- File Size: 528 KB
- Print Length: 271 pages
- Publisher: Canelo (January 22, 2018)
- Publication Date: January 22, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B078JPGMS3
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,984 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$2.99|
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If I Fall: An unputdownable and emotional novel about love, loss and friendship Kindle Edition
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If I Fall opens with four college students—JJ, Layla, Jonas, and Connie—dreaming about their future. They have it all figured out, as college students do. JJ will become a fitness instructor, Layla will be a psychiatrist, Connie will be a journalist, and Jonas will become an attorney. And, of course, they’ll all live happily ever after.
Flash forward fifteen years, and life hasn’t turned out exactly how they planned. Despite still being good friends, they’re all keeping secrets from each other, and these secrets are threatening to weigh them down. Jonas is bucking for a partner position, and in the meantime, he’s starting to bow under the stress of his job and his resentment towards his boss is growing to unhealthy heights. JJ has become a womanizer, alone and seeking the love he lost in college. Layla’s convinced her mother has dementia, but she’s afraid to get her diagnosed, because for now, she can live in denial, but once it’s official, the problem becomes all too real. Connie is a stay-at-home mother running a blog and trying her best to support her husband, Jonas.
Everything comes to a head as their worlds fall apart, and though they swore to be there for each other, they’re all hiding a secret that has the potential to destroy their worlds. A dark presence from JJ’s past, one he’s refused to tell anyone about, has come to call. Layla realizes she can’t care for her mother and have a life of her own. Jonas begins to resent all the pressure he’s under and goes on a self-destructive bent. And Connie is realizing that maybe her marriage is beyond saving.
All four find themselves falling, hitting rock bottom, and in their most desperate moments, they contemplate the truth about life and whether it’s even worth living.
- Ella Harper creates fabulous, relatable characters. As the book is character-driven, this is important. They ranged the emotional gambit, and every one of them felt realistic and fleshed-out. More importantly, I cared about them, because their situations were ones that people I’ve known have faced, and the way they approached them felt genuine and authentic.
- There’s a very strong theme of falling and having someone to catch you that carried throughout the book, and that was really well done. It was thought-provoking and, at times, gut-wrenching. By the end, it was clear what a devastating effect secrets can have, even when they’re well-intended. Sometimes soldiering on isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
- I couldn’t put it down. I went without sleep to finish this book, because by midway through, I was fully invested. I could see things spiraling, and of course I wanted a happy ending, and darn it, I was going to see it through at that point.
- If I Fall touches on a lot of very painful life events, but it doesn’t go easy on it. It shows the struggles for what they are, all the messy, brutalness of it. At the same time, there are plenty of funny moments. It’s not all doom and gloom. At the heart of the characters, like people, they want to be happy and lead good lives, regardless of the circumstances they find themselves in.
- The book opens with a prologue. It’s intentionally kept mysterious, but there’s no indication of how it fits in with the story. Names are intentionally not used. It’s not mentioned or brought up again until almost 90% of the way through the book. I didn’t even know where it sat in the timeline. I found that extremely frustrating. It all made sense and tied up nicely in the end, of course, but I found the lead-in with that more of a detriment than anything.
- At some points, especially towards the middle of the book, the struggles became repetitive. It was a will she/won’t she situation, especially with Connie, to the point where I just wanted to shake her and tell her to make a decision and move on with it. This is a double-edged sword, because it’s realistic, and the way the character approached her struggles was realistic, but at the same time, it was annoying to read.
- Jonas. Just everything about his character by mid-story was ugh. I guess you can’t like everyone in life, so this is also a double-edged sword. The character is realistic. But that doesn’t make him likeable. But since he’s a point of view character, it makes it hard getting through his chapters when you just can’t stand the guy.
- The end wrapped up far too quickly and too neatly. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but I will say that it felt extremely rushed. The end end was fine, and I was content with the actual ending, but the denouement left much to be desired. I’ll just leave it at that.
All in all, I’d give it a solid four stars. It starts a little slow, which is to be expected for a character-driven novel, as you get used to the characters and start to get attached. But as I said, I couldn’t put it down once it built up. The struggle was so realistic, and I easily empathized with them all. In the end, the themes are things we all face: how do we cope when life doesn’t turn out the way we had expected, and who will pull us up when we hit rock bottom? If I Fall would definitely make my 2018 must-read list.
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Connie, Layla, Jonas and JJ attended university together and although two of them had a romance then, they’re not the two who went on to share married life. They have all gone on to have successful careers in their chosen field. Each of them, from the outside, look happy and settled but then the world doesn’t see the demons behind the facade. The one thing all four have in common is stress, and don’t we all have that in our lives in varying degrees? Just as good times bring friends together, bad times mean we lean on them that much more …
This could easily be a true story. It’s not hard to see the various events happening even now behind closed doors which is a chilling, if realistic, thought. Well drawn characters and great writing make this a very readable novel, one which I thoroughly enjoyed and have no hesitation in recommending.
My thanks to publishers Canelo for my copy via NetGalley. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.
The book tells the story of four friends, who were best friends at uni. Now, 15 years later things have changed and life has caught up with them.
Connie struggles to keep her family together, her husband Jonas has a lot of pressure at work and things are not easy. Their marriage is in a bad place. JJ is a personal trainer and seems to have it all, but his past comes back to haunt him. Layla struggles with work and then there is also her mother.
All for of them are under a lot of pressure and they have to find a way to deal with it all.
The book is full of surprises, intensity and emotions. It covers love, family and friendship. Ella Harper includes difficult topics in this book and there is a lot of drama included.
The ending of the book was a bit too rushed for me and the storyline had different dynamics, which stopped the flow.
The writing is somber and raw. The characters are multifaceted, desperate, and broken. And the plot, using multiple perspectives, is an engaging, edgy tale about life, loss, love, heartbreak, deception, jealousy, abuse, friendship, and family.
If I Fall is truly a poignant novel that reminds us that life is unpredictable and full of ups and downs and true friends are those who are there not only in the good times, but more importantly during the hard ones.
The book follows four characters and each of them has a personal secret – we get to see the impact of the secrets on their personal lives, work life balance, friendships and relationships.
It is really well written and whilst it isn’t one I would necessarily pick up straight away I am really glad that I did as I thoroughly enjoyed reading it – four stars from me for this one!