How I Fall (How I Fall #1) by Anne Eliot
Author: Anne Eliot
Publisher: Butterfly Books, LLC
Publish Date: June 15th 2014
Page Amount: 379 Pages
Price: $16.00 Paperback
ISBN:1937815048 (ISBN13: 9781937815042)
...can't stop thinking about you?
*CAM LIKES ELLEN *
What if during one long day you failed at everything because you met this glitter-crazed new girl who practically ruins your life? Worse, she insists you and your secret crush become best friends—with her?!! Only you don’t have time to be friends with insane people, and you think your crush might need to stay the way it’s always been: Distant. Impossible. In your head. This is because you have problems and secrets a crush would never understand.
*ELLEN LIKES CAM *
But what if the three of you wind up assigned to a group photography project, and rumors are already circling about the new girl being ridiculous? You know she’s nice but alone, so you convince your crush to help protect the new girl. Working on the project suddenly makes hanging out, texting, talking—and even high school—seem completely normal when it’s anything but.
ELLEN LIKES CAM * CAM LIKES ELLEN *
What if you fall for each other just enough to kiss…and it’s perfect? You tell secrets and make the kind of promises that might be impossible to keep when you’re only sixteen. Which is why, long before it all falls apart, you already knew nothing this beautiful could have been meant to be yours for long.
But what if…" (Goodreads Description)
Where do I begin?
This book is by FAR one of the best books I have ever read. This book tops every single realistic fiction book I have ever laid my eyes on. For a book to do that, it has to be absolutely amazing.
The book follows the story of a teenager named Ellen Foster. She is attending high school in Canada, loves Tim Horton's, and really wants to win the distinguished WOA photo contest. She has her plans set in place; survive high school and she will be alright. Plus, the scholarship from the WOA photo contest allows her to spend a summer in Ontario, living in dorms. Who would not want that?
Ellen also just happens to have Cerebral Palsy, or CP for short. Sure, this brings on her own set of challenges, but there is nothing that Ellen Foster can’t do. Not without the support of her friend Patrick, and her oh-so-gorgeous, crush for forever, Camden. Okay, Ellen Foster is not dating Cam, but man would she like to.
Her life seems to be going fine, until, one day, a foreign exchange student just happens to strike her while she is getting on the bus; with her car. Laura London, the new exchange student from all the way in Ireland, has no idea what she has gotten herself into.
Ellen Foster is lying in the middle of the street during winter time, shivering and shaking so much that her skin turns blue. Who better to rescue her from her dreaded fate than Camden Campbell himself? After all, he is the star of the football team and has all of the girls fawning over him. This is Ellen’s dream come true.
After Ellen, “Ireland”, and Cam find themselves in the same photography class, there is no denying that there is friendship blooming. But with this wee-little friendship comes a whole lot of chaos; chaos that just might change the lives of every single character.
Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed reading this book. It is way past one o’clock in the morning, and I just couldn’t justify putting the novel down. This is by far one of the best and the greatest romance, realistic-fiction, tiger beanie infested and Harry Potter referenced novels I will ever read.
I just want to give warning, I am about to go into a very long dialogue here. For those of you that don’t care to read the rest of the review (but I strongly advise you to), please go order the book off of Amazon right now. The whole WORLD needs to know of Anne Eliot’s talent. I’m shocked this is not as well-known as it should be.
I loved this book for several, several , several reasons. These reasons mainly being the character of Ellen Foster. Ellen Foster is a tough cookie, and that is what I love so much about her. While she is somewhat afraid to show her real emotions, she is not afraid to admit that she has these real emotions. She is a real character with lots of substance.
Ellen also happens to have Cerebral Palsy. For those of you that don’t know, Cerebral Palsy is a disability (and I hate using this word). Basically, if one has Cerebral Palsy, the muscles in their body just don’t work correctly. This can affect all of the limbs, both arms, both legs, one arm and one leg, or just an arm and a leg. The muscles in these limbs often have a lot of spasticity, but are also very very tight most of the time. As you can imagine, this can be a problem and cause a lot of pain for the people that have this.
