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Coming of Age Contemporary | Book Review: No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

No Place to Fall was not my cup of tea…

Book Review: No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

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No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown book review

Title & Author: No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary – Romance, Coming of Age

Release Date: December 9, 2014

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Harper Teen

How I Got the Book: ARC via the Publisher

Description:

“Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.”

Small Town, Big Problems

No Place to Fall was not what I was expecting. From the cover, I thought it was about a girl who hikes her way across the country and leaves her small town behind.

Although the book is set in a small town, Amber (our girl in question) does not in fact trek across the U.S. or venture too far from her high school. But that doesn’t mean there’s not loads of drama and trouble.

I think a lot of readers could relate to Amber. She’s got big ambitions and is ready to make it big in the city. Unfortunately, for me, that’s where the relatability ends. Drugs and sex are both performed pretty cavalierly with tons of implications and then left alone.

Through the tough situations, there is a great camaraderie between Amber and her two best friends, Devon and CA. That plus the Amber-wants-to-make-it-big aspects really pulled me through the story.

As for the romance and family situation, I don’t think this book did either justice. There’s so much damage and wrongness, and I wish the issues had been tackled a bit more.

Not every book needs to resolve social or emotional problems, but I don’t think No Place to Fall did anything with them at all. Things felt very unresolved by the end of the book.

The plot was also very predictable – most readers can easily guess who ends up with who. A lot of the romance was tainted for me because of something that happens early on in the book and is not positive or special or romantic in the least.

No Place to Fall is definitely a coming of age story that a lot of readers may relate to – dealing with difficult family situations and messy, first relationships and wanting to escape to something bigger. Of those aspects of the book, the one executed the best was the small town environment, filled with gossip and fear of getting stuck there.

OVERALL:

This book wasn’t for me. I didn’t understand with the choices the characters made. I did like Amber, for the most part, and how honest she was about her life and her dreams. If you’re looking for a deep, coming of age story, I recommend The DUFF or Love and Other Foreign Words instead.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.