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Review: A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern

Title: A Step Toward Falling
Author: Cammie McGovern
Year Published: 2015

Genre: Young Adult fiction (romance)
Pages: 361
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2015 Google Reading map)USA (??)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book):
 Sometimes one mistake can change everything. Emily doesn't know why she froze. Or why Lucas did too. Afterward, she thought of different ways to rationalize it. But the truth is, they could have helped Belinda, and they didn't. It's a mistake they'll both have to live with.

Sometimes doing nothing is the only way to cope. Belinda doesn't want to talk about what happened. Because when she does, it feels like it's happening all over again.

Sometimes good can come from bad. Emily and Lucas' punishment is community service at a center for people with disabilities. People like Belinda. Soon they feel like maybe they're starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. Like they could help not only those at the center but also each other. But when Belinda returns to school, Emily and Lucas have to figure out if they can do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most.

Review: There are a lot of things I liked about this book though I will admit that half way through I felt my interest starting to wane. Then I got sucked in again and read the second half all in one sitting!

  • I liked the writing of this book, it's a quick YA read but packs a ton into it
  • There are two main characters and we get to hear the story from both of their perspectives; I always enjoy multiple narrators.
  • The main event that sparks the action in this book is such an important one: that of a bystander. What is someone's responsibility when they witness a crime? Are we responsible if we aren't the ones who do the bad act? What if we could have done something to prevent it and didn't? For teens, this is a tough issue and handled so well in this story.
  • Romance. There's a bunch of it in this book and it is mostly so sweet, I loved it! Friends who have crushes is the name of the game in this one. No one is having sex, no one is doing drugs, no one is drinking alcohol, no one is swearing. It's quite refreshing.
  • Belinda, one of the main characters, has a disability that is never named. The author has a son with disabilities and I am sure that's why she did such a great job with the character of Belinda and her friends. Belinda is lovable and so real. My heart ached for her and the other characters as they all struggled to figure out how they fit into the larger world of high school and beyond.
I recommend this book!

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