And, as a teenager with Cerebral Palsy (a mild case much like Ellen’s), I can relate to Ellen’s struggles immensely. Ellen constantly has to go to Physical Therapy, has trouble getting to her classes on time, has a hard time finding her balance, and, as you can infer by the title, falls a lot. But Ellen does not let that stop her. Even though she is a character, she is probably one of the most hardworking people I know! Ellen does not let her Cerebral Palsy to define her. As I like to say for myself, I may have Cerebral Palsy, but Cerebral Palsy does not have me. Ellen’s philosophy is pretty much the same. She won’t let anything stop her. While she is a bit rebellious at times (for example, by not using her cane when she is supposed to), she performs the actions that she does because she does not want to be held back by her disability.
Really, Ellen Foster is me. Or, at least that’s why I believe I connect with her so deeply. This is one of the reasons why I loved the book. There was such a deep and immense personal connection within this novel, and it was one that I never, ever experienced before. I’m afraid of falling all of the time. I am afraid of getting surgeries, and I absolutely hate going to physical therapy some times. I don’t do all of my stretches sometimes. I’m worried about getting run over in the hallway. I would rather have someone ask about my CP than just stare at me. I want someone to look at me for the real me. Ellen feels and experiences all of the same things that I do.
But there is another thing. The story is not revolving around a girl with a disability. The story is revolving around a girl, surviving high school and living her life, who just happens to have CP. The Cerebral Palsy element plays out great in the story, though. But this is important because it’s not just about a girl with a disability. The whole point of this novel was for readers to understand to look beyond that and into a real person. I’ll repeat myself again, Ellen Foster never did, and never will, let her Cerebral Palsy define her. While Cerebral Palsy may be a part of her life and even who she is, Ellen never takes no for an answer. She will try anything and everything that she can. That’s what I enjoy about Ellen.
I won’t talk much about “Ireland”, Patrick and Cam, just because my main personal connection resonated with Ellen Foster. Just know that all of these characters have just as much substance as Ellen Foster does.
Another thing that I liked about this novel is that it is not The Fault in Our Stars or The Hunger Games. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore John Green and Suzanne Collins, but this is not a book about two teenagers falling in love who both have issues or are in the same situation. Hazel and Gus from The Fault in Our Stars were both sick with cancer and were going through relatively the same situation. Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games were both tributes in the game, and also walked away with the same experience. This book is not like The Fault in Our Stars or The Hunger Games, but it is better than both of these titles.
This book completely illustrates the point that you don’t need two teenagers (or even people, for that matter!) with “issues” or in the same circumstances to understand what the other one is going through. This is also true for falling in love. Ellen and Cam both have their own, individual struggles, but (compared to Ellen), Cam is just a “normal” (and I hate using this word) guy falling for a differently-abled girl. There should be no questions about this that it is acceptable. How I Fall clearly illustrates this point – you don’t need two teenagers that both have disabilities, in order to understand one another. Drawing from what Anne Eliot told me, we all have issues. There should never be this “line” that tells us what is normal and what is not. Most of these characters in other romances like this often both fall on one side of the line or the other. But this book shows that this line does not even have to exist for a positive outcome. This book shows us that the dividing line between normal and abnormal should have never existed in the first place. It's nice to see and convey to others that we don't NEED someone with our "issues" to understand them.
For now, I’m going to end the review. But I WILL BE ADDING TO IT (hence the "Part One"). There is so much that I want to say that I just cannot put into words. I appreciate this novel more than anything else on the planet. I strongly, strongly advise that you pick this novel up. You will be making a HUGE mistake if you don’t.
(I received this novel from the wonderful Ms. Eliot in exchange for an honest review)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!!!!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!!!!