Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Review: A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern

A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern
Published: October 6, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Cammie McGovern follows up her breakout young adult debut, Say What You Will, with this powerful and unforgettable novel about learning from your mistakes, and learning to forgive. Told in alternating points of view, A Step Toward Falling is a poignant, hopeful, and altogether stunning work that will appeal to fans of Jennifer Nevin, Robyn Schneider, and Jandy Nelson.

Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing—until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.

Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to 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. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?

My Thoughts
A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern definitely carried a good concept and noble intentions, but I think the story lost its way somewhere towards the mid-point. I found myself trying to just finish it up with no real interest in the outcome at the end.

In this novel, we meet Emily and Lucas who are both high school students that witness a horrible act at a football game and fail to take action. When the school investigates the situation, Emily and Lucas are held accountable for not coming to Belinda’s aid, who also happens to be developmentally disabled. As retribution for their lack of response, they are both assigned to work with these students and during their service; they come to realize a growing issue that surrounds these kids' lack of access to school programs, jobs and overall understanding from their fellow students.

McGovern chose to share this story through dual POVs from both Emily and Belinda’s perspective, which I thought was a good choice for narrating the story. However, I would have like to hear Lucas's voice to gain his perspective as well. I really liked him as a character and to hear directly from him would have added some power to the narrative IMHO.

Overall, this light YA contemporary novel started off really well, but the execution and pacing wasn't quite strong enough to make this story stand out in any significant way. Not a huge disappointment, but not a hit IMO either.
3 Snowflakes

7 comments:

  1. I am looking forward to reading Unbroken.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's too bad that the book fell short of your expectations. I love the cover, and it sounds like there's decent potential in the summary. Alternating perspectives usually leaves me feeling like something was missing, though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting they didn't include Luke's perspective. I wonder why but my gut says no.

    I haven't heard much of this one and am weary due to the blurb. I'll have to do some research if it's problematic.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This has been on my TBR for awhile. I'm sorry you didn't like it. It's usually a hit and miss sorta thing with me when it comes to alternate POVs and, while the synopsis didn't wow me, I totally caved when I saw the cover and bought it. Here's to hoping I'll at least like the writing style....

    -Jordan @jordansjewels[dot]wordpress[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  5. This has been on my TBR for awhile. I'm sorry you didn't like it. It's usually a hit and miss sorta thing with me when it comes to alternate POVs and, while the synopsis didn't wow me, I totally caved when I saw the cover and bought it. Here's to hoping I'll at least like the writing style....

    -Jordan @jordansjewels[dot]wordpress[dot]com

    ReplyDelete