A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{February 20, 2012}   The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Plot: When Kaelyn let her childhood friend leave for school without saying goodbye, she never suspected that she might never see him again. But not long after his departure, people start getting ill. It starts with an itch followed by terrible coughing, then you lose all your inhibitions and start spilling your secrets. Soon bodies are piling up and the whole island is put under quarantine. Kaelyn and the island inhabitants are left on their own with ever decreasing chances of survival.

I was reading this on the way home from work when I realized that I had a terrible itch on my elbow. And for a split second I was worried. So I guess it’s fair to call this novel immersive. The fact that this is a very realistic situation taking place in the present and relatively close to where I live (somewhere unspecified in Nova Scotia) adds to the creepiness.

The story is told in the form of a journal addressed to Kaelyn’s childhood friend, Leo. Crewe sticks to the format rigorously: nothing is revealed that Kaelyn could not have seen or heard about and there are even sections where the writing trails off like in a real journal. For this reason, the epidemic becomes to a certain extent about Kaelyn and her feelings. She is a good character to follow. She is a very introverted teen, passionate about zoology and making an active effort to reach out to people, to help. At times she despairs or blames herself but she carries on.

But though we come to know Kaelyn very well, the other character remain somewhat nebulous. Kaelyn does not fully understand the people around her and we are limited by her perspective. And yet through her descriptions, Crewe manages to reveal a great deal about them that even Kaelyn doesn’t notice. This is especially true of Gav, Kaelyn’s love interest. He is a shy, just and patient boy with a bit of a hero complex and this is revealed in his every gesture and word as is his affection for Kaelyn, though she comes to understand this much later than the reader. I also loved the composed and serious Tessa with her passion for botany.

The novel ends with hope but ironically, this worries me. I know that there will be two more books in the series. Things are probably going to get much worse before they get better. I’m already looking forward to the sequels though part of me hopes the POV will be different. I really liked Kaelyn but there are several other characters, Gav, Tessa and Drew in particular, that I would love to get to know better.

Take The Way We Fall Survival Quiz to see how you would fare during such an epidemic: http://app.snapapp.com/thewaywefall

2012 (#21)


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