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A Reader of Fictions: What Sarah Said - Death Cab for Cutie

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What Sarah Said - Death Cab for Cutie

The Way We Fall
Fallen World Trilogy, Book 1

Author: Megan Crewe
Pages: 309
ARC Acquired from:

Brief Summary:
After a couple of years in Toronto, Kaelyn's family is moving back to the island where she grew up. The Kaelyn who's returning is different though. Shortly after leaving, she and her best friend, Leo, had a huge fight. They don't talk and now he's gone, studying in New York City. In Toronto, she was too intimidated to make friends; instead she threw herself into her wildlife studies. Now, back around people she knew, she's making an effort, but every day is a struggle. Or so she thought. Then people started dying of some awful disease and she realized that there are worse things than not having a social life.

In a lot of ways this book reminded me of Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, which I hated. Thankfully, I did not hate this one. The similarities are in the narrator and the scope of the story. Kaelyn and Miranda, at least at the outset are pretty similar characters, although Miranda is much more social. Both are whiny and a bit selfish at the beginning though.

Both stories are also written in a diary format, although Miranda writes hers to herself and Kaelyn writes to her friend Leo, in preparation for making up with him when he comes home or, once things start going to hell, for him to find once she's dead. Their tales focus on the way their lives are affected and have no real view to the world at large.

However, the big difference here is that The Way We Fall is, in my opinion, much better written, although employing a similar simple style. Kaelyn is not an outstanding girl; she's not extraordinarily smart or beautiful, and she's socially awkward. At the beginning, I found Kaelyn pretty annoying, although I did think it was really cool that Kaelyn wants to study animals. She was awesome in her passion, if nothing else. As the book went along, though, she really develops into a much stronger character.

So far as the reader knows, this disease outbreak is primarily limited to the island, meaning that the scale is much reduced from that of most dystopias. However, not too far into the outbreak, the government stops helping like they should be. Left to their own devices, people seem to do one of three things: try to save everyone, hide from everyone and everything, or descend into anarchy and violence. Mankind is, as is often the case in dystopian literature, as, or perhaps more, terrifying than the disease.

The Way We Fall also had a couple of awesome quotes, which I would like to include, although the reader should keep in mind that they could have been changed before publication (although I hope not).
  • In reference to the disease which is starting to become a problem: "It's like we're trying to fill up every second of silence with meaningless talk so we don't have to say anything real or scary."
  • This is why I come to like Kaelyn: "If I need to be saved, I'll do it myself. I think I can handle that."
Crewe should also be given credit for resisting the urge to make the disease turn people into zombies, which has already been done quite a bit. I think what she did is so much cooler.

Rating: 3.5/5

"'Cause there's no comfort in the waiting room
Just nervous pacers bracing for bad news
And then the nurse comes round and everyone will lift their heads
But I'm thinking of what Sarah said that "Love is watching someone die""

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