{Rachel Reviews} How We Fall by Kate Brauning

Posted October 22, 2015 by Rachel Lightwood in Reviews / 8 Comments

{Rachel Reviews} How We Fall by Kate Brauning

How We Fall

by Kate Brauning
Pages: 303
Published on October 2, 2015
by Merit Press
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle's sleepy farming town, she's been flirting way too much--and with her own cousin, Marcus.

Her friendship with him has turned into something she can't control, and he's the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left for...no one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn't right about this stranger, and Jackie's suspicions about the new girl's secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus--and deepens Jackie's despair.

Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else's lies as the mystery around Ellie's disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?

I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

1 Stars

My Thoughts

Everyone has a certain thing that either makes or breaks a book for them. It may be the pacing – if a book is too long some people just cannot get through it, and short “fast” books may be too rushed (so not worth reading) for others. Some people think that there is no point in reading a book unless the protagonist is likeable. Some people think that the storyline must be believable or at least plausible. For me however my Achilles’ heel is the writing style.

The writing has to capture the mood of the book. Mysteries need a style that can capture both the eerie, creepy moments and also accommodate the fast-paced, action scenes. Romances need to have an almost hauntingly beautiful style that can capture the cute, carefree moments between the couple but also handle the heart-breaking scenes as well. How We Fall – a combination barely of those two genres – should therefore have a similar style, correct? Wrong. I don’t know if I should simply shrug it off as a debut author’s rocky start, but the awful writing style made the even more awful story even more awful. Did I mention this book was awful? The style was completely flat, dull and had this awful generic feel to it, like I had read it a thousand times over. It didn’t offer anything more to the story. There was no depth, no feel to it.

Not only did that retract from the story but when I went into this book expecting a psychological thriller about best friends I expected lots of intrigue and suspense, not the contemporary romance with a love square involving cousins, fake dating, cheating, using people and leaving a relationship for their girl’s older sister that I got. It was practically every single cliche I hate in a romance mashed together to make the worst relationship scenario I’ve read in a long time.


Maybe the characters could have redeemed the story. Maybe. But lets be honest here, Jackie made no sense as a character. I had no idea what she wanted in life. I didn’t understand her hot-cold attitude to the love square. She cried and complained a lot. She was hopelessly reckless, thoughtless and made stupid decisions. She didn’t help Marcus (that was his name right?) when he needed her to. She was just an unlikable protagonist.


The actual story itself was hard to get through too. I honestly couldn’t say that I enjoyed a single page of it. I wish I could be sorry for being so blunt, but I am nothing if not honest and I don’t have a single nice thing to say about this book. I could have – maybe – forgiven it for straying into the contemporary romance genre rather than a thriller, but when it tried to toss that ridiculous “mystery” in the last fifty or so pages it was so poorly and horrifically done it made me weep.


I almost gave this book up when they first chapter alone had enough slut-shaming to make me rage. Now I regret forcing myself through this book. I don’t think I will be looking forward to anymore of this author’s work. I don’t recommend this book. Unless you also happen to enjoy the train-wreck that was The Cellar than maybe you’ll enjoy this train-wreck too.

Question of the Day: Obviously I think writing styles are pretty important so I need some recs people –  whose your fave author with an incredible writing style?? Oh, and let me know what your Achilles’ heel is when it comes to books.


Rachel Lightwood

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8 responses to “{Rachel Reviews} How We Fall by Kate Brauning

  1. I have to admit that I loved this book hahha. But your points are totally valid (and I actually agree with you about the mystery- I was not a fan at all), I think that if you don’t mesh with a style and characters, then you just don’t, and you definitely can’t force it! I don’t know, I just really liked Jackie (and Marcus) and I was inexplicably rooting for them, I just… I couldn’t help it! And I normally would have HATED the love square thing, tbh. But I guess since the relationship was so taboo, it didn’t seem as annoying to me. I am so sorry that this didn’t work out for you, and I hope you enjoy your next book MUCH more! 😀

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted: This Week At Midnight (84)
    • Thanks Shannon! I’m so happy for you. I love that you were able to enjoy this book so much more than me. The taboo relationship alone would have been fantastic. I’d have love to explore that more, but I just didn’t like the love square, the cheating and every thing on top of it. And don’t worry, why you love a book isn’t something you should have to always explain. You love a book, you do. It’s that simple! Sometimes it is hard to define what the intangible quality was that made it standout for you.

  2. MAGGIE STIEFVATTTTTER. *ahem* Okay, but seriously, her writing style is gorgeous and has never once failed me. *hugs all of her books of ever* But I’m with you!! Style is important to me too! I hate it when a book is flat or the tone doesn’t match the genre or even if it promises one thing and gives another. I’m always annoyed at “thrillers” who fall into just having ranty romances and angst and all that. I need some thrill, right? And also AGH to unlikeable characters. I don’t understand the lure to write them. I need SOME redeemable factor in a book or else I’m just not going to CARE about the character and if I don’t care…then why would I want to read the book!?!?

    • Yes, and yes to Maggie Steifvater’s writing… even if I’ve only read her Wolves of Mercy Fall series. *hides in shame* I LOVED it like more than life though, so her other books will happen. YAY FOR PEOPLE THAT LOVE TONE TOO! I think its uber important. It gets so much more out of the story if it is done well! And damn, mysteries that turn out to be romances kill me. WHY!? Exactly. Unlikable MCs = boredom and carelessness.

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