ARC Review: Even If I Fall by Abigail Johnson! |Gripping Story, Emotional Roller Coaster!

by Abigail Johnson

Expected publication: January 8th 2019 by Inkyard Press

A year ago, Brooke Covington lost everything when her beloved older brother, Jason, confessed to the murder of his best friend, Calvin. Brooke and her family became social pariahs, broken and unable to console one another. Brooke’s only solace remains the ice-skating rink, where she works but no longer lets herself dream about a future skating professionally.

When Brooke encounters Calvin’s younger brother, Heath, on the side of the road and offers him a ride, everything changes. She needs someone to talk to…and so does Heath. No one else understands what it’s like. Her brother, alive but gone; his brother, dead but everywhere. Soon, they’re meeting in secret, despite knowing that both families would be horrified if they found out. In the place of his anger and her guilt, something frighteningly tender begins to develop, drawing them ever closer together.

But when a new secret comes out about the murder, Brooke has to choose whose pain she’s willing to live with—her family’s or Heath’s. Because she can’t heal one without hurting the other.

My Thoughts

“I can’t find the words to explain myself or to tell her that just because I’m not slamming things or crying doesn’t mean I’m not hurting any less.”

The Plot

Brooke’s brother Jason had committed a horrific crime. He killed his best friend Calvin in cold blood. But Brooke doesn’t understand why or what even happened that night. All she knows is that her family has been left very broken. Her sister has stopped speaking and hides behind her ear buds. Her father is in his workshop constantly and rarely ever shows his face. Her Mom tries to put on a good front for them but Brooke knows when she has been crying and sometimes it gets so bad that she cannot even function.

One day Brooke sees Calvin’s younger brother Heath walking in the rain down a side country road. She stops to give him a ride which he accepts to her surprise! This starts a whirlwind of sneaking around and forming a bond that no one had anticipated.

The Characters

Brooke’s family had sacrificed so much after the murder. They basically became the pariahs of the town. They got talked about and made fun of for months. They had reporters camped on the front lawn, Brooke lost all of her friends and her boyfriend. She feels completely alone, so when Maggie moved to town, it was perfect because she knew nothing about her past and maybe she could start over and actually have a friend. The two bond immediately and Brooke tries so hard to keep her past hidden.

Heath’s family is just trying to get by the best they can. They cannot stand the sight of Brooke’s family and hold a lot of resentment. Heath works to help put money on the table to keep the family going. He is kind of a loner. He is the complete opposite of his brother. Calvin was a star athlete and top of his class. He received a full ride to college. Heath never applied for college and is not really sure what he wants to do with his life. Until Brooke arrives in it, she helps him feel alive.

“I’m not allowed to feel bad in front of you. I’m not allowed to feel bad in front of anyone, but especially not you, and I don’t know how to stop.”

In Conclusion

I adored this book! Oh the feels! I loved Maggie, Brooke’s BFF. She was outgoing and straight forward with Brooke. I enjoyed Brooke & Heath, both together and separate. The story was told from dual POV, so the reader is able to get both sides of the story. Their grief kind of brought them together but they struggle to fully understand what the other is going through.

This book was a complete emotional roller coaster. It definitely brought on the water works. There were some highs and a lot of lows but I enjoyed it so much because it made me feel something!! Even if it was anger towards the towns people or hope for these two to be happy again or at least try to.

I cannot even truly put into words how awesome this read is, you will have to find out for yourself!

Trigger Warnings

murder, bullying

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