Title: The Art of Falling
Author: Jenny Kaczorowski
Publication Date: December 19th, 2013
Synopsis: For seventeen-year-old Bria Hale, image is everything. She’s a militant vegan with purple hair, Doc Martens and a permanent scowl. Kissing captain of the football team Ben Harris? Definitely not part of that image.
Now with each secret kiss, she’s falling deeper for the boy every girl at Oceanside High is crushing on. Throw in a few forbidden bacon cheeseburgers and she’s facing one major identity crisis.
Ignoring Ben should be easy, but when a flashy display of artistic spirit lands her in close quarters after hours with the boy she’s too cool to like, she can’t keep pretending those kisses meant nothing. With her reputation and her heart on a collision course, Bria must either be true to herself or to the persona she’s spent all of high school creating.
Review: This has to be one of the best YA Contemporary romances that I have ever read, even better than some adult ones. This isn’t just a story about a boy and a girl who fall in love and how they work through some problems. It is also a book about friend ship. Something I’ve often seen in contemporary romances is friends taking the backseat to the couple in a story and that’s never say well with me. I love that Jenny Kaczorowski did do that with her book. We see a lot of Bria’s two best friends, Abby and Delores, and we show close she is to them. They add a lot to the story and to Bria’s character that without them it would have been lacking. We don’t see a lot of Ben’s friends but the story, while in third person, stays with Bria so we only see them as they come into contact with her. In a way the story is more just about Bria, who is awesome and badass, who just happens to fall in love and finds out it’s not all roses.
I love Bria, I started liking her early on in the book and she just gets better as the story goes on. She is an artist with purple hair, the hair is slightly clichéd but as you read you find out that it is partly part of the persona she has built for herself and it’s partly in remembrance of her mother. Bria is kind, caring, and a little too kind and naive at times. But she’s got this snark to her and doesn’t really care what people think of her. I’ll admit I was a little scared when I read she was a vegan, but thankfully she isn’t the type that tries to force everyone around her into her beliefs. She did have one very justified rant but that was really it.
I’m a little torn on Ben, he has some really awesome moments but he had some really jerky ones and he didn’t end up fully redeeming himself in my eyes. But his actions were pretty spot on with a teen boy and how he’d deal with the teasing from teammates and friends.
It would be interesting to see a book about Bria and Ben in a few years. To see how they’ve changed and grown. I also wouldn’t mind knowing what happens with Abby and Delores and would love to see them in their own books. Okay Kaczorowski could write stories all the way into adulthood about these characters and I would read them.
This story was really well written, enjoyable and I found it hard to put down. I was a little nervous to read it because I have talked to the author quite a bit on twitter but man this book is so amazing. Jenny Kaczorowski sure knows how to write interesting and real characters who can pull you into their lives and make you become emotionally invested in them.
One line that really stood out to me and it felt liked it knocked the breath out of me was: “I am art. I can’t not sketch. It’s a compulsion, not a passion.”
Recommendation: Definitely, if this is not on your TBR list it needs to be.