Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We All Fall Down by Natalie D. Richards

Cover art courtesy of Goodreads
*lets out a sigh* So this book. It's taken me a while to really think about what to say about this book, because I don't know if I liked it or not. And I'm not sure I fully understood everything that was happening either. Is that good? Is that bad? No idea. But I'll try my best to give you my spoiler-free review anyway.

We All Fall Down by Natalie D. Richards is a YA novel that follows Theo and Paige, two teenagers seemingly bound together by a lifelong friendship, a terrible accident, and a bridge. When you pick up this book, at first glance it may seem like horror, but it was so much more than that, and it was scary for unexpected reasons. That's because Theo and Paige both have mental disorders. Theo has ODD and ADHD and Paige is crippled by anxiety. Throughout the story these conditions dramatically impact the course of the plot as Theo and Paige get wrapped up in their illnesses, each other, and what is happening to them.

After a traumatic accident at a local bridge, Paige and Theo spend the summer apart, with Paige in a summer science program and Theo working construction with his uncle. Mysteriously, the two are drawn back to one another as flashbacks from that fateful night begin to haunt them. Voices,  strange items, and danger become more prevalent the nearer they are to the bridge (where Theo has a construction project and Paige is testing water samples). These paranormal happenings draw the couple together again while simultaneously tearing them apart, culminating in an event that will end it all for good.

I enjoyed how this book was split into the point of view of both Paige and Theo, and it was a quick read that kept me on-edge the entire time. The ending was a little anticlimactic, so I was disappointed by that. And I'm still not completely sure which parts were actually paranormal vs which parts were mental health related. In addition, I had some unanswered questions about two of the minor characters, Melanie and Gabriel. I think I may need to reread this one to really put my finger on how I feel about it overall.

I will add that I LOVED this book as an advocate for the importance of mental health and caring for yourself. Seeing the characters (Paige especially) struggle with their conditions helps the reader understand what life is like for someone with a mental illness. As a diagnosed sufferer of anxiety myself (although not nearly as crippling as Paige), it was nice to see the truth represented of how anxiety can make anything seem like the truth, no matter how far-fetched or unrealistic it may seem to an outsider.

We All Fall Down by Natalie D. Richards hits shelves on October 3, 2017!

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for an advance copy of this book to review!

7 comments:

Morgan Smith said...

Wow, I love this cover!

Just Another Girl and Her Books said...

Great review...based on the cover, I'd say it's probably not horrible that you're still not entirely sure what was going on in the story. It seems like one of those books where you should still have some questions at the end. - Katie

DJ Sakata said...

If the story kept you guessing, on edge, and conflicted, it actually sounds well crafted - I like the unpredictable ;)

Terri said...

Good review. May not be one I would pick up, though.

Abominable BookGirl said...

I understand your struggle with not knowing how you feel about it. I enjoy unpredictable books as well but I despise finishing a book and having more questions than I started the book with. I think it is great that there were accurate representations of these mental and social disorders though. When I first read that "Sigh" portion, I was like "Oh goodness, was it that bad?" I am glad it wasn't!

Whispering Stories said...

I've read plenty of books when I've gotten to the end and done the same as you 'did or did I not like it'. Sometimes it takes a few days to realise the answer. Great review.

Rebekah D. Author said...

Wow, that sounds like quite the book! I may have to check that one out.

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