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How We Fall
     

How We Fall

4.6 19
by Kate Brauning
 

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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 for...no one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst

Overview

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 for...no 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--and deepens Jackie's despair.

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?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An unusual combination of romance and suspense.... This quest for identity, wrapped up in an intriguing mystery, hooks from the beginning." --Booklist

"Heartbreaking and well paced, this mystery novel challenges readers to look past preconceptions and get to the know characters.... Brauning's characters are well developed and their story engrossing. An intriguing thriller...this title will raise eyebrows and capture the interest of teens." --School Library Journal

"Debut novelist Brauning tells a touching story of young, star-crossed lovers caught in a drama they have tried hard to avoid.... A sweetly written mix of mystery and romantic turmoil." --Kirkus Reviews

"In this debut novel, Brauning gives readers both a mystery and a story of forbidden love.... Teen readers will...get caught up in the story and find the nontraditional romance intriguing." --VOYA Magazine

VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Sarah Flowers
In this debut novel, Brauning gives readers both a mystery and a story of forbidden love. Jackie lives in rural Missouri on a farm with her parents, aunt and uncle, and cousins. She is a bit of a loner, especially since her best friend, Ellie, moved away to St. Joseph and subsequently disappeared. Had she run away? Been abducted? No one knows, and Jackie feels guilty that she was not in closer touch with Ellie. But Jackie has more to feel guilty about, namely her not-so-platonic feelings for her cousin Marcus. It is tough being in love with someone when he is related to you and lives in the same house. The bulk of the book consists of Jackie trying to come to terms with her conflicted feelings about Marcus. Meanwhile, a new girl moves to town from St. Joseph—a girl who likes Marcus and who Jackie suspects knows more about Ellie than she is telling. The mystery about Ellie builds to a dramatic climax, as Jackie and Marcus make important decisions about the future of their relationship. At times, the balance between the love story and the mystery is uneven, and Jackie’s agonizing and self-recrimination can get a bit tedious. But teen readers will likely get caught up in the story and find the nontraditional romance intriguing. Reviewer: Sarah Flowers; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
10/01/2014
Gr 10 Up—After Jackie moves to a sleepy farming town, her life feels like someone else's. Her best friend, Ellie, has been missing for months, and Jackie has begun a romantic relationship with her own cousin, Marcus. She can't control the depth of the relationship, which intensifies as the police search for Ellie's body. Jackie decides that she and Marcus should see other people. While both do begin dating others, Jackie wonders if Marcus's new girlfriend might be involved in Ellie's disappearance. Heartbreaking and well paced, this mystery novel challenges readers to look past preconceptions and get to the know characters, rather than focus on an uncomfortable taboo. Brauning's characters are well developed and their story engrossing. An intriguing thriller, though not as much of a conversation starter as Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden (2010) or Meg Rosoff's How We Live Now (2004, both Random), this title will raise eyebrows and capture the interest of teens.—Emily Moore, Camden County Library System, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
2014-09-03
When Jackie falls in love with a completely inappropriate boy, she turns her back on what might have been a beautiful relationship out of fear of hurting her family. We don't choose whom we love, and Jackie loves Marcus, her cousin. What makes this especially hard is the fact they live in the same house. Further complicating Jackie's summer is the disappearance of Ellie, her best friend, who vanished four months ago without a trace, about six months after moving to a new town. Jackie wishes she had done more to keep in touch—then maybe she'd have a clue about where Ellie went. As Ellie's mystery deepens and foul play is suspected, Jackie longs to feels safe in Marcus' arms, but she pushes him away to protect their family from the truth. Debut novelist Brauning tells a touching story of young, star-crossed lovers caught in a drama they have tried hard to avoid. The romance is written realistically, with enough passion to entice readers but without the saccharine trappings that can sometimes ruin a good teen love story. The mystery occasionally feels like an unnecessary dramatic distraction, but it never overshadows the real heart of the book: the relationship between two people who are disadvantaged by the bad luck of birth. A sweetly written mix of mystery and romantic turmoil. (Fiction. 14-18)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440581809
Publisher:
Adams Media
Publication date:
03/14/2014
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,287,079
File size:
16 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Kate Brauning grew up in rural Missouri and fell in love with young adult books in college. She now works in publishing and pursues her lifelong dream of telling stories she'd want to read. This is her first novel. Visit her online at www.katebrauning.com or on Twitter at @KateBrauning.

