I’m postponing Part 2 of last week’s blog (until next week) to very enthusiastically post my review for Never Stop Falling which just came out Tuesday. As I’ve written before, some books are un-reviewable. This is not one of them. I LOVE this book. If you haven’t done so already, READ IT. And keep the coffee and the Kleenex handy.
This is the line that got me hooked:
“I gasp. My ears shut out all the panic around me so that I hear nothing else. And then my gasp is followed by my heavy breaths. And my breathing is silenced by my pounding heart. And then everything falls silent. Except for his words. They echo in my head, the last words I might’ve heard him say.”
Yeah. Like I’m going to put the book down after that. Needless to say, it was a long night.
Never Stop Falling is a coming of age, friends to lovers romance with everything I want in a book, but there is so much more to it than that.
The drama is intense (which is why I was immediately sucked in), and I didn’t just read what was happening to the characters, I experienced it right along with them.
“As whispers of chaos circulate through the cabin, passengers grow frantic, holding onto their seat belts with white knuckles. Many are trying to remain still—eyes closed, faces frozen as if sitting for a macabre portrait. Someone behind me begins to cry. Fear rolls over each row of the plane until it finally swallows me.”
If that scene alone wasn’t enough to drag my stomach through my throat, the uncomfortable relationship drama was sure to. The relationships get messy–all of them. Boy meets girl / boy falls in love with girl / boy and girl live happily ever after—this book is not. It’s about making bad decisions and living with consequences; wanting to change the past and dreaming of different a future.
“All she has to do is say it, that she doesn’t want anyone else to have me because she wants me. All of me. Forever. And I’m hers. My forehead grazes hers, our noses barely touching, our parted lips only an inch away from unlocking the past and changing the future.”
The heartbreaking part is that the two people at the center of it all (Nick & Cori) aren’t the only two people involved. The decisions they make negatively affect (almost) all of the people in their lives.
Which brings me to my next point. The characters are real. Their actions/reactions aren’t romanticized. I found myself wanting to slap a few of them for not doing what I wanted them to do or saying what I wanted them to say. They didn’t take my feelings into consideration at all! Of course, if they did, I probably wouldn’t have spent most of the night in tears and most of the morning downing an excessive amount of coffee to make up for my lack of sleep.
I read many books where the secondary characters feel like an afterthought. This was not the case here. All of the characters are thought out and well written. Even down to the tiniest of roles (I’m talking to you, Norman. Ugh. And now I’m emotional again). But Nick is the one who shines. He is unlike any leading man I’ve read. First of all, he’s selfless. He’s selfless throughout—with everyone in his life, but mostly with Cori, putting his own feelings aside to be the friend she needs. And when what she needs is space, he gives it to her no questions asked.
“I’d hate it if she left, but would understand. If she needs time to process everything, I’ll give her the space she needs. I’ll give it to her because I love her. More than anything. More than anyone.”
No, Nick! No more space! Stop it! Has history taught you nothing? *slap*
But, I digress.
Nick’s also compassionate. When the people around him do the worst possible things, he has a way of digging through all the crap, finding the human hiding beneath, and refrains from judgment. He understands that just because a person can royally screw up, that act doesn’t define them. He recognizes the pain they feel just as much as the pain they’ve caused. Where I’d be spiteful and judgmental, he’s kind and sympathetic. And it’s super hot.
So, obviously he’s not your typical alpha-male book hunk. He’s the guy your parents would want you to marry, the guy you’d want your daughter to meet. Having known him his whole life, even Cori’s parents are fully supportive. He’s there for his friends, he’s there for his family, and he’s absolutely there for Cori. He’s exactly the kind of guy I want to say “Awwww…” to, while petting his head. Right before I devour him. No question, he’s my new book boyfriend.
And Cori? Cori is flawed. She makes bad decisions *slap,* she puts up walls *slap, slap,* and she’s stubborn and annoying and totally relatable. SHE is real. She makes her bed and she lies in it. I finally had to quit mind-slapping her because every stupid thing she does is something I’ve probably done myself. But throughout the book, she grows up. She tries to do the right thing. She makes amends. And her journey is pretty fun to follow because she’s freaking hilarious! Even when I was crying, I was laughing. Case in point:
“Whoever coined the term hangover was a genius because that word couldn’t be more on point, considering I pretty much spent the entire night hanging over the porcelain throne. On the other hand, whoever came up with porcelain throne should reconsider it…”
Let’s just say she had a hangover for a reason.
BUT, the BEST part, the thing that really made this book stay with me is…
I can’t tell you, but you’ll know it when you read it. What I can say is that Never Stop Falling is full of surprises that will grab hold of you and pull you along for the ride until the very last page…and then some.