This is Falling by Ginger Scott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Damn. This book had such potential. And, going by the other reviews I have read, I am definitely in the minority when it comes to this one, but...in many ways, while it had some good moments, this book ended up being too sappy for me.
Rowe has been homeschooled for the last 2 years due to a traumatic event involving the loss of her best friend and boyfriend. She decides to try and come out of her self imposed exile by moving away to go to college, where she meets Nate, a sweet, hopelessly romantic guy who falls for her pretty much instantly.
I have never been a huge fan of insta-love. I much prefer when two characters actually get to know each other before deciding that they are head over heels for the other person. I also don't like needless angst. Something that this book had in spades. While i could understand the heroine's reluctance to get close to Nate, I felt like that aspect of the storyline dragged and just inserted angst where it wasn't needed. For a while it seemed like there was just a constant stream of misunderstandings between the two leads....a plot device that has always seemed like filler to me.
The writing itself was good. And i really enjoyed the dynamic between Nate and his older brother Ty. Plus, there were several swoon-worthy moments involving Nate...a character that while at times came off as overly sappy, i truly did like. He knows instantaneously that he likes Rowe and wants to be with her, but is willing to give her time to deal with the issues she is obviously going through. He's a total sweetheart and I see why Rowe always ended up finding it hard to resist him. Rowe on the other hand was harder for me to warm up to. I understand some of her motivations for how she acted, but...and i know this is going to sound harsh....but sometimes she came off as whiny to me. This is i think where the book suffers the most. The way the author handles that tragedy. I know this wasn't supposed to be the story of Rowe and her high school life with her best friend and boyfriend. But, both Josh and Betsy were never fleshed out enough for me as a reader to care about them. And quite frankly, Rowe hardly mentions the girl who was supposed to be her best friend, and the clearest picture we get of her high school sweetheart, comes from a letter that NATE writes at the end of the book. Which was a problem for me in being able to both care about, and relate to Rowe as a character.
Speaking of which, The letter that Nate wrote was beautiful, and it did make me get a wee bit teary eyed. It was probably my favorite part of the entire book. I also liked the over the top ending. It was sweet, romantic and felt like the HEA ending to a big budget Hollywood movie.
This book had it's ups and downs. But overall it was a sweet, if slightly bumpy ride for me.