How I Fall - Anne Eliot
ELLEN LIKES CAM * CAM LIKES ELLEN *
What if the one person you can't stop thinking about...
...can't stop thinking about you?
*CAM LIKES ELLEN *
What if during one long day you failed at everything because you met this glitter-crazed new girl who practically ruins your life? Worse, she insists you and your secret crush become best friends—with her?!! Only you don’t have time to be friends with insane people, and you think your crush might need to stay the way it’s always been: Distant. Impossible. In your head. This is because you have problems and secrets a crush would never understand.
*ELLEN LIKES CAM *
But what if the three of you wind up assigned to a group photography project, and rumors are already circling about the new girl being ridiculous? You know she’s nice but alone, so you convince your crush to help protect the new girl. Working on the project suddenly makes hanging out, texting, talking—and even high school—seem completely normal when it’s anything but.
ELLEN LIKES CAM * CAM LIKES ELLEN *
What if you fall for each other just enough to kiss…and it’s perfect? You tell secrets and make the kind of promises that might be impossible to keep when you’re only sixteen. Which is why, long before it all falls apart, you already knew nothing this beautiful could have been meant to be yours for long.
But what if…
Fate, pixie dust, Thumbelina, Luna Lovegood, Captain America.
Did that catch you attention? Well, better grab ‘How I Fall’ and you’ll get more of that.
“I fall. I just do.”
Based on the summary above, that's what this book's about. Ellen and Cam. They both like each other but they don’t jump into it. Ellen has a CP and half of her body cannot function; Cam is the QB, rich and of course, Mr. Popular. They will work on a group project (together with Ms. Pixie – Laura; and Ellen’s protect-slash-best friend, Patrick) which will make these characters learn about each other and learn how they are the same. But not everyone agrees with them, to cut the chase, Cam’s parents and most of the people in their school didn’t like this pair. These couple faced such obstacles that I never imagined a sixteen year old could take. This book would be an adventure that will surely leave you with a high (or low) emotional rollercoaster hangover.
The author, Anne Eliot, has done it again. I have fallen in love with her quirks, writing and mostly, the emotions she managed to bring out from her words. I first fell in love with her Unmaking of Hunter Kennedy, wherein I became a total fangirl of hers. Hunter’s book was borrow by my friend and will be borrowed by several more (I hope my copy wouldn’t be tattered soon). The thing about Anne’s writings are that she makes a story about the things often overlooked around us – the people that are somehow considered an outcast. These characters never fails to give a spotlight to who they are, may they be depressed, has CP or even just that dorky teen out there; Anne makes a reader understand and read the character as a human with emotions and feelings. I really love how Anne was able to portray her characters with issues but manage to make a reader feel that even if they lack or exceed with something, they can still be normal. To be honest, normal depends on a person – a rebel is a normal to one rebel; a conservative person is normal to the same; and so forth.
Those rantings aside, I’ll dwell on the book now. Anne Eliot, as usual, never ceases to amaze me to make me feel with her books. In this one, it made me feel like a High School student all over again! She made me swoon yet again, unleash my romantic YA-side. It really feels nostalgic to read this book because I remember the feeling back in HS. The flutters never wavered and this book just amps up that level.
“That’s when I decide there might be no better kisses
than the ones that happen when you’re
laughing all the way into each other’s hearts.”
Ellen likes Cam. Cam likes Ellen. These two were so adorable. I love the alternate POVs, as usual it helped a lot in unraveling the thoughts of our dear characters. I love the TV and movie show references, I could feel their age group, kudos Anne! It was such a pleasure reading their internal monologue, most especially Ellen’s pep talk. I had such a laugh with it. I love how real her thoughts were. I enjoyed every bit. I feel the pain when she thought about it. I swoon when she does. These two were sweet but not borderline cheesy. The couple portrayed teen romance starting from crushes but with something more.
I love the photography part in this book. I love the creativity and the spot-on details on how the author depicted every each photograph. The enthusiasm and feelings in the photos represented the character’s emotions. Excuse my pun, but the book focused and zoomed in with the finer details of the story. The two adorable couples and their maturity with their love, absolutely amazing.
Of course my favorite part, my ultimate favorite with regard to Anne’s books is how she depicts first kisses. Vivid and emotionally-charged. I would say my favorite was Hunter’s (I am pretty bias with this book so forgive me) but Cam’s and Ellen’s? It was wonderful, sweet and in that spur-of-the-moment thing. You know what they say: the best things are the ones you didn’t expect. I literally felt the butterflies in my stomach. I was squealing like a teen all over again! *swoons*
More on the love, I love the cover. It was so YA (even the sequel was perfect). Also, I love the main characters! I love Cam, Ellen, Laura, Patrick, Ellen’s Mom and Nash (Ellen’s PT and somehow Daddy-figure). These characters made up the story stable. I love how Anne Eliot was able to connect the characters without it being too overdone. The book dealt not only with the romance aspect but showcased the different relationship – friendship, romance and family. Though Cam’s family was despicable (so as Cam’s friends – mostly that freaking Tanner), Ellen’s family and friends made up for it. I wouldn’t dwell much on Cam’s family but I’ll say this, Cam’s showed a controlling, degrading, materialistic and power-consumed family. I was glad Cam was nothing like them. This goes to show that it still depends on the person if he or she chooses to become someone like his or her parents. Moving on, I love Ellen’s family, as much as I her real dad was a loser for leaving them because Ellen was diagnosed with CP; I love the firm love Ellen’s Mom has and Nash’s support. This was a family with a support system, they were judged from the outside but a very intact, loving and caring one on the inside. Meanwhile, Patrick and Laura were the best of friends you could imagine; these two could never ever ditch you. These were real friends that will be backing you up until the end. They proved it, through and through. As for Cam and Ellen’s? Theirs were the toughest one, I wouldn’t spill much but they were such tough cookies for a bunch of sixteen. I was astounded by these two. They love. They feel love, they know love… they are in love. Anne Eliot was able to put the spotlight on every each part, all the kinds of relationships were shown without overshadowing the others.
