is called the Beast, and Violet was new in town…I was expecting a slightly different story, that’s all.  Not that there’s anything wrong with the story as it is, because there isn’t.  I think I made some assumptions about what the story was going to be, and I ended up being way off.  That’s what I get for assuming things.

2 stars.  The Devouring Gray was an okay read for me.  I liked the world and the feel of the book but the characters didn’t really stand out.

Book Review: Internment by Samira Ahmed

Book: Internment by Samira Ahmed

Published March 2019 by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers|387 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

I absolutely loved this book.  It was heart-breaking and terrifying but I loved Layla’s story.  I don’t do this often, but if there’s one book you’re going to pick up this year, make sure this is one of them.

Layla’s story was terrifying because it felt so real.  I can see this happening, and Ahmed really drew from real-life/current events with this book.  Throughout the whole book, it was clear that Ahmed was drawing on everything leading up to the election and everything that happened after.

I did like the author’s note at the end of the book, and how she gave some additional resources to check out about the Japanese interment camps.  It gave a lot of insight on what inspired the book and it really added to the book.

I really loved Layla, and though she was really trusting at times, I understood it.  I didn’t always agree with it, but I did understand it.  She was determined to fight for what was right, and she wasn’t willing to stand by and let things happen to her friends and family, even if that would have the easier path.  So many other people in her camp were willing to go along with everything but she wasn’t.  Even when things went very, very wrong, it felt like she became more determined to make things right.

It went by really fast, and it felt like it happened over a really short period of time.  I’m curious about the time period, and if it happened over a few weeks or few months.  Especially in the internment camp.  The book seemed a lot shorter than it really was, and while it wasn’t really in-depth, you got a clear picture of what was going on.  It did skim the surface at times, which is the only thing I didn’t particularly care for.  But it also wasn’t enough to get me to dislike the book, or warrant a lower rating.

5 stars.  I loved Internment, and though it was heart-breaking and all too real, it’s also worth reading.

Book Review: Tell Me Everything by Sarah Enni

Book: Tell Me Everything by Sarah Enni

Published February 2019 by Point|288 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Your secret’s safe…until it’s not.

Ivy’s always preferred to lay low, unlike her best friend Harold, who has taken up a hundred activities as sophomore year begins. But Ivy has her own distraction: the new anonymous art-sharing app, VEIL.

Being on the sidelines has made Ivy a skilled observer, and soon she discovers that some of the anonymous posters are actually her classmates. While she’s still too scared to put her own creations on the app, Ivy realizes that she can contribute in an even better way — by making gifts for the artists she’s discovered. The acts of kindness give her such a rush that, when Ivy suspects Harold is keeping a secret, she decides to go all in. Forget gifts — Harold needs a major party.

But when her good intentions thrust her into the spotlight, Ivy’s carefully curated world is thrown into chaos. Now she has to find the courage to stand out… or risk losing everything and everyone she loves most.

I really liked Tell Me Everything!  I was definitely intrigued and I wasn’t sure what to expect but I definitely got pulled into Ivy’s world.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Ivy, and Harold was definitely more supportive than she was with him.  It was hard to like her, and it felt like she didn’t give people a lot of chances.  She’s definitely of those characters who needs one friend and no one else.  Hopefully, she’s more open and willing to give people a chance at the end of the book.

I feel like she made a lot of progress throughout the book.  I think Ivy had good intentions and I really do think she meant well, but at the same time, the app was anonymous for a reason.  People shared things to the app for a reason, and I was bothered by how she tried to figure out who people were.  It had some major consequences for her, and she really did have to decide what was important to her.  At least she realized that she hurt people with what she did, and before it was too late.

The app was pretty cool, and it reminded me a lot of PostSecret but tied to a specific location.  I don’t know if that’s where Enni got her inspiration from but that did cross my mind as a possibility.  I really wish we had seen some of the art from the app.  I know art doesn’t pop up in YA but if we can get texts and letters and emails, I don’t know why we couldn’t get a few pictures.  It would have been really interesting to see the things that inspired Ivy, and it would have been a nice addition to the book.

For a lot of the book, I thought there was going to be a love triangle.  It definitely seemed like that was a possibility, but it never happened.  Romance is hinted at, but it wasn’t really a thing in the book, and I actually really liked that.  I don’t really have anything else to say about romance, but I did want to through that out there.

4 stars.  I really liked Tell Me Everything, but I didn’t love it.  It was hard to completely get behind Ivy, even though I understood why she did what she did.

ARC Book Review: Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

Book: Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

Expected Publication Is May 7, 2019 by Farrar, Straus, And Giroux|Expected Number Of Pages: 320 pages

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

10 00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she’s just performed her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She’s about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She’s in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.

11 00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She’s very cute. He’s maybe curious.

12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.

I really liked Somewhere Only We Know!  I swear, Goo writes the cutest books, and this one was no exception.

I will say, it took me a while to get into it.  Jack and Lucky both narrate, and I think that’s why I had a hard time with the book at first.  It was hard to get into each character, but as the book went on, I got more settled into things, and I ended up really enjoyed the story.

