Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ARC Review: The Girl Who Fell by S.M. Parker

Title: The Girl Who Fell
Author: S.M. Parker
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: March 1st 2016
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

His obsession.
Her fall.

High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense relationship—by the new boy in school.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Every time I dive into a Contemporary novel, I always keep one foot out of the metaphorical water because I am very particular with the kind of Contemporaries I enjoy and most of the ones I've read usually don't sit too well with me; however, The Girl Who Fell is unlike any other Contemporary reading experience I have ever had and I am happy to say that while I overcome with a lot of conflicting emotions (because of the heavy underlying topic) I did enjoy the story and the writing (though there were moments when the book was too slow and a bit disconcerting with how heavy it was on the romance, which I understood was the point of the book). S.M. Parker handled and paced everything so well and managed to make The Girl Who Fell one of the most realistic novels I have ever read, I became a part of the story because of her writing and that was amazing.

This book gave me so much anxiety, mostly because I already got bad vibes from Alec and pretty much developed a nervous twitch from all the instances wherein I wanted to just step in and shout at Zephyr to not do it (and by "it" I mean everything related to Alec). No go can be that charming and that smiley without hiding something. And while the plot didn't particularly lead towards a love triangle, I was Team Slicer from the start, from the moment he carried Zephyr's hockey stuff during her game, I was all for Gregg. But my preferences aside I was very impressed that S.M. Parker was able to evoke such foreign emotions within me, I was an objective third party from what was happening but still managed to be included in what was happening with Zephyr and Alec. It was very interesting.

My mom would always tell me that first love is heady, a complete rush, and unpredictable and S.M. Parker was really able to embody those characteristics of first love within Zephyr. I feel like with everything that was happening with her life (her dad leaving, her wait for Boston College's acceptance letter and others), she was already vulnerable and Alec preyed on that. There were so many aspects of her life that were in disarray that Zephyr ended up depending on the one thing she considered constant, which was Alec. Zephyr is by no means weak, but with everything happening and Alec's affections and undeniable charms, she just ended up... falling. And that was what really hit me, this strong, determined girl who just didn't know.

Everything was resolved at the right time, it was timed perfectly but in a way, it was also a bit too late. I looked back at what I read in The Girl Who Fell and I can't help but wonder what Zephyr could have done to avoid all that crazy, disturbing stuff from happening but I couldn't think of anything (if she had spoken to her friends, would something have changed? How about her parents?), Alec was just so well put together that nobody could have found fault in him, and that's what saddened me, that all those things really did have to happen for Zephyr to get to where she is now.

The Girl Who Fell is a powerful novel that amaze you in the most unexpected of ways, it also carries with it a message of finding strength and the truth in yourself. It was an awakening for me on abusive relationships, that we never really realise that what abuse is (because they don't always come in the form of beatings or verbal lashes) until our eyes are truly opened. S.M. Parker has created a book that can and will speak to anyone who chooses to pick it up. I am extremely fortunate to have been able to read it.


1 comment:

  1. Oh goodness, but The Girl Who Fell sounds really intense! I tend to avoid contemporaries like this until I'm in the right mood for them, but I am glad you walked away feeling like you'd really emotionally connected with a story that felt authentic and raw. Sounds like an intensely good (in the way that this type of story can be good) read to me!