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{August 26, 2014}   {ARC Review} How to Fall by Jane Casey

How to FallFrom Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Jess Tennant has never met any of her relatives, until her mom suddenly drags her out of London to spend the summer in the tiny English town where her family’s from. Her mom’s decision is surprising, but even more surprising is the town’s reaction to Jess. Everywhere she goes, people look at her like they’ve seen a ghost. In a way, they have—she looks just like her cousin Freya, who died shortly before Jess came to town.

Jess immediately feels a strange connection to Freya, whom she never got to meet alive. But the more Jess learns about the secrets Freya was keeping while she was alive, the more suspicious Freya’s death starts to look. One thing is for sure: this will be anything but the safe, boring summer in the country Jess was expecting.

Beloved author Jane Casey breaks new ground with How to Fall, a thrilling and insightfully written mystery.

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This novel is actually about two separate things: How Freya died, and the truth about Dan Henderson. However, only one aspect is actually answered in the novel, which left me a bit frustrated since the mystery surrounding the police officer is definitely a key point in novel, even though it does not really relate to what happened to Freya.

Jess Tennant has an uncanny resemblance to her deceased cousin, Freya, a person she never met due to her mother’s estrangement from her twin sister. Because of her looks, and Freya’s apparent accident, she’s the talk of the town, it seems, which spurs Jess on to find out the truth about Freya’s death. I agree with Jess, I’d be determined to find out the truth, too, and I love Jess’ spunk. She has some crazy ideas and awesome comebacks throughout the novel, and I really enjoyed that about her. I loved the end too—the way Jess finally learns the truth–while a bit far-fetched (or, not something I would ever consider) it works well with the storyline and I was glad that this aspect of the novel had a conclusion.

But I am left unsatisfied. What do I need to know? More about Dan and Jess’ mother’s relationship. Is Dan a real creeper, like he seems? Why is he so rude and aggressive towards everyone? What is he hiding? Was he coming on to Jess, or was she just overreacting? What is the relationship between Dan and his son really about? What’s going on there? Why do people seem to fear Dan? While we’re given a small paragraphish glimpse into the story behind Dan and Jess’ mother, it’s not enough to answer any of my questions, and I really felt like the novel set itself up to tell this story, but then didn’t. Which left me confused. I have one thought about Jess and Will’s relationship and why Dan might not want it, but I can’t go into specifics because, A. I’m probably wrong and, B. it’d be a bit spoilery to state it.

Dan aside, I did love the language of this novel. It is so very British in its colloquialisms, and I enjoyed them very much, having spent some time abroad when I was in college. There are some terms that some may need to look up, but overall they translate easily enough for readers outside Britain, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Three stars.

3 stars

I received this novel from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.  This title releases today.

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