Even If I Fall by Abigail Johnson - Book Review


4 stars


*Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for providing me with an ARC of this book. Some parts may have been changed as I did not read the final book. Please know that all of the expressed thoughts are my honest opinions.

Even If I Fall was such a wonderful YA contemporary romance! When I started this book, I was a tad bit skeptical that I wouldn't like it. I typically either hate the super cliche "oh our families hate each other but we don't have to" stories or I love them. In this case, I loved it. I was a big fan of the settings, characters, and the plot.

There were very few settings in this book, maybe about four main ones. These settings were pretty simple, and I greatly appreciated it. They allowed me to focus on the characters instead of flashy descriptions or new environments. My favorite setting would have to be the secret meeting place for Brooke and Heath. There are only a tree and a lake, but it is the perfect background for Brooke and Heath's relationship to grow.

By the end of Even If I Fall, I had grown so attached to all of the characters. Easily though, my favorite character would have to be Maggie, Brooke's best friend. She was the most relatable for me, as I related to some of her passions and she dealt with genuine, modern-day issues. Maggie has this YouTube channel where she does book cover inspired makeup, and I love the idea so much! If I had any makeup talent, I would definitely be copying that idea. Throughout the whole book, Brooke and Heath continued to meet at their secret location. These little meetups were where I saw the most character and relationship growth. It was so beautiful to watch them begin to realize that their siblings' crimes weren't their own and that they should try to look past them.

Overall, I would recommend this book. It was a slower-paced book full of conversations, and while some won't be a fan of that, I greatly enjoyed it. The writing in this book was exquisite, and I enjoyed every chapter. Many of the characters were relatable, they weren't extraordinarily unique and they dealt with similar issues that we all face. There were only a couple of small problems that I had with the story. There were just a couple of moments where I was a bit confused, the twist was not as dramatic as I would've liked, and I was bothered by Brooke's brother's reason for murder. But I would still recommend this excellent book!

The writing itself was beautiful! I didn't think that I would get attached to this book, but I did! There were some really heart-wrenching, emotional scenes throughout the book that affected me more than I predicted. The writing just flowed in a great way, and I enjoyed every word and chapter. However, there were times when the descriptions of some things confused me. I'll touch on it in the next paragraph, but some technical ice skating moves were described in a way that left me completely confused.

What ultimately made me rate this book 4 stars instead of 5 are for three reasons. The first is some of the descriptive writing. Brooke is a skater and Johnson included some of her skating moves in this story. I liked that they were included, but I found that it was hard for me to imagine what everything looked like. I know that Johnson tried her best to describe the move, but I was never able to understand it fully. I don't entirely blame her, as I can barely do a bunny hop on the ice and know no skating terminology, but I do wish more descriptions were used.

The other part that slightly annoyed me was the twist at the end. I won't try to spoil anything, but the description made it seem as if there was this super big twist at the end. I guess that there was a twist, but in my opinion, it isn't as dramatic as I thought it would be, which was a bit of a letdown.

Finally, Brooke's brother, Jason, seriously bothered me. I am not going to get into it too much as to not spoil the story, but his reasons for murder were not the best. I understand that murder isn't always the most logical action, but everything about it just seemed to go against Jason’s character. Throughout the story, more of his personality was revealed, and when the ultimate reason for the murder was explained, I was unimpressed and frankly, I didn't believe that what I had read was the full story. I guess I just needed a better reason for murder than what was given to me.

Overall, I would recommend this book. It was a slower paced book full of conversations, and while some won't be a fan of that, I greatly enjoyed it. The writing in this book was exquisite, and I enjoyed every chapter. Many of the characters were relatable, they weren't extraordinarily unique and they dealt with similar issues that we all face. There were only a couple of small problems that I had with the story. There were just a couple of moments where I was a bit confused, the twist was not as dramatic as I would've liked, and I was bothered by Brooke's brother's reason for murder. But I would still recommend this excellent book!

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