Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

Hardcover, 320 pages
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Published by: Simon Pulse
Source: Library
For fans of: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, YA

     In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.
     Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.
     Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.
     While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.
     As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.
     In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.


     When the ARCs of this one first started going out, the reviews for it were all over the place. Some bloggers loved it, where as others weren't impressed with it at all. These are always my favorite books to review, because I get to show everyone my opinion and hopefully help them decide whether or not they want to read it. 
"...this is a world in which beautiful people die ugly deaths all the time."
pg. 36
     A long time ago something happened to Harper but she doesn't like talking about it. The only person she told the truth to was her best friend. The only other person she would have told is Declan. But the entire situation was so embarrassing, she kept even that from him too. Until he comes back for the summer and everything (including Harper herself) fall apart. 
"Besides, people believe whatever they want to believe."
pg. 184
     When reviewing realistic fiction, I like to start with the characters. I wasn't much of a fan of Harper the MC. Throughout the entire book, she learned nothing from her mistakes. For instance she knew that one dude was bad news from when that something happened to her. And then what did she do? She went back to hanging out with him. WHY?! I'm not slut shaming her at all, but in any situation where the dude does something like that, I'd never talk to him again. She kept doing it. And then the truth. I know she was so scared, but at the same time, how could she expect Declan to just give up everything and bear his soul to her when she wouldn't give him the same? It was unfair and because of that, I wasn't her biggest fan. But then there was Declan. I loved him so much. It was so clear that he loved her and he'd do anything for her. But it was obvious she didn't trust him enough to let him love her.
"People change. And sometimes that means drifting apart. But other times it just means working harder to find some common ground.."
pg. 203
     I also loved the contemporary setting and it's summery feel. There was "fluff" (extra little details when something was being described) but it was the good kind. Good meaning it gave a little extra to the story, but Martin's writing style was still able to have a nice flow. 
"If you give someone the power to break your heart, you sure as hell won't see it coming when they do."
pg. 244
     After reading this, I can see that many people won't like this because of the subject matter, but what helped me enjoy this was the point that it was like a Sarah Dessen book. Her books are more contemps and feature more on the characters and their growth than their love life. After realizing that there contemps out there like this, I could appreciate books like this more. 
"Look, sweetie, sometimes happiness is a choice."
pg, 297
     This book wasn't what I was expecting at all, but the amount of emotions and fluff in it made it a winner for me. If what you're looking for is a romantic story of friends to lovers, this isn't the one for you. But if you're looking for something that features a little romance, an emotional and angsty roller coaster ride, and some enormous growth from the characters, give this one a shot. You won't be disappointed.
Overall, I give this


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