Today, I'm featuring one of the 2016 debuts that I've read so far. A lot of readers are looking forward to The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker. If you're not one of them yet, let me convince you with this review and interview. We're giving away a copy of the book + swag later!
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2016 by Simon Pulse
In this dark kissing book, high school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense relationship—by the new boy in school.
Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.
But love has a way of changing things.
Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.
Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?
But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.
So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.
If she waits any longer, it may be too late.
Reviewer's Copy: e-ARC
Source: Author + Edelweiss
Right from the start, I was sucked into the story. The writing was simply magical. It was the kind that wrapped around the my heart and refused to let go, sending me wave after wave of emotion - emotion that shouldn't belong to me in the first place, emotion that radiated from the protagonist, but for some unfathomable reason, I felt it, owned it and accepted it in the moment. I am not usually an emotional reader. It is typically hard to break through my shell and my walls of protection, but Parker did just that, disarming me in a way that was both soothing and overwhelming. I loved how Parker got under my skin so fast with just a few chosen words. I was swimming in her prose, lost and wandering and unwilling to go back to the surface.
Zephyr was the kind of protagonist that I didn't normally get close to, as well. She was sporty - something I have never been in my entire life - and she was quick to avoid emotional problems, related to her father who left her and her mother four months ago. Zephyr was the co-captain of her field hockey team, soldiering her way to the finals. She was also the best friend of Lizzie, the detective and editor-in-chief of the school paper, and Gregg, the ice hockey star of the school. Zephyr was avoiding boys and commitment for the moment. She was all-too-focused on her goal: Boston College and field hockey. Through Parker's superfluous writing, I met Zephyr, walked a step behind her throughout the story and at some point, I just got her. I understood her reasoning, her logic and her dreams. There were moments though, that I felt that she wasn't exactly doing the wisest things despite her solid logic and understanding of things.
The book tackled different relationships, with family, friends and lovers. I enjoyed reading about friends Zephyr, Gregg and Lizzie, but zeroed in on Gregg and Zephyr. From the beginning, I wanted Gregg to end up with Zephyr. Gregg was undeniably sweet and thoughtful towards Zephyr. There were fireworks all over the pages. However, Zephyr wasn't prepared for him to make a move, so their friendship spiraled into an awkward state of avoidance and adjusting. I would have loved to get to know Gregg more, though.
Alec, the perfect boy who was new in school, was an individual of mystery. He was sweet, said the right things at the right time, and seemed to appear at the right moment. The attraction between Alec and Zephyr was instantaneous. They gravitated towards one another, finding each other in stolen moments. The attraction magnified into something more intense and harder to pull away from. Zephyr was so in love, so much so that she experienced this momentary blindness, which came hand in hand with being in love. She was willing to do anything and everything for Alec. It was so convincing and felt so strong that it reminded me of my past relationship.
The plot was winding and smooth. Each twist added flavor to the story, making it more interesting. Every character was a piece in the puzzle, building and completing the whole picture. There was an element in the book that reminded me of a suspense novel. While reading, I was mostly at the edge of my seat, ready to flip to the next page This was proof that The Girl Who Fell really got me hooked.
The Girl Who Fell swept me off my feet, overdosed me with the feels and slammed me right back to the ground of reality. It was an intoxicating read that was romantic and suspenseful at the same time. I recommend this to readers of contemporary romance and psychology.
4 Cupids = Strong book love.
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!
The Girl Who Fell is a sweeping contemporary with psychological themes. What kind of research did you do for The Girl Who Fell?
Most of my research was anecdotal. I’d heard a lot of stories from too many girls about how a boy manipulated their feelings and decisions. Hearing their stories made one rise in me.
Character development is very important in this kind of story. How did you mold Zephyr and Alec's character?
The trickiest thing to do was to have the reader fall for Alec the way that Zephyr does. Alec needed to earn Zephyr’s trust, earn the reader’s trust. Alec’s character had to have value and depth so that the reader could see why an intelligent, driven girl like Zephyr would fall for him. And Zephyr had to be smart. My hope has always been that this book will help end discussions that start with: “How could she let this happen?”. I wanted the character development to be so realistic that readers could see how a girl could fall. Any girl. And that maybe books like mine will help to end a culture of shaming the victim for her choices.
How did you develop the romance between the two?
I focused on the intoxication of first love. The intensity, the heat. The fear and exhilaration of trusting another person with your emotions, your secrets.
What were the challenges that you encountered while writing the book, if any? How did you deal with it?
Self-doubt is always my biggest challenge. I have a lot of it and I haven’t found a way to silence it yet. I’m open to any and all suggestions.
How different was the final version from the original version?
The most significant edits happened in relation to the tone of the book. I removed a lot of funnier dialogue and scenes in order to preserve the intensity of the story.
Thanks so much!
About the Author:
Shannon Parker lives on the Atlantic coast in a house full of boys. She’s traveled to over three dozen countries and has a few dozen more to go. She works in education and can usually be found rescuing dogs, chickens, old houses and wooden boats. Shannon has a weakness for chocolate chip cookies and ridiculous laughter—ideally, at the same time. The Girl Who Fell is her first novel.
Follow Shannon: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram
Thank you to Emily for this giveaway!
What's up for grabs: HC of The Girl Who Fell; GIRL lip gloss; GIRL mood pencil.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full schedule and links to the posts!