Then this will be the part where it’ll get heavy… this was a book that held so much. I was practically overwhelmed with every emotion. I loved it but at the same time brokenhearted with it. Personally, my feelings were running around. One moment I’d be laughing with the character’s antics, next I would be amazed with the scenario, next I would be swooning over Cam and Ellen, next I would be shaking my head while smiling with both Patrick and Laura, next I would be angry towards Cam’s parents and so-called friends… too much emotions got me but I was glad because I was able to immerse with the book. I felt I was there, if not a voyeur of some sorts. The contradictions and the double entendre, sometimes even the lies, were the things I had the pleasure of being amazed to. These things that were like a mask for the protagonists (both Cam and Ellen), the lies were their protection, a pretension that they need to be in front of the others. Cam was a puppet on his parent’s demands and Ellen was a puppet with her CP (well, sometimes); they both need a front to become strong on the outside. When you pretend most of the time, sometimes you believe that it is the truth. Maybe that was what these characters were doing, if they held on much more maybe it will become their truth? That if they hope much more, Cam may like football in the end or maybe Ellen’s CP might be gone? Mostly, maybe if they pretend that all will be well, they relationship will be too. I think I’m being dramatic over here. There were tons of thing in my mind while I was writing this and I don’t even think if it’s still coherent or something… I’ll just continue.
“That stupid kid – the kid that sadly, is still a part of you –
somehow hold you back
from the adult you are trying so hard to become.”
Such hypocrites. Cam’s parents, I do pertain. They were so judgmental and all those sickening things. They were helping Ellen with her treatments but to be with her was something unacceptable. They were helping for show. That was just horrid. I couldn’t fathom the parts where these parents were included. They were just so wrong.
I felt sorry for both Ellen and Cam. Because they do love each other but they really are young. But it was real, right? Well for me it was. I admire the persistence of Ellen, I do hope that Cam would realize it too. Their age hinders them, it was true that they were sixteen, “suddenly old enough but you’re still a kid”.
It made me feel a lot of things. It made me realize that these characters were sixteen but they held such maturity at their age. They wanted to defy the odds but the reality creeps back at them. They knew what and when to believe. They started and learned how to sacrifice at a young age. Young love. I hope they’ll prove the others wrong. They’re ‘it’ for each other.
“But there was nothing cute or great or romantic about this.
This was me, somehow saving him.
This was him, dying in front of me.”
No worries, no character death. Ellen was just saying a metaphor about ‘dying’. However, one thing that shocked me about this book was its drama. I experienced the drama before with Hunter but this one was another level. It doesn’t just cover the protagonist’s parent but parents. This was sort of a star-crossed lover’s story. I didn’t expect it to be heavy towards the end. I felt every harsh word given to them. How they were being broken-up and how adamant they were.
This is the first time that Anne made a two-part book. I really thought it was a standalone so to have the “to be continued” in it. I was screaming: “I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW!” I wonder what’ll happen next.
When you read the book, there was this line:
“A wheelchair is the only worse thing I can think of.”
After reading the book, a reader would feel what it means for Cam after what happened. And if there were words I can depict Ellen with, those are: patient, courageous and optimistic. This girl was such a darling sunshine and I couldn’t ask for a better heroine for this book than her.
I wouldn’t sugarcoat the ending but it was in a way it was angst. It left room for more. The ending held so much heaviness in it. I was expecting it but reading the part itself was both maddening and heart-wrenching. I hurt at what Cam wrote and did but there was a nagging feeling at the back of my head that he must’ve said that because he was still protecting Ellen. Or his personal demons got the best of him. Nevertheless, I thank the author, Anne Eliot, for the Book 2 preview. It helped me and made me still believe about Ellen and Cam’s feelings.
Rating: 4.5 – 5 out of 5.
PS. Anne Eliot, I must say, our school colors are: black – gold (yellow) – white. Not only that, our ‘mascot’ is a tiger. What a coincidence!
HOW I FALL BY ANNE ELIOT
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Inspiration for the Story:
The character of Ellen Foster is fictional, but her Cerebral Palsy symptoms and hemiparesis/balance issues loosely match what an amazing teen (and I girl I’m proud to call my friend) named Allison Winn, faces every single day. Her condition was not brought on by CP, but was brought about due to complications Allison suffered after the removal of a childhood brain tumor which resulted in side effects that will be with her for the rest of her life.
Despite all that sadness, with the help of her mom, Dianna, dad Brian, the patience of her sister, Emily, and the inspiration from a tiny rescued dog named Coco, Allison was inspired to help other kids by baking dog biscuits (thousands of them) so she could raise money to help other kids like her. These biscuits were hand sold by Allison for months (and now years) so other sick kids and sad families could afford to adopt a fully trained dog from a very special program into their lives.
At age nine, Allison’s goal was to raise enough money so one special trained dog could be placed with a kid who had life threatening issues. She met that goal, and that same year adopted out 10 dogs with the sales of her dog treats! Now she’s fourteen and her project has a name: The Stinkbug Project. