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The Falling Between Us Hardcover – March 13, 2018

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 ratings

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Gr 7 Up—Roxy lives on the periphery after her boyfriend's meteoric rise to pop music superstardom. She travels on tour with Joshua Blackbird, "the girl from home" always present in the background. She gives him unconditional support while seething at the demands others place on him: the relentless schedule set by his prescription-pushing manager, a manufactured romance with a female pop star, a distant mother always asking for money, and unceasing frenetic attention from fans. The intense pressure makes Joshua distant and fragile, and Roxy's worry for his well-being increases. When Joshua goes for a midnight swim off a yacht and disappears, the protagonist spirals into profound grief even as she questions what happened to the boy she loves. Roxy is an engaging narrator who offers a perceptive glimpse into the celebrity industry alongside her own emotional landscape. She constantly compares their new reality to a circus and becomes obsessed with 1920s aerialist Lillian Leitzel, whose gravity-defying acrobatics and eventual tragic plummet are one means through which Parsons presents the pervasive theme of falling and losing control. The story moves quickly, its dark intensity crafted from raw emotion delivered in lyrical prose and staccato sentences. The novel includes a biting critique of celebrity culture and a hint of mystery, but the heart of the story is an exploration of grief, depression, and suicide. While the ending may feel too pat for some readers, it subtly delivers a positive message about choosing life over suicide. VERDICT With a shrewd and sympathetic narrator and multiple elements of interest—music, celebrity, grief, mental health—this novel is a recommended first purchase.—Elizabeth Lovsin, Deerfield Public Library, IL

About the Author

Ash Parsons is a graduate of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College as well as other, more traditional schools. She recently taught English to 7th, 8th, and 11th graders and creative writing for Troy University's ACCESS program. Ash has performed at the Wolf Trap Center for Performing Arts, The Sarasota Opera House (Sarasota, FL), and in Auburn University Theater's production of her play, Freakspiel: Nick Dragon's Demented Sideshow. Ash, who can sometimes be found stumbling around as a zombie on The Walking Dead, loves change, challenges, and chopping off her hair. She lives in Alabama with her family. She is also the author of Still Waters. Follow her on Twitter @ashparso.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Philomel Books (March 13, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0399168486
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0399168482
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 12 years and up
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ HL700L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 7 - 9
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 18 ratings

About the author

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Ash Parsons has been involved in Child and Youth Advocacy since college. Recently she taught English to middle- and high-school students in rural Alabama. Watching some of her students face seemingly impossible problems helped inspire her first novel, Still Waters. Additionally she has taught creative writing for Troy University’s ACCESS program and media studies at Auburn University. Ash lives in Alabama with her family. Still Waters is her first novel. Follow Ash Parsons on Twitter @ashparso or learn more at

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