Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fall From Love - Heather London (+ Giveaway)

Fall From Love - Heather London
Fall From Love by Heather London
Publication Date: June 7, 2013
Source/Format: Author (Thanks Heather!) || Kindle e-book
[I received this book for review from the author. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Struggling to put her life back together after a tragic mountaineering accident kills her college sweetheart, twenty-one-year-old Holly Treadwell is trying to set aside her grief, forge ahead in school, and find herself again.

When Carter Hansen, a guy who brings back horrible memories from the night of the accident, finds his way back into her life, Holly’s unsure if she should let him in. He terrifies her in more ways than one and invokes feelings in her that she thought were buried forever. Regardless of her fears, she knows she must face him in order for her heart to heal.

Everyone tells Carter that what happened on the mountain that night was just a terrible accident, but even then, he can’t help but carry around the guilt and is unable to forgive himself. He’s drawn to Holly and being near her helps ease his conscience and gives him the release he needs.

As Holly and Carter’s relationship grows, they begin to realize that the more time they spend with one another, the more their wounds begin to heal—her grief and his guilt. But when Holly learns the details about the night of the accident—what everyone has been keeping from her—it will rip open old wounds and tear apart what they’ve both worked so hard to overcome…

As a relative newbie to the new adult genre, I’ve had both good and bad experiences with it. It’s a great relief and sincere pleasure that Fall From Love leans heavily towards the positive side of that spectrum. The story is simple, but the characters come alive, and the friendship-turned-romance really struck a chord.

Holly Treadwell is a girl I could befriend if she were real. At the beginning, she’s mired in a deep sadness from the loss of the boy she loved. She grieves, retreating from society and becoming merely a ghost of herself. Step by step, she starts to recover and move on from the grief. Once the process began, readers see the real Holly. She was easygoing, with a great sense of humor, a lot of silliness, a kind heart and also a surprising dedication to her obligations. It was wonderful to see that she liked spending time with her friends, to see her becoming particularly girly when it came to romance. The author gave her special quirks too, like the ability to only really cook two dishes well and the ability to write and sing her own songs. Holly is so darn likeable that readers will just want her to be happy, as I know I did.

Carter Hansen, on the other hand, is definitely crush-worthy. He has his share of emotional burdens to deal with, and my heart really hurt for him when they were revealed. It’s admirable how he tries not to let it get in the way of him really living. Plus, Carter is a real gentleman, and an especially good friend. More than his appearance (which is clearly toned because he’s athletic and on the mountain rescue team), it was his kind, caring, thoughtful personality that drew me to him like a moth to a flame. He too had his quirks, particularly not being able to cook anything at all, for instance (unless you count instant mac-and-cheese).

Their relationship is just so well-done in terms of progression. They start off wary of each other, Carter afraid to hurt her and Holly afraid of the memories Carter brings to mind. But with one ice-breaking incident, they become tentative friends. Slowly, through text messages and a few hangouts, they grow closer until they’re best friends. That’s when they suddenly begin to toe the line between friendship and romance, which was really natural to witness. I loved their banter. I loved the ease of their relationship. They were good friends to each other, and it felt only natural that they would start to feel more. It killed me when Carter tried to slow the momentum of their relationship down, but I definitely respected him more for that. The ensuing romance was really sweet and just felt right, cheesy as that sounds.

Apart from Holly and Carter, I absolutely adored their friends Josh and Jenna, who were absolutely amazing. Both of them were solidly good friends, who provided emotional support and some… entertaining moments. Their own romance was rock solid, which was a nice aspect to have. The fact that they were actually good people who cared about both Holly and Carter really meant a lot to me, and I’m glad the author made them a constant part of the story.

The story sounds deceptively simple, but it totally surprised me by having a weightier impact. Readers witness Holly’s grief journey, from when she turns inward and away from the world to the moment when she opens herself up to life and love and joy again bit by bit. The author strung together quiet moments (good and bad) in day-to-day life, picking and choosing particular ones to create a strong chain of events that would tell this story. It’s just so good and I really liked it.

I was disappointed by the big reveal of Carter’s secret to Holly, as it felt anti-climactic. It was certainly still a big deal, but I expected more from it. Plus, the ending was a bit cheesy (though I live for cheese, so it didn’t bother me all that much). Other than these two things, I really did love the novel.

Fall From Love was a really good read! The story held my attention, keeping me invested in Carter and Holly’s happily ever after. The author successfully wrote a relationship that was not insta-love, featuring great main characters and also fun secondary ones. This story was a major hit among some NA misses for me, and for that, I’m very glad indeed. I definitely look forward to seeing what else London will be writing!

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As part of the blog tour, you can enter this awesome giveaway to win a copy of the book!
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Check out the rest of the blog tour stops!

9 comments:

  1. I love that the author takes the time to fully develop her characters and their relationship! I will read just about anything meeting that criteria. Adding to my list!

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  2. I think it's pretty rare these days for an author to truly take the time to flesh out the characters and the relationship enough to make them really tangible, but it sounds like this book does that really well. This is actually the first I'm hearing of this book, but I love the sound of it, and you'd better believe it's now on my TBR. Fantastic review, Alexa :)

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  3. I'm not usually a fan of the New Adult Genre, but this one sounds really good! I'll definitely have to read it. Great review, Alexa! :)

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  4. New adult has become a hit or miss for me lately I feel like it's becoming all the same story just with slight changes. A big problem is also that the characters are so bland or just not... likeable. I've been hearing how amazing these characters are and it's definitely caught my interest. I'm also surprised by how compelling such a simple-esque story sounds from your review! I guess it's all about the depth and emotion :) Fab review, muffin! :)

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  5. Wow, this book really seems to be taking my blogroll by storm today! I've seen no fewer than five different posts about it this afternoon.

    While I haven't always had the best experience with the New Adult genre, this story sounds like one I would really enjoy. I love the idea of two characters coming together to come to terms with their grief and discovering one another in the process. I also love the from-friends-to-lovers relationship development. It has to be one of my favourite romance novel tropes!

    I really enjoyed your review and will definitely be adding Fall From Love to my TBR list! :)

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  6. I hadn't even heard of this before, but you definitely have me more than convinced now. I haven't had the best luck with NA books, so I'm hoping to find something that suits me soon. This book sounds like a good candidate for that. The romance in particular sounds wonderful - realistic and just right. Great review, Alexa!

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  7. I love a good romance where I actually like the female protagonist and the guy is actually a good guy, not a bad boy turned good. It's nice to have that every now and then. This def sounds like something I would like. I'll have to check it out. Great review!

    Vi
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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  8. This book sounds SO GOOD!! I love that it's new adult, of course, but I also love that it's got that mountain backdrop. That might be my favorite setting for books, so I'm excited to see this awesome love story unfold there. :-)

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  9. This sounds really good! Things that involve grief like that though really really get to me and I become so sad. So I usually stay away. I kinda want to check it out though!

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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