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How We Fall 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
ReginaCastillo1988 More than 1 year ago
An amazing book!  A well written book with intrigue and mystery. It grabbed me from the beginning. 
Bethery13 More than 1 year ago
Characters that are effortless to invest in and a plot that gains moment through the end made this page turner impossible to put down. 
snschbt More than 1 year ago
An intruiging mystery/thriller, with a complicated romantic component.
COBauer More than 1 year ago
Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to enjoy HOW WE FALL based on the fact that this story at first glance is a YA romance about first cousins who fall in love… Uh… That being said, this turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable and extremely compelling story. An ultra quick-read and a serious page turner. I had to see how this one ended before I could go to sleep. I struggled to accept the romance almost as much as the two main characters struggled with their feelings for each other. But by the end I was rooting hard for these two kids to find a way to make it work. This was an extremely honest exploration of forbidden romance. LOTS of feels! I particularly appreciated the suspense/mystery element of the story. It helped add balance to the plot and added some nice layers to an already complex piece. The theme of forbidden relationships was strong in this one. Well done Kate Brauning. You managed to tackle an extremely difficult and obviously taboo subject with grace and humor. I’m still a little confused by my feelings after reading this book. But I kind of think that’s what the author was going for. Definitely worth a read.
Bluechefmargaret More than 1 year ago
I just loved this book- really, I could not put it down for the last half of the book. I guess I was lucky as I pre-ordered thsi book and received it about a week ago. As I struggled with the cousin romance, so did the cousins who were caught in the romance. I liked that we struggled together. It helped me to overcome the barriers that it created. The romantic tension weaves throughout a story of great characterization and suspense of the highest calibar. I just had to keep reading to come to the resolution of the mysterious characters that popped up here and there in addition to the romance between several of the characters. I loved the sweet family life of the main characters. Kate Brauning's debut novel is a hit! Enjoy reading it. I certainly cannot wait to discuss the themes of love/romance, family values, and attachment with my upcoming book club.
erinbeen More than 1 year ago
How We Fall is a page-turner full of mystery and forbidden love written in beautiful prose. Brauning's story is full of relatable characters who must struggle to find their place in the world, come to terms with their own identities, all while being thrown in the midst of an intense mystery that shows the reality of how our secrets can shape us. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for either a good YA romance or mystery. This book has both in spades. 
AlexY More than 1 year ago
I adore this book. It's a fast-paced ride from start to finish with heart-pounding suspense and romance. If you're looking for a YA contemporary with kickass kissing scenes and devastating one-liners, HOW WE FALL's got you covered. My favorite character was Will, the smart-talking charmer, but I was really surprised by how much I liked Jackie. It's never easy choosing to be different, and Brauning portrays Jackie's struggle with her taboo relationship with Marcus realistically. The characters are smart even in their tragedy: Jackie and Marcus know there's no way for them to be together without their small town eventually finding them out. Being in Jackie's head is a treat-- from the classic film references to her genuine affection for her family and Marcus, she's someone I'd follow through heartbreak and into danger any day of the week. Don't start this without a few hours to spare-- you're going to keep turning pages until it's done.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK. My god, this book. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel about it. I don't know HOW I ACTUALLY feel about it. Except that I kinda loved it... And really, it's more of a 4.5 star than 4 star read, IMHO. So, romance between cousins. It sounds icky, but I was still intrigued the minute I saw the synopsis. I think it's because it was different and edgy and I was eager to see what it would be like. What it was, was incredible. I was completely sucked into the story. The relationship between Jackie and Marcus might have been taboo, but it sure didn't feel that way while I was reading. These characters were just so right together, regardless of how wrong it should have been. I devoured this book in one sitting. It was a total roller coaster ride for me and my emotions were all over the place. I wanted them together, then I wanted them to find happiness even if it wasn't together, then I was mad when someone tried to move on... ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE. The mystery of Ellie's disappearance and the question of what Sylvia was really hiding added another level of interest to this story, too. I guessed the outcome, if not all the details, but that was ok. It didn't feel too predictable. And actually nothing about this book was predictable as far as I can see. Kate has a fresh voice and really made me stop and think. The characters and their struggles, however, are what really made this book for me. It was real and raw and I was completely hooked and went through every emotion with them. I'm really glad I took a chance on this book. If I hadn't, I would've missed an incredible read and a very real romance.  I know the subject matter might turn off some readers, but I hope more open-minded readers will give it a shot, too. I think they will find themselves surprised, just like I was, that something so taboo can be so right.  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Fireflyfarm More than 1 year ago
This book is well written. It's a quick read--I couldn't put it down--and nicely paced. The characters are intense but real. They have layers. They're deep and smart and witty.  I finished this book two days ago, and I can't wait to read it again. I plan to buy an actual copy of the book after it comes out (I was lucky enough to obtain an e-arc.) This author is talented. I can't wait to read her next offering.
Renee_Wynne More than 1 year ago
I don’t normally read contemporary. It’s not that I’ve had a bad experience, it’s more a fear that if there’s no vampire or angel or demon lurking in the shadows, the story won’t hold my attention. I’m happy to say, Brauning proved me wrong. HOW WE FALL was fast paced, full of tension, and had a romance that was both challenging and magical. Okay, let’s get straight to the whole cousin thing. I’m not going to lie – the idea of cousins getting it on was different. But Brauning wrote Jackie and Marcus’ story in such a compelling way, it had me rooting for them the entire story. Their romance was so real, so full of depth, I didn’t care that they were cousins. They were in love, so why should other people decide if they could, or couldn’t be together? All that mattered to me, was that they find a way. Adding to the romantic tension, Brauning threw in the disappearance of Jackie’s best friend, Ellie. It was dark and intriguing, full of twists, and did not disappoint. HOW WE FALL was a great debut for Brauning. She’s proved she’s the master of pace and tension, has a talent for layering in description, writes characters that readers will care about, and OH MY GOODNESS SHE CAN WRITE A KISSING SCENE. They were hot and addictive, and had me turning the pages for more. I will be reading this again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although this book certainly left me somewhat conflicted, it forced me to open my mind and challenge stereotypes. The characters are very real, and I could relate to them even though they are involved in an unusual situation. I think this is exactly what our society needs today: a book to demonstrate that there are many ways to love someone, and that it is always complicated but often worth it in the end. Kate Brauning accomplishes this in an entertaining way, with subplots to remind us that romantic love, though important to many of us, is not the only kind of relationship we need. Through the eyes of her characters, I questioned culturally accepted views of what love should be like, and with whom it should take place. Our society has restricted ideas about love, and the fact that these characters are so concrete and capable of evoking the reader's empathy speaks to the need for us to accept variations on not only love, but on numerous aspects of humanity. Overall, the book is well-written, with an engaging plot and well-developed characters, and I look forward to rereading it.
gypsyreik More than 1 year ago
This book is such a great read. I could hardly put it down from start to finish. The character development made me care about Jackie and Marcus and all the people Kate created in this book. I was brought to tears and filled with laughter. I can't wait for another novel of hers to bring me on a wonderful, emotional roller coaster ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading How We Fall. Teens/young adults are complex individuals struggling with real issues just like the rest of us, and Kate captures this reality in a genuine way. Well done!  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend this book for any young adult and adult readers!  Kate Brauning tells a story of forbidden love with grace. Her characters were well developed and her portrayal of their emotions felt so genuine. By the end of the enthralling story, readers will be rooting for the young lovers and probably be conflicted that they are rooting for this forbidden love (but a good kind of conflicted). I'm actually on my third time reading How We Fall since it's debut, and each time I enjoy the story a little more. 
