It starts with an itch you just can’t shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you’ll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.
And then you’re dead.
When sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s isolated community is hit with an unknown and deadly virus, the government deems it necessary to quarantine the whole island. No one can go in or out. With food rationed off, the members of Kaelyn’s community begin to panic and begin behaving in ways they normally wouldn’t.
Written in a series of journal entries to an old friend, Kaelyn documents the way her small community tries to battle the deadly virus and how people who she thought she knew her whole life suddenly change and become someone else. In The Way We Fall, Megan Crewe demonstrates how frail humans are and how deep our survival instincts go.
I know I should have written this review before, but I just kept delaying it and now I don’t really know what to say.
Let’s start off with what I thought this book was going to be. I thought it was going to be a dystopian, for some weird reason. It was just the way it was pitched to me. The fact that it wasn’t a dystopian wasn’t all that big of a downer; there was definitely a feeling of ‘this could actually happen’ in the way the story was presented in the here and now. There was also a mix of science in the story, which definitely grounded the story in reality.
Kaelyn isn’t a damsel in distress, which is something I appreciated about her. Despite not having many resources and being told to stay home by her dad (so she doesn’t catch the virus), Kaelyn tries to do whatever she can to try and aid her community, whether it be trying to find plants that could be used as antidotes, helping out at the hospital, or remaining a pillar of strength for her younger cousin whose dad died early as a cause of the virus.
Despite all that, there was something about her voice that bugged me. I know she’s only sixteen, and maybe I’ve gotten used to reading more mature-sounding YA heroines, but Kaelyn struck me as very juvenile in the way she spoke and acted, like she was a child. Also, the style of the prose was very simple, so that Kaelyn’s voice would read like this: “I did this. I felt that. I walked here. I bent down.” There wasn’t much variety, so I found myself getting bored quite easily.
Also, I felt like the ending was a big cop-out. I don’t want to spoil it, but a lot of characters die, and some unnecessarily. It felt like Crewe was just killing them off just because she could; there didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason.
Throughout the whole book, the message seemed to be that the community would get through the virus and would find an a cure. Things are resolved, but not in the way that you’re led to believe all along.
So for that: 2/5.
Thanks for reading,
This book was provided to me by Hachette Book Group Canada. The opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.