Review: How We Fall by Kate Brauning

Review: How We Fall by Kate Brauning How We Fall by Kate Brauning
on November 3, 2014
Pages: 304

Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle's sleepy farming town, she's been flirting way too much--and with her own cousin, Marcus.

Her friendship with him has turned into something she can't control, and he's the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn't right about this stranger, and Jackie's suspicions about the new girl's secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus.

Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else's lies as the mystery around Ellie's disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?

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A little backstory about how excited I was for this book: First, I needed it so badly that I broke my “I’m too scared to request books” mantra and requested it. The minute I heard of it, I knew I had to have it. And then I saw the cover. THE COVER. So yeah, this was a much anticipated book, to say the least. And the big worry when you hype yourself up so completely for a book is: Will it actually stand up to the self-inflicted hype? The answer:


Seriously, is that not an epic win? When a book you have been pining over totally meets (if not exceeds) your hopes? Best. Book Feeling. Ever. Oh, I suppose I should tell you why I liked it, yes?

First of all, the cousin romance was so, so intriguing. Kate Brauning was not only able to make it seem realistic, but she made it relatable, which is really quite an accomplishment because I assume most of us have not actually been in love with our cousins. I rooted for Jackie and Marcus from basically page one: Hard on the family? Who cares!? Too taboo? Ignore the naysayers! Basically, I cheered for them through every obstacle. I found Jackie to be very likable as a main character, and it was clear to see what she loved about Marcus as well. Their relationship just worked, regardless of familial status.

Now, this is not an action-driven book, but that didn’t stop me from devouring it and simply not being able to put it down. The feelings that absolutely radiated from Jackie were so apparent, I just had to know what was going to happen for her, for Marcus, for their friends and family. Outside Jackie and Marcus, there was such a well crafted bunch of side characters that added complications, escapes, and mystery. Jackie’s family was… different. I thought that Jackie and Marcus’s parents were eccentric, yes, but also kind of irresponsible and absent. I did enjoy their siblings and friends and the roles they played, and the unique family situation definitely worked for the story.

The disappearance of Ellie was the one thing I wasn’t completely on board with in the book. Actually, at first I was okay with it, because it added a layer to the turmoil and solitude that Jackie was feeling, especially while trying to hide her feelings for Marcus. But when the mystery intensified, and took some of the focus from the rest of the story, I wasn’t as into it. I do think that for some readers, it will add an extra layer of excitement, but I just wanted more of the main story! That said, I think that adding the mystery helped the book in two ways: First, having the characters completely consumed by their romance would have been unlikable and unbelievable. Second, taking some focus off the romance and making me want to read more of the romance kept things flowing very well, since I was anxious to keep reading. So overall, it worked, even if it wasn’t my favorite part of the book.

Basically, I have never read a book about romance, any romance, that had me on the edge of my seat like How We Fall did. It wasn’t just the “will they or won’t they?” aspect either, it was the overall connection to the characters, and the emotion that I felt as I read their story. It was a beautiful and accurate portrayal of the angst we all feel as we worry about how we appear to the outside world, as we balance our wants and needs with the expectations of those around us. With the lovely, and sometimes heartbreaking romance, the emotional pull, and the amazing characters, this is definitely a book worth reading!4hstar

 What was the last book you read that you were super excited about and it delivered? Or, one that maybe did not? 

Posted October 23, 2014 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review , / 11 Comments


11 responses to “Review: How We Fall by Kate Brauning

  1. Man I already wanted to read this super bad and now I want it even more! I love a romance that keeps you at the edge of your seat and I already want to know really really badly how Jackie and Marcus’s romance ends in this one! I also love mysteries so I think I will love that aspect too….I really hope this one lives up to my expectations the way it did yours!

    Hmm…the last book that lived up to my expectations? I would have to say either Blood Of Olympus by Rick Riordan or Two Breaths Too Late by Rochelle Maya Callen.

    Lovely review! =)

    • The best part is, you really DON’T know for sure how things will end up! I would go back and forth, thinking I knew, and then second guessing! It was so great.

      Oh, and Two Breaths Too Late! I cannot wait to read it! I ordered it on the site so I could donate to the cause also, so I am hoping it comes soon 🙂

  2. Congrats on requesting a book! 🙂 The feeling of being right about a book’s awesomeness is the best!

    This one could’ve easily flopped if the romance wasn’t believable or was too over the top. (I probably wouldn’t have the guts to request it.) I’m glad it was good though. 🙂 I like how you appreciated the mystery even though you didn’t like that part as much. I agree, I love those times when I just have to get back to a certain part of the book even if they annoy me.

    • Ah, I have requested quite a few at this point, and it’s hit or miss. Basically, when I don’t get one, I tell myself that no one likes me lol. It’s super healthy 😉

      That is EXACTLY what I was concerned about- that the relationship would seem forced, or fake, or whatever. It was amazing how relatable it felt! The author did such a great job conveying their feelings.

  3. This is exactly kind of book I know I will like. Thank you so much foe sharing, I’ll add to my tbr list.

    Last book? Hmmm… Dark Triumph by Robin Lafevers. It was amazing!

    • Ha, I have three cousins. One is pushing 40, is gothic, and got married at a Kansas renaissance faire. The other is a 27 year old female, who while quite lovely, I am not attracted to. My other is a male 21 year old college kid, who again, nope. I mean, I guess my cousin-love possibilities just aren’t great.

  4. Yeah, that’s the only thing with expectations, either lives up to them or ends up a disappointment so glad this was on the good end, and actually exceeding your expectations, whoo! I am intimidated by this one though because of the cousin romance. I mean, if they never grew up together, then I’m fine. If they did grow up together, then I don’t know, I won’t know how I would feel about it until I read it, but I’ll be on the offence I guess. I never get why people are always tabooing step siblings though, if their parents just got married and they didn’t grow up together either, then huh? They are not related. There is nothing wrong about that. But then again, subjective, right? I’m glad the romance worked for you though, that it had you rooting for it. 🙂

    AHHH, my last one was Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, I loved The Naturals because of the Criminology, so couldn’t wait for it, totally exceeded my expectations because for once I didn’t get the serial killer right. AND THE ROMANCE. I’m not even going to go into the romance or I’ll go all fangirl. 😉

    • Nope, they did not grow up together. They didn’t really know each other until their teens. Which makes it MUCH better. I totally agree, had they grown up like brother and sister, it would NEVER have worked. I agree with you completely about step-siblings too. Especially ones who didn’t even meet until they were older! Ohh, that book sounds GOOD! I love a good romance in a book 🙂

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