How We Fall

304p. ebook available. Adams Media/Merit. Nov. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781440581793.
Gr 10 Up—After Jackie moves to a sleepy farming town, her life feels like someone else's. Her best friend, Ellie, has been missing for months, and Jackie has begun a romantic relationship with her own cousin, Marcus. She can't control the depth of the relationship, which intensifies as the police search for Ellie's body. Jackie decides that she and Marcus should see other people. While both do begin dating others, Jackie wonders if Marcus's new girlfriend might be involved in Ellie's disappearance. Heartbreaking and well paced, this mystery novel challenges readers to look past preconceptions and get to the know characters, rather than focus on an uncomfortable taboo. Brauning's characters are well developed and their story engrossing. An intriguing thriller, though not as much of a conversation starter as Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden (2010) or Meg Rosoff's How We Live Now (2004, both Random), this title will raise eyebrows and capture the interest of teens.—Emily Moore, Camden County Library System, NJ
Jackie has fallen in love with a totally inappropriate boy--her cousin, Marcus. Their conflicting feelings for each other come to a head during a summer in which Jackie's best friend has disappeared. At times this feels like two separate novels--a thriller and a romance featuring star-crossed lovers--but the exploration of Jackie's complicated feelings helps unify the themes.

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