Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Even If I Fall by Abigail Johnson

Johnson, Abigail. Even If I Fall. Inkyard Press, 2019. 978-1-335-54155-0. 352 p. $18.99. Gr. 9 and up.

From the Publisher: 

A year ago, Brooke Covington lost everything when her beloved older brother, Jason, confessed to the murder of his best friend, Calvin. Brooke and her family became social pariahs, broken and unable to console one another. Brooke’s only solace remains the ice-skating rink, where she works but no longer lets herself dream about a future skating professionally.

When Brooke encounters Calvin’s younger brother, Heath, on the side of the road and offers him a ride, everything changes. She needs someone to talk to…and so does Heath. No one else understands what it’s like. Her brother, alive but gone; his brother, dead but everywhere. Soon, they’re meeting in secret, despite knowing that both families would be horrified if they found out. In the place of his anger and her guilt, something frighteningly tender begins to develop, drawing them ever closer together.

But when a new secret comes out about the murder, Brooke has to choose whose pain she’s willing to live with—her family’s or Heath’s. Because she can’t heal one without hurting the other.

My Review: 


I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. 

One year ago Brooke's life was shattered when her older brother confessed to killing his best friend. Outcast by their entire town, Brooke and her family are left to navigate their lives but do so more like passing ships than the close-knit family they used to be. Brooke's mother puts on a happy face when visiting Jason on the weekly family day but walks around in a daze otherwise. Brooke's father copes by spending extra hours in his woodshop, and her little sister has all but stopped talking. Previously dreaming of becoming a professional ice skater, the only place Brooke finds any peace is on the ice at the rink where she works, though her boss and co-workers don't give her any breaks. Brooke isn't sure how to keep going when she sees the only other person who might understand her pain. One year ago Heath lost his older brother when Brooke's brother killed him. Torn by love for their brothers, Heath and Brooke begin a cautious friendship. Conflicting emotions run high, though, and they may be too lost to help each other.

THOUGHTS: Full of strong emotions, this is a great read for fans of realistic fiction with a little bit of mystery and romance. Readers will race through this novel in hopes of getting answers to the many questions it poses. Perhaps, most importantly is the question of what exactly happened the night Calvin died? A must purchase for high school libraries. 

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