While I'm Falling

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I've seen discussions by several different bloggers in which they talk about how their impressions of a book change over time. You might love a book when you first finish it only to later realize it was pretty forgettable after all. Or you may think a book was just 'meh' -- not so great and then realize later it has reached you in some way you didn't realize it would.

That was sort of how I felt with While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty. I "read" (audio book) The Rest of Her Life last year and really enjoyed it so I had high hopes for this one. In While I'm Falling, Victoria, a junior in college, is living every girl's typical college experience when her parents unexpectedly separate. They were living the outwardly perfect marriage until the father comes home to find another man in his wife's bed.

This leads to the demise of the parents as Victoria knew them. She finds herself moving from the position of child to that of the adult having to care for her parents. It's a situation that many adults will relate to. Moriarty tackles that awkward moment when you realize your parents aren't the perfect adults you may have once thought they were.

There were things I didn't care for in this book, and this was why I had the initial feelings of dislike. The plot seemed a little stifled. Conflict would arise but then fizzle out without having moved in any direction. A few times I wondered what the point was or where that storyline went. I disliked both the parents but especially that of the mother. I believe the reader was supposed to have some empathy for the mother, but I found her ridiculous. I know people can fall hard when their lives change so much, but it didn't seem justified to me. The overall tone was glum, and the main character, Veronica, was pretty depressing. The narration maintained my interest at times and lost me at others. And although most of the book was from Veronica's point of view, there were one or two random chapters from the mother's point of view; the randomness of that threw me off.

My initial thoughts upon finishing the book were that the author could have made her points with a more engaging storyline (and I still agree). I was sure this would be a forgettable book. But like an aftertaste, I held onto something and I realized I liked the main character after all, despite her sullenness. I didn't care for the family and all the situations, but then, neither did Veronica most of the time. She managed with what she had and grew a little as a person throughout.

This book was okay. I would recommend it if you're already a fan of Laura Moriarty, but otherwise, I wouldn't start with this one.


Crazy-for-Books said...

Thanks for your review, Jenny. I read "The Rest of Her Life" last year and it was just ok for me. The premise of this book intrigues me, so I am looking forward to it.

Have a great week! :)

Tanyia said...

I know exactly what you mean! lol

Recently that happened to me with "The Girl Who Stopped Swimming"

I had a hard time getting into it, it was a little... eh at first for me, but it was really good and I enjoyed it a lot by the time it was over.

sumanam said...

Thanks for the honest review.

Trisha said...

This happens to me often as well. For example, I was not uber-excited while reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, but at the end and then in the days following, I found myself liking it more and more.

Lisa said...

I always love a good solid honest review. Very well written! :0)

Laughing Stars said...

Thanks for the excellent, honest review. Like you, my opinion of a book sometimes changes after a little time has passed since reading it. Sometimes I don't realize how I really feel until I start writing the review.

Jenny said...

Jen -- yeah, it could have been done better but it was an interesting premise!

Tanyia -- I actually felt the same way about The Girl Who Stopped Swimming as well! Actually her other book, Gods in Alabama, also. That one I thought was eh at first, but looking back I thought that one was sooo good!

Sumanam -- I try to be nice and honest at the same time!

Trisha -- Funny how books do that, huh?

Lisa -- thank you!!

Laughing Stars -- I agree... sometime it takes actual reflection to realize your true thoughts on it!

Connie said...

I can't stand being disappointed by books so I'm glad you warned us about this one. I'm still going to read it because I love Moriarity's previous works, but at least I'll know what to expect.

^^agree with the above poster about The Girl Who Stopped Swimming.

Jenny said...

Connie -- and I sort of feel that when you do know what to expect, it make the book better since the new expectations aren't unattainable!

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