I see what you did there, title, and I’m onto you, or my review of Take the Fall

blue border limited crop Take The Fall Take the Fall

By Emily Hainsworth

 Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: February 16th, 2016

Format: ARC

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Fear grips the residents of Hidden Falls the night Sonia Feldman and her best friend, Gretchen Meyer, are attacked in the woods. Sonia was lucky to escape with her life, but Gretchen’s body is discovered at the bottom of a waterfall. Beautiful, popular, and seemingly untouchable, Gretchen can’t be gone. Even as Sonia struggles with guilt and confusion over having survived, the whole town is looking to her for information…could she have seen something that will lead the police to the killer?

At the top of the list of suspects is Gretchen’s ex-boyfriend—and Sonia’s longtime enemy—Marcus Perez. So when Marcus comes to Sonia for help clearing his name, she agrees, hoping to find evidence the police need to prove he’s the killer. But as Gretchen’s many secrets emerge and the suspects add up, Sonia feels less sure of Marcus’s involvement, and more afraid for herself. Could Marcus, the artist, the screwup, the boy she might be falling for have attacked her? Killed her best friend? And if it wasn’t him in the woods that night…who could it have been?

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1 star rating

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There are plenty of reasons I could list for not liking this book. From the awkward romance that exists between the main character, Sonia, and her dead best friend’s ex-boyfriend, Marcus, to the fact that none of the characters are likable, especially the dead chick, there is a lot of material available to grate on my nerves. However, the main sore point that stuck out? How the author played out the concept of the unreliable narrator. This could get a little convoluted.

So the book opens right in the action, which is all good, and Sonia has just been attacked and Gretchen is off being missing/dead, which is all well and good because if I had to witness her character at all this book would have been a straight up DNF before the end of the first chapter. Now, normally when you have an unreliable narrator, the story is flecked with instances where you get hints that all is not right. You get the inkling that narrator isn’t telling you the full story before you actually find out that they aren’t. In this case, however, you are skimming along and then Sonia just word vomits something that would have been really helpful to know a few chapters back and this information isn’t something that you really see coming at all, its more of a convenient plot device. Also, throughout the story there is a nice little red herring swimming around the edges that is all like look at me, and you do, and honestly that person makes much more sense as the murderer than what actually plays out.

The thing is, I was looking for a little more something on the unreliable narrator front than word vomit. If I wasn’t going to get the traditional murder mystery I felt that I’d signed up for, then I wanted a little more mind bending fun times. I wanted more than Sonia just conveniently forgetting to mention something.

Onto the characters. Oh Jesus, this poor bunch of ridiculous excuses for people, how I dislike you all, but like a gruesome car accident I just can’t look away or put down this book. Now first Marcus. I don’t like you. I think you are gross, mainly because you had a crush on Sonia and then slept with her best friend just because she thought your art was all kinds of great. And then you still had feelings for Sonia, but continue to go out with Gretchen anyway and then you also have post-breakup sex with her. Dude, the only thing that makes sense to is your penis.

When the book started I figured it would play out that Gretchen would be scum. However, I didn’t expect to have to deal with Sonia’s inner monologue with how Gretchen shouldn’t be blamed for anything because she isn’t there to defend herself. Please. In this case, you can’t speak anything but ill of the dead, because she’s as nutty as peanut M&M’s with a sister to match.

Sorry, Take the Fall, I just can’t stand you. I really can’t say if its a just me thing, because it probably isn’t. And no one is more disappointed than me, trust me, because I love a good YA mystery.

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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. A physical ARC was provided through Around the World ARC Tours, thanks for the opportunity!

Comments · 7

  1. I second the emotion 😉 of Clarissa’s comment above! I was just looking to comment on a review for giveaway points, and I’m pretty exhausted tonight. Plus while reading the reviews is easy and fun, writing comments always takes more of an investment of my time and effort than I mean it to do…anyway, this review pulled me in and engaged my sympathies with you as a reader so that what can be a chore was a real pleasure! I mean you got stuck in a toilet of a tale without any literary craftsmanship and therefore no viable character development — yikes! (i.e. the protagonist’s psychology is not detailed through devices of the art of storytelling, but functions for moving the plot forward — this sounds to me at least like what you describe with the sudden word vomit with no foreshadowing of jack. It sounds like it wasn’t a description of hypothetical humans dealing with a life situation but rather a life situation that needed human-types to exist, if that makes any sense.).

    Well, as I said above, it was a pleasure to read your review tonight, and I’ve been made safe from this bad read in future thankfully! I don’t even mind that I’ve been rambling away in this comment and losing my night…hope I haven’t bothered yo….;-) Best wishes, Kara S

    1. Glad to save a fellow reader from a dismal fate! And yes, the MC’s psyche came off as abrupt, everything was going along in nice murder mystery style and then the MC’s just like, kidding, I’m crazy pants.

  2. Oh dislikeable characters… a few are ok, but when it’s all the characters, bleck! I also feel like this premise has been very popular lately, but maybe that’s just me. Thanks for the review!

    1. Right! Some dislikable characters can round out a plot or the cast of characters in general. But when its a whole bunch of people, including the MC (I’ll forgive a lot if I like the MC) I just get rather cranky.

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