twwfrThe Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: NetGalley
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

It starts with an itch you just can’t shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you’ll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.

And then you’re dead.

When sixteen-year-old Kaelyn lets her best friend leave for school without saying goodbye, she never dreams that she might not see him again. But then a strange virus begins to sweep through her small island community, infecting young and old alike. As the dead pile up, the government quarantines the island: no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for the island’s dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

Because how will she go on if there isn’t?

Poignant and dizzying, The Way We Fall is the heart-wrenching story of one girl’s bravery and unbeatable spirit as she challenges not just her fears, but her sense of what makes life worth living.

I read this book in two days. It’s marvelous. It’s everything I ever wanted for the beginnings of a dystopia. And that’s not really what it is. This chronicles the beginnings of an epidemic, and it’s terrifying. Anyone who’s ever seen a zombie movie, or 28 Days Later, knows how scary those things can be. Zombies are one of my biggest fears, and even though the people in this book aren’t eating others, the virus makes people actively seek out others, managing to spread. This is pretty scary subject matter, and also a departure from books I usually read with a dystopian label. In most novels, you are knee-deep in the shit spread by Erudite or Dauntless or the Capitol. In this one, the epidemic is just beginning, and you see the fear and panic and frustration spread along with the illness.

This book is basically Kaelyn’s chronicling of her junior year of high school. She’s writing to Leo, once her best friend, but they haven’t spoken in two years. He’s off the island going to school in NYC. Kaelyn uses her letters to first try to figure out who she is, but soon the epidemic hits, and she needs to be braver and stronger. People she knows start getting sick and dying. And then the virus reaches her family.

Kaelyn makes so many strides in this novel. She protects her young cousin until the bitter end, loots summer houses for sedatives for the sick, makes friends with a girl she’s always resented, and comes to know that she is important even if she can’t do anything to keep people from dying.

This book is sad, I’m not going to lie to you. People you like will die. That’s the sign of a good author, I think. This story is real and it’s painful, but that’s what makes it so good and the characters so easy to relate to. There are so many places this story could go, plus there’s a little romance to keep us all from getting too depressed. Check this one out. It’ll definitely be worth your while.