REVIEW: How We Fall by Kate Brauning

Monday, August 04, 2014

My rating: 

Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle's sleepy farming town, she's been flirting way too much--and with her own cousin, Marcus.

Her friendship with him has turned into something she can't control, and he's the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn't right about this stranger, and Jackie's suspicions about the new girl's secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus--and deepens Jackie's despair.

Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else's lies as the mystery around Ellie's disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?


This book wasn’t bad – it just wasn’t what I expected it to be.
When I requested this book from Edelweiss, I was expecting it to be an emotional journey of being in a forbidden relationship, with an added touch of mystery and suspense on the side. I did get... some of it, but not exactly what I was expecting. Like I said on my pre-review, everything was all over the place. I wish, it just focused more on the relationship and the struggle of falling in love with your cousin. Throwing in that suspense, that mystery, made it very confusing to me. I had the same problem with another book I've read recently. Now that the hell was the title of that book? Shit. Sometimes, simplicity is the best. A complicated plot line just makes it more confusing, irritating for the reader to stay focus on what's happening to the characters.


Jackie and Marcus like each other.

They feel that they're meant to be together.

They understand each other more than anyone else can.

The only problem was...

They're cousins.

They knew it's wrong.
They try to avoid it.
They try to stay away from each other.
But the attraction is just too strong.

Jackie didn't want to hurt Marcus and her family.
She decided it was better, if they should stop whatever it was they have.
She decided it was for the best.

Ellie, Jackie's friend, has been missing for a couple of months now.
She blames herself because she hasn't been in touch with her.
She feels that if she could have been there for her, this shouldn't have happened.

A new girl comes to town. And she was somehow related to Ellie.
Marcus starts falling for the new girl.
Jackie becomes suspicious.
Marcus wouldn't hear any of it.

Then unexplained stuff started happening and the new girl was acting weird.
Does she have anything to do with Ellie's disappearance, or was Jackie just trying to prove something to get Marcus back?

I've read Forbidden, and fell in love with it immensely. That is a book with so much passion that it oozes through its pages. It takes you in, makes you feel their pain, makes you feel their love, and then breaks you towards the end. They may have been brothers and sisters, but I didn't care. I felt the connection. I felt the reason. It felt real despite it being so wrong. But in love, who could say what's wrong or right, right? Incest may be a sensitive topic for a lot of people, but I'm not one of them. Just because other people doesn't think it's right, makes it wrong. And Forbidden showed the readers that. I was kind of hoping this book would make me feel that as well. Unfortunately, it didn't. There was a point that I was getting there, but then it just focused on something else entirely, which is why I couldn't give this book a high rating.

Jackie was an okay protagonist. I didn't hate her, but I didn't like her either. Her internal monologues weren't helping as well. I agree with Marcus, she was the one who wanted them to split up if they were even together in the first place. She was the one who makes all the irrational decisions. I feel that all the decisions she made, was very unfair for Marcus. He was a nice guy. He only cared about her well-being, but what she does is only push him away. I get that she was scared. This wasn't normal - but really who is? Nobody is. Like I said earlier, just because other people think it's not right, doesn't make it wrong. We are all humans here capable of thinking. Capable of making their own decisions. I'm not a big fan of people whose decisions are based on what other will think of them. Of course, I'm not saying everyone should not care what other people think of you - what I meant was, do what you think will make you happy. And if other people couldn't get that, screw them.

Marcus was well... I'm not sure I liked him too much as well. I get that he was hurt, but it was all too easy for him to move on. It sucks for me reading about it.

Now Will, I really liked. He's been a good friend to Jackie. I think of all the characters in this book, he was my favorite. And if you read the book, you'll see why. :)

I have this issue with their parents. Seriously, they weren't alcoholics, they weren't addicts, they weren't like Maya and Lochan's mom, so there was no reason for them not to notice that stuff has been going on with these two. I don't have any cousins that I'm close with, so I have no idea if this was normal. There were four adults in that house, and they didn't notice anything? Except maybe Claire but that's a different story.

What bothered me: Marcus and Jackie's relationship is what bothered me. I didn't like the fact that their relationship already started when they were introduced to us. I would have wanted to see more depth to the relationship, but I only saw bits of it. So I wasn't that invested on their relationship. For me, it felt that I have to finish the book just to see how the story ended, not because I wanted them to end up together.

And the mystery/thriller part, didn't really work for me. I really wish it was opted out. This book would have become a favorite. Like I said, this book wasn't bad - all the other stuff just didn't work for me.

Incestuous love story + missing girl + psycho stalker = Just didn't work for me I would have liked that this story dwelt more on the incestuous love story.

I hate leaving negative reviews, so I'm so sorry I left this. I really wanted to like this. I do want to emphasize though the importance of a simpler plot, but with a more complex character. Then again, it could just be for me. I've read a lot of good review for this book, so I'm sure a lot of you would like it as well. Unfortunately for me, I just didn't feel like.


  1. Great review, sounds interesting. Always disappointing when you don't like a book that you were expecting to love! By the way, I've nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award! :)

    1. It was interesting, but didn;t meet my expectations unfortunately. :(

      Thanks for the nomination Vicki! :) Have been nominated before, will that be fine?

  2. I don't like the idea of incest in novels, or in general, which is why I struggled with City of Bones and the following book but that's another story. I'm going to pass on this one all together, sounds like a disaster.

    1. It was. Just don't. If you'd want to try it though, I'll recommend Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. It is very well written and thoroughly thought of. :)

  3. It's always disappointing when you expect something from a book, and don't get that in return. It can really ruin what you think about a book. :( Thanks for sharing Sandee, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf


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