I was provided a free ARC copy of Even If I Fall, courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. This story was such an emotion-jerker for me.
Release Date: January 8, 2018
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Official Blurb (courtesy of NetGalley)
Brooke and Heath should never have become friends, let alone fallen in love
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 she 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.
Even If I Fall was such a sweet and heartwarming story. Brooke and Heath were two broken children, each from a broken family, who found a kindred spirit in each other.
Reading and imagining what Brooke’s family was going through after Brooke’s brother went to prison was torture. The silence and the tears shed; the lack of life in general was hard to read about. The family knew that Jason was guilty of the murder of Heath’s brother, but they couldn’t live or forgive themselves over why Jason murdered another person, let alone his best friend. Their family was broken and outcast from the rest of society and that’s something we as a society rarely think about when a human being commits a horrible act against another.
I will admit, Brooke drove me a little crazy with her half-truths, especially when it came to her best friend Maggie, but I do get where she was coming from. She felt so isolated in her life that she wanted to have some sense of normalcy and Maggie was that ticket.
Maggie was probably my favorite character, followed by Laura (Brooke’s sister), once she broke out of her funk. Maggie was someone who wanted to bring Brooke out of her isolation and into the light. She was ready to go to the bat for Brooke over a past she knew nothing about. When the truth came to light and Maggie’s friendship faltered, I was crushed for both girls. But Maggie being a person of a big heart showed Brooke that the past doesn’t have to define us, especially when the past that is haunting us isn’t our fault. We can still move on and go for our dreams as long as we choose them.
Laura’s arc was truly devastating. She saw something happen and kept it buried in her heart and allowed it to eat away at her. Literally. I honestly believe that Brooke finally getting Laura to talk was my favorite part of the story and how everyone started opening up a little more.
I thought that Even If I Fall was such a sweet story that touched on how broken families cope and heal after tragedies. I also loved the fact that, while there was a romantic interest towards the end of the story, it wasn’t the entire foundation of the relationship between Brooke and Heath. I give Even If I Fall 4 stars!