klesa More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic! Kate found a way  to make the characters so real and easy to relate to -- despite writing about a very taboo subject. I wasn't sure how I'd feel reading about two cousins falling in love, but honestly, the story is fantastic, and I couldn't put it down!
AlisonDoherty More than 1 year ago
I will admit that suspense isn't always my thing and the cousin romance premise weirded me out a little bit in the beginning. But this book is AMAZING. I finished it in just one day because I had to find out what happened. The romance between Jackie and Marcus was believable, but it was the suspense of Ellie being gone that kept me turning pages. I definitely recommend this book to all fans of contemporary YA, especially people who like complicated romances and suspense. * I received an ARC copy from the author, but these opinions are all my own.
AlexandraTrebek More than 1 year ago
For the full version of this review as well as other reviews and features, go to http://sleepsontables.com Going into How We Fall, I will admit that I expected that I wouldn’t like it. I mean from the synopsis, we know that it involves a relationship between cousins and that’s a bit out of my comfort zone. Surprisingly, it surpassed the dismal expectation I had for it, which just goes to show that you can’t necessarily judge a book entirely based on it’s synopsis. In discussing How We Fall, I’ll address the metaphorical elephant in the room first, the relationship between cousins Jackie and Marcus. I won’t go as far as to say that it’s incestuous because it’s not. I think it’s important to clarify that they haven’t taken it that far because they recognize the consequences of those actions. This is the aspect of the book that I thought would make me absolutely hate it, but you know what? It turned out being the aspect that I liked the most. What I liked about it is that we have two young adult characters who do more than just act. These characters are very mature and think about the consequences of their relationship for not just them, but their entire family as well. I think that if you go into How We Fall concerned about that cousin-cousin relationship, you shouldn’t be because it is handled very tastefully and with a lot of thought and depth to everything. Jackie was a pretty cool character. She’s very easy to connect with. The girl has a lot going on in her life: high school, puberty, feelings for her cousin, guilt from that, her missing best friends, and the guilt from that. Obviously, it’s very easy to feel for Jackie and for the most part I was satisfied with how she handled things. She had the perfect balance of angsty-emotional teenager and over-mature young adult when dealing with her problems. Marcus is a great guy. You can’t help but like him. He, like Jackie, recognizes the fact that although they feel very strongly for each other, a relationship might not be the best idea. He also acts as the best big brother and son ever. To me, he’s like Matt Donovan from The Vampire Diaries. The main thing that was less than stellar for me in How We Fall was the mystery and thriller aspect. In general, it was pretty predictable. There were some parts where small events happened that you didn’t necessarily expect but when all is said and done in the end, you saw it coming. I think this was because it wasn’t fully developed like it could’ve been. How We Fall is to me half contemporary romance and half mystery thriller. There’s a pretty clear divide between these two halves but we can see where feelings from one side can effect the other. I would’ve liked to see more development in the thriller aspect with a more suspicious and un-guessable ending. Overall though the plot pacing is very nice. It moves quickly like a true thriller novel but not so fast that you don’t miss the chance to digest everything that’s happening on the romance side. How We Fall was well written and a lot of thought was put into approaching delicate situations with the best of intentions.
