Review: Dare to Fall by Estelle Maskame ★★


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Dare to Fall by Estelle Maskame
Review Copy:
ARC
Length: 325 pages
Published: July 27th 2017 by Black and White Publishing
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: ★★
Synopisis: Death.
She was afraid of it.
He was used to it.

There's not much that MacKenzie Rivers is afraid of. In the small town of Windsor, Colorado, she is known for her easygoing, strong personality, some would even say she isn't afraid of anything. But MacKenzie knows that's not true. She's afraid of losing those closest to her. Recovering from a family tragedy, Kenzie is fully aware of just how big an impact death can have on those it leaves behind. Seeing its effects on other people is something she just can't quite handle. From now on, Kenzie is her own priority.

There are not many things that Jaden Hunter can make sense of. He doesn't understand why it was his parents who lost their lives last year. He doesn't understand why his friends don't crack jokes around him any more. He doesn't understand why his teachers still insist on letting him skip assignments. He doesn't understand why MacKenzie, the girl he was falling for last year, has suddenly distanced herself from him.

Too afraid to get wrapped up in Jaden's world as he deals with the tragic death of his parents, Kenzie has stayed away from him as best she can, until one night when they unexpectedly come face-to-face for the first time in months. As old feelings resurface and new memories are made, both MacKenzie and Jaden show each other how to appreciate the little things in life, the moments that are taken for granted. But will MacKenzie dare to fall for the one person she's so afraid of growing close to?

REVIEW


Dare to Fall is a YA contemporary based on teens dealing with tragedy and loss. Sadly, it doesn't ever really fulfil its destiny or have enough depth to be effective, and while I enjoyed parts of it, overall I found it very underwhelming.

I picked this up because I do love an emotional gut-ripper now and then, and YA contemporarys that sound like they'll achieve this for me feature regularly on the wheel of genres I like to rotate. Unfortunately, this was not the book I was looking for. It had the potential to be based on its premise, but it consistently fell short of delivering what I assume was its intended effect. There were a number of what should have been major clangers in the storyline; some "oh shit" moments where someone says something or finds out something shocking. Each of these were undermined by the fact they were quickly resolved and forgiven within five pages.

Character-wise, I actually spent the first 60-70% of the book not really liking Kenzie. I couldn't help but think she'd been selfish for abandoning Jaden when his parents died, even though I knew her reasons why from fairly early on - I just didn't find those reasons justification enough for ditching him, without explanation, right when he needed her most. However, when I finally heard her voice her reasons fully to Jaden, it did make a sort of sense and I did then retract that opinion slightly.

Overall, this book wasn't for me. I didn't hate it, but it just never really resonated with me the way I know books like these can.

2 stars ★★

A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher in order to garner an honest and unbiased review.

Author Link / Goodreads Link / Amazon UK Link


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