Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Falling Behind Review + Giveaway

Falling Behind 
Author: Dee Avila
Genre: Mature Young Adult
Release Date: June 2013
Going into the her second year of high school in the rural town of Laton, Reese was ready to come out of her shell, experience life with her best friends and find a way to tell Titus she wanted to be more than friends. When Josh, the new student, shows up on the first day and a whirlwind relationship starts between him and Reese, she was in her own world and barely noticed her friend spiraling downhill. The night Josh pushed her to far her best friend died, causing her own world to spiral. 

Trying to move on from losing her best friend and ignore what Josh did to her, Reese pulls away from everyone. She had to overcome her fears and face her demons to be able to move forward.

Candice was waiting at the end of her long driveway when I pulled up. As she climbed into the car, I noticed old, yellowish bruises on her left wrist. My gaze flicked from her wrist to her eyes, as I pressed my lips into a tight line. “Candice, wanna talk about those?”
“Listen, if those are from Alex, you need to get out—end things with him; sooner, rather than later.”
“I said I don’t wanna talk about it.”
“I don’t give a shit what you want to talk about. Those are bruises from fingers. I can see it. How many more do you have, C? I hope that’s it and you’re doing the smart thing.”
“Ugh, fine it was one time. He grabbed my wrist, as I was walking away, after we had an argument. I threatened to leave him. He just grabbed harder than he thought. No big deal, Ty, I promise. We talked about things and we’re fixing things. He won’t do it, again.”
“I’m going to keep an eye out. If I see anything else, I will kick his ass. I promise you.”
When we pulled into the school parking lot, my eyes scanned the whole campus. It was covered in green balloons and those cheap cowboy hats. I laughed when Candice squealed. “I can’t believe they did this! Our varsity team better have done something to their school.”
We were playing the Riverdale Cowboys for Homecoming. The two schools were cross-town rivals. We always did something to each other’s school on game day. I usually went, but this morning, I woke up late. “I don’t know what they did. But they all went.”
“I bet that’s where Alex went, then.”
“Probably. Come on we’re going to be late for class.”
Survivor – Destiny’s Child
Self Esteem – Off Spring
I’m Just A Girl – No Doubt
Nightmare – Avenged Sevenfold
If I Die Young – The Band Perry
You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift
You Were Meant For Me – Jewel
Love You Like A Love Song – Selena Gomez
She Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
Almost Easy – Avenged Sevenfold
Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not – Thompsons Square
The Best Damn Thing – Avril Lavigne
Felt Good On My Lips – Tim McGraw
I Don’t Want This Night To End – Luke Bryan
I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing – Aerosmith
Lovers and Friends – Lil’ Jon and The Eastside Boyz
Never Say Goodbye – Bon Jovi
Animals – Nickelback
Drunk On You – Luke Bryan
Scream – Avenged Sevenfold
Dear God – Avenged Sevenfold
Afterlife – Avenged Sevenfold
I’ll Be There For You – Bon Jovi
If I Die Young – The Band Perry
Nightmare – Avenged Sevenfold
Never Say Goodbye – Bon Jovi
Stay – Lisa Lobe
Fiction – Avenged Sevenfold
Safe and Sound – Taylor Swift
Photograph - Nickelback
So Far Away – Avenged Sevenfold

I rated Falling Behind FOUR LEAVES!
When I read that Falling Behind was a Mature Young Adult novel, I was a little curious, because I had never read from this particular sub-genre. Falling In Fall reviewers rarely review young adult romances, so right off the bat, you know it must have something that caught our attention.  
The "mature" adjective for this novel's genre is absolutely correct. Throughout the time I spent reading this story, I found myself constantly thinking how old I felt. The main characters of this story are between 15 and 16 years of age, but the story contains many scenes where drugs, rape, and physical abuse are either spoken about or present. I know things have changed drastically since I was in high school, but I couldn't help but think that my biggest worry at 15-16 was getting my FIRST KISS! Man, how times have changed.
Falling Behind, written by Dee Avila, follows the story of three best friends: Candice, Reese, and Titus. Candice and Reese are your typical 15-16 year old girls. They love boys, fashion, boys, cheerleading, and boys. Both had landed two popular senior guys as boyfriends, but they quickly learn that their relationships are not the healthiest. Both boyfriends have been rumored to be messing with drugs, but the girls only notice their mood swings. Candice and Reese are hiding secrets about their relationships not only from each other but from their families and friends. When Reese notices bruising on Candice, she begs her friend to get help, but Candice promises she is on her way out of the relationship soon. On the other hand, Reese has a boyfriend pushing her further into their sexual relationship than she wants to go, and eventually, pushes her right over that virginal edge while she lays there crying and wishing it was already done. She feels like she has to stay with her boyfriend, because she "gave" him her virginity.
Titus is perfect. You will fall head over kitten heels in love with this guy. You can't help but like this character. He has a great and close relationship with his mother. Seriously. They talk about everything together! He is Candice and Reese's Superman. The three have history together, because Titus and Candice dated when they were in fifth grade. When they broke up, Candice introduced him to Reese, and the three became close friends. Titus made it his life's work to watch over and protect the girls. The only problem is the girls haven't confided in him about their relationship problems, and he is too caught up in his affections for Reese and making her boyfriend jealous. So, why has Titus not shared his feelings? Candice made him promise not to.
Dee Avila did a fabulous job portraying those teenage years you are glad you never have to experience again. She captured the everyday high school drama without the story becoming too immature and causing the reader to disconnect. This story will evict lots of emotions from a reader. At times I felt giddy like I was a teenager, traumatized by the idea of these young adults having to deal with terrible situations, and saddened by the tragedies. If you enjoy a young adult novels and are looking to transition into new adult, this would be an excellent book for you. Falling Behind is the first in the Falling Series. I am excited to continue reading about these characters in the next installment. 

I'm a wife and mother of four. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I use to write fairy tales when I was in grade school, but now I love writing about those tough high school years and how one decision can change the course of your life. Friendships, first loves and over coming the odds all interest me.
Three years ago, I decided life was too short to waste my stories by letting them collect dust on my shelves. I researched querying, took a few writing workshops and wrote the whole time. I first ventured away from what I normally wrote and tried a Paranormal Romance. That novel is tucked safely away. A year ago I chose to go back to my roots and write what I love - friendships, love and choices - how speaking out can save a life, maybe yours or a friends.
I talked to other authors and made wonderful friends. That's when I learned about self-publishing. I'm glad I followed through. I was so nervous to hit publish, but now I am grateful for the encouragement. It was the best decision I've ever made.
I'm usually in front of my laptop. When I'm not writing I am either trying to catch up on a weeks worth of laundry or on Facebook. I am a huge procrastinator. Usually close to a deadline, you can find me actually cleaning house just so I don't have to hit send. I think sending my books out to betas and my editor is the second scariest thing in the world. I love Rockstars and PB&J sandwiches. (Not the healthiest I know but it’s the fastest and it tastes good.)



1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your wonderful review and participating in my first tour!