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTS Ever since Jackie's family moved in with her aunt and uncle, Jackie has been carrying on a secret relationship with Marcus, her own cousin. Feeling guilty about their relationship, and the love she feels, she decides to break things off, which only makes her and Marcus more miserable. It's even worse when Marcus begins a relationship with the new girl in town, a girl that Jackie thinks is hiding something. Jackie believes that she has something to do with Ellie, her best friend that went missing, and she intends to find out. Oddly enough, the romance didn't bother me, but what bothers me is how it takes up most of the book and what it did to the characters. This book is supposed to be a thriller/mystery with a forbidden romance added to it, but instead it was the opposite. I felt like the mystery was hardly mentioned then came up again in the last 50 pages. While the romance that took over was all angsty and I don't like angsty characters. Besides the angst and how much the romance took over, I actually didn't have a problem with it. It sounds odd, as they are cousins, but I actually rooted for them. A big part of it is that I can see it from their perspective and how guilty they feel, how they know this is wrong. They try to stop, but these two really do love each other, they just have the misfortune of being cousins.  As for characters, Jackie was okay, but she was a pretty average YA MC and her back-and-forth motion with Marcus was a bit annoying. Marcus, on one hand, was such a sweet guy! Will is another great guy who is in the book and his situation is a bit unusual, as he is very supportive of Jackie's relationship with her cousin and wants to help her. He's an awesome guy and a great friend! IN CONCLUSION Overall, I felt like the romance took main stage, while the mystery aspect was a bit neglected. The romance was angsty and a bit unusual, but I oddly rooted for it! If you are okay with forbidden romances and your mysteries being a bit less, then try this out. I think I'm mainly disappointed by the mystery and expected more, but I was really surprised by my feelings towards the romance. That factor caused me to like this book and I will look into more books by this author.
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars *sigh* I just… I just don’t know. Could these unsure feelings for a book be the result of a reading slump? I’m thinking yes. Though I have read quite a few books I’ve really enjoyed lately, I feel that my DNF’ing has increased by quite a bit. Though I didn’t DNF this one, I did think about it. Not because it was bad, because it wasn’t. It just wasn’t what I was expecting, so I was a little disappointed. I know there are quite a few 4- and 5-star ratings for this one, so it’s probably more a case of “it’s me, not you” this time. I tend to go for forbidden romances more often than not. I think it’s mostly the pride I have for the author writing such a sensitive topic. Forbidden romances (such as first cousins in love, like in this book) can be a tough subject to delve into, and I give authors a lot of credit for broaching it as they do. Especially when it’s done perfectly, like in this book. I really don’t have any complaints regarding the relationship between these cousins… except that it was really the ENTIRE story. I thought this story was going to be more of a mystery, but really it centered entirely around this romance and the mystery parts were only thrown in here and there. Since I was hoping for more of a mystery, I was definitely bummed by the romance taking center stage throughout this story. That being said, the romance aspect was done very respectfully and accurately. I know this kind of thing does occur, and the fact that the author attempted to address it so professionally definitely scored big points with me. Jackie and Marcus, first cousins, are fighting feelings they are having for each other. Though they’ve only kissed, they decide to call it quits before it gets more intense and uncomfortable. But calling it quits isn’t that easy when you live with your ex. Yes, these two live together with their families, and having to still see each other every day is making this “break up” much harder on both of them. Add in the fact that they can’t let their families know or sense their uncomfortableness, and you’ve got yourself an extremely sticky situation. The other aspect of this story was the death of Jackie’s BFF, Ellie. I thought this was going to be the major point of the story, but really little tidbits were thrown in every few chapters here and there. I was also able instantly to know what the “mystery” was and who was to blame. To go into more detail regarding this, I’ll need to mark it as a spoiler and get a little ranty. View Spoiler » Overall this book was good, just not great. But like I said, don’t just take my opinion. Just know this story is much more about a forbidden romance, NOT about a mystery death. I did enjoy the romance aspects. These characters definitely behaved like normal teenagers, including bad decisions and all. It definitely seemed very realistic, and I was happy about that. I am very interested to see what Kate Brauning comes out with next.
rlw87 More than 1 year ago
I like it because I couldn't put it down. However, I hated the ending. I'm not a fan of open endings and this book having an open ending made me want to punch things. I wanted answers to questions I didn't get, especially when the climax of the book revolved around the thriller portion that didn't get much attention throughout the book.  I certainly look forward to reading what Kate has to offer next.