It happens over a pretty short period of time, and it’s quite the adventure for both Jack and Lucky.  There really isn’t a lot of romance- it’s more hinted at than anything else, and while father-daughter relationships are pretty important in her other books, it’s not something we see in this book.  It has the same feel as her other books but it doesn’t have some of the same elements I’ve seen from her.  Still, it was really fun and really cute, and I really liked seeing them explore Hong Kong together.

The Sun Is Also A Star is a pretty good read-alike for this one, in the sense that it’s the one-day romance where they’ll never see each other again…or find each other years later as adults.  Even though we get an epilogue, and see what happens after the events of the book, part of me wonders how things worked for both Lucky and Jack.  Romantically, of course, but also in their personal lives.

As for Jack and Lucky, I really liked Lucky but I was not a fan of Jack.  I think having his perspective really hurt, because we see and know things Lucky does not.  It made it really hard to like him and even though we see him change, it was really hard to get behind it knowing what we, as readers, know.

4 stars.  I really liked it, and it’s a cute book.  I wasn’t a fan of Jack, but I really liked Lucky.  I also wish I had more to say about this book, but I don’t.  It’s definitely worth reading, especially if you like K-Pop.

Book Review: The Love And Lies Of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

Book: The Love And Lies Of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

Published January 2019 by Scholastic Press|336 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.

But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective.

Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life? 

I really liked The Love And Lies Of Rukhsana Ali!  I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I really liked Rukhsana’s story, and how supportive some of her family and friends were.

Her parents weren’t the most supportive, at least initially, and I think it’s important to note that not of all her family thinks the way they do.  They do come around, though I was sad it took a really big event for them to see things differently.  I felt so much for Rukhsana, and everything she went through.  I hated what her parents did- I know they thought they were helping, and they were definitely more worried about what other people thought.  And even though I am not a fan of what brought them around, it was a wake-up call that they could have lost Rukhsana.

Her friends and her girlfriend were pretty frustrating at times.  They didn’t seem to get how hard it would be for Rukhsana to come out to her parents, and what would happen if they did.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have supportive, caring parents, and it seemed like her friends brushed off what she was telling them.  I don”t think they realized the gravity of what would happen when she came out, and we definitely see what happens when her mom finds out.

I really loved her grandma, her brother, and her cousin.  She had a couple of other people who were really supportive, and it was obvious they cared about her, and what happened to her.  She had some great people in her corner, and she’s lucky to have them in her life.  They definitely encouraged her to hear her parents out after what happened, and I get why she wasn’t willing to talk to them at first.  She did change her mind, but it also seems like they have a long way to go before things are completely better between them.

4 stars.  I really liked this book, and it was a great read.  Her parents were really frustrating at times, and though I don’t agree with how they handled things, they did start to come around.

Book Review: Even If I Fall by Abigail Johnson

Book: Even If I Fall by Abigail Johnson

Published January 2019 by Inkyard Press|352 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

A year ago, Brooke Covington lost everything when her beloved older brother, Jason, confessed to the murder of his best friend, Calvin. Brooke and her family became social pariahs, broken and unable to console one another. Brooke’s only solace remains the ice-skating rink, where she works but no longer lets herself dream about a future skating professionally.

When Brooke encounters Calvin’s younger brother, Heath, on the side of the road and offers him a ride, everything changes. She needs someone to talk to…and so does Heath. No one else understands what it’s like. Her brother, alive but gone; his brother, dead but everywhere. Soon, they’re meeting in secret, despite knowing that both families would be horrified if they found out. In the place of his anger and her guilt, something frighteningly tender begins to develop, drawing them ever closer together.

But when a new secret comes out about the murder, Brooke has to choose whose pain she’s willing to live with—her family’s or Heath’s. Because she can’t heal one without hurting the other.

I was intrigued by Even If I Fall, but it ended up being okay for me.

I really felt for Brooke, and what she had to go through.  You see glimpses of what people think of her, but I feel like the summary made it seem like it was a bigger deal than it really was.  We don’t get a lot of it, and considering how much Brooke seems to be out and about, we could have had more of it.

I felt like the secret didn’t match with all of the build-up to it.  I was really let down by it, and I honestly expected something more life-changing.  It was definitely disappointing, and I honestly expected more.  I wasn’t necessarily shocked that there was a secret, but I was shocked that it was so small and insignificant.

Before I start sounding like a broken record about that secret, the ending in general was pretty disappointing.  I don’t mind open endings at all, and I did finish the book wondering what was in store for Brooke.  But I wish we had actually finished the book with whether she got into ice-skating tour, and not her opening the envelope.

I liked that she was there for her sister, but Brooke did seem pretty self-absorbed at times.  I felt really sad for her that she thought she had to give up on the ice-skating tour to be near her family.  I am glad that she decided to go for it, and that she shouldn’t put her life on hold because of her brother.  I get why she didn’t initially tell her friend about what really happened to her brother, but it did cost her, and I hope she eventually understands that she should have been more honest.

I didn’t particularly care for the romance, mostly because it’s the brother of guy her brother murdered.  If I were him, I don’t know that I would have even talked to someone who murdered a relative, much less date him.  But there is a part of me that’s glad she had someone to talk to, even though Heath would not have been my first choice.

2 stars.  Even If I Fall was just okay.  I was disappointed in the secret and in the ending, but I did like that Brooke decided to go for the audition, and to live her life.