Title: No Place To Fall
Author: Jaye Robin Brown
Published: December 9th 2014 by Harper Teen
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review
"Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.
When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.
Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities."
First line: "The man talking on the local news has it out for me."
Thoughts: I really wanted to love this book. I mean, just look at the cover. How cute is it? Music, cute guy, and a girl following her dream? What more could a reader ask for? Sadly, and I really hate saying this, but this book and I just didn't click.
First off, let's talk about the main character for a bit. In the summary, the first line reads, "Amber Vaughn is a good girl.". When I think of good girls (especially good church going girls), I think of someone who works hard at school and can really do no wrong. Golden child and whatnot. I don't think about girls who runs off to go hiking with a boy and then smokes pot with him. While I know things like this happen and understand that sometimes this is a rite of passage or whatever, I just don't think I would classify Amber as a good girl. Her actions throughout the novel just make me question where in the world this supposed good girl went wrong. I just don't know. She wasn't ever really that good. For the most part, I just never truly connected with Amber and kind of disliked her throughout the novel. That being the case, it was hard for me to like the book when I didn't really like the heroine.
As far as the other characters go, I just felt like they lacked depth, and the overall story fell a bit flat. The only thing I enjoyed about the novel were the random funny quips from Amber's best friend Devon. He was a fun character, and I think he's the main reason I'm giving this review two stars versus one.
Now, let's talk about Will for a bit. I pains me to say that I didn't find Will swoon worthy at all. I get the appeal- good looking guy who is also a musician, but he wasn't anything special. He was kind of bland, and I guess I just wanted him to be something more. Be more of a sweetheart or a jerk, I don't care. Just something more.
To be fair, I almost didn't finish it, but I really wanted to know how it'd end...
And it was just so very underwhelming.
Maybe it just wasn't the book for me.