Advance Reader Copy, 314 pages
January 26th 2016
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.
What drew me to The Year We Fell Apart was the premise. I’m a major fan of the friendship turn romance trope and the synopsis of The Year We Fell Apart promised a story that remained more than just a fluffy read. However it was much more than the story that made me fall in love with this book. First and foremost, the prose in the book was gorgeous and filed with much emotion that you can almost feel exactly what Harper is feeling both in the present and in the flashbacks. It’s as if you’re right there feeling her confusion, hurt, anger and frustration as she comes to terms with her situation and moves on from her past mistakes.
Starting this book, I felt it would be a major tear-jerker however fortunately it wasn’t. It however was full of heartbreaking moments as both Declan and Harper have been deeply wounded emotionally both by each other and by their family situations. I enjoyed the flashbacks and the reveal to why they fell apart since it made me root for them even more in the present to hurry and find their way back to each other.
Another element of the book that I enjoyed was the authentic portrayal of other non-romantic relationships. I liked how it showed that Harper and her brother both had their own way of dealing with their mom being sick. I can definitely relate as my siblings and I have been in a similar situation with our father and though we are all siblings we dealt with it all in extremely different manners. Additionally, I love the character of Cory as he’s an excellent friend to Harper especially. I believe it’s realistic that he knows he can’t stop Harper from her self-destructive ways nevertheless it’s nice that he was only a phone call away and when it came down to it he was there to pick up the pieces and/or provide her a ride home so that she made it home safely. At times it’s the little things you do for your friends that make all the difference, you don’t need to be a “hero” who saves them or their “parent” who tells them what they can and can’t do you just need to be there for them. And I reason this book captures this idea beautifully not just with Harper and her friend Cory but also with her and her brother.
Set against a tragic backdrop of death and heartbreak, The Year We Fell Apart remains a story that made me smile at the little heart touching moments and left me with an even greater smile every time I put it down. And I highly recommend it to all you contemporary YA lovers out there.
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.