Monday, June 28, 2010

Book Review: While I'm Falling, by Laura Moriarty

While I'm Falling
by Laura Moriarty
Hyperion, 2009
305 pages

How do you cope when everything that should be falling into place ... starts falling apart?

If you're Veronica Von Holten, a pre-med college student whose parents are divorcing and whose life is spinning out of control, you hold on as best as you can.

Veronica is the type of young woman who tries to do the right thing, is reliable and level-headed, and doesn't cause any problems.  For the most part, that's worked out pretty well for her.  But when Veronica's father discovers one of the roofers working on their house has had a one-afternoon "indiscretion" with Veronica's mother, that sets in motion the divorce and a quick succession of events that throws Veronica's life into a tailspin.

That's especially so when it comes to her relationship with her boyfriend Tim, who wants Veronica to move in with him. Suddenly, every decision Veronica needs to make is filled with uncertainty - and in her mind, leading her toward a path with a similar fate as her mother.

This was the second of Laura Moriarty's novels I've read, the first being her debut novel, The Center of Everything, which I absolutely loved.  (See my review here.) While I'm Falling is also set amid the same Kansas prairie landscape (where I've actually had occasion to spend a little time) and is also a young adult novel with mother-daughter relationships as a primary theme. Unlike her first novel, however, for me this one started off a little slow and it took a little time to connect with the characters.  I did begin to feel sympathetic toward Veronica and to some degree, her mother (not quite so much her father).

The majority of While I'm Falling is written in the first person, from Veronica's point of view, but there are two times (I think it was two) when this switches to third person and we get a glimpse into her mother's perceptions.  This was a little jolting and made the story seem a little "off."

While I'm Falling is a quick, light and easy coming-of-age novel.  (I read this within two days, which is very fast for me.) This would make a good choice for a high school or college student to read on the beach, perhaps as a lighter read in between other required novels.

What Other Bloggers Thought:

Jennifer from 5 Minutes for Books
Reviews by Lola

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Trisha said...

Switching point of view in a story is a difficult thing to pull off, and when it's not done perfectly, it can really jar the reader out of the book. Messy pov switches is actually one of me pet peeves. :)

Jenny said...

I agree about being put off by the switch in narration... it would have been one thing if she did it that way for the entire book, but to have it just random like that was weird!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I enjoyed this book (and her first one), and I know what you mean about switching POV.

I still loved the book, but I was a bit jolted as well.

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

I'm glad to hear it wasn't just me!