The Girl Who Fell

Finished The Girl Who Fell by S.M. Parker.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

In this gripping YA debut, high school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense and volatile relationship—by the new boy in school. THE GIRL WHO FELL is a powerful and important read that School Library Journal calls, “(a)n invaluable addition to any collection. (SLJ *STARRED REVIEW* January 1, 2016)

His obsession.
Her fall.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.”

This book, you guys.  It’s so creepy and I really felt for Zephyr.  By the end, I was feeling incredibly claustrophobic; the author does an amazing job of making the reader feel just how small her life has become and just how much of herself she’s closed off in order to make Alec happy.

The only problem I had is the fact that while Alec certainly exhibted some of the biggest signs of being abusive (most notably isolating Zephyr from her family and friends and becoming incredibly controlling about what she did and who she saw), he wasn’t really physically abusive until the end—and then he became incredibly violent.  I’m not sure that that’s how it works.  (Doesn’t it start a lot smaller than, say, a punch to the face or smashing someone’s head into a cabinet?)

This is such an important novel and I hope people read it and learn more about the signs of abusive relationships.  It’s so easy to fall into this pattern, and it really doesn’t start with a huge outburst of violence.  It’s a lot more insidious than that.

Highly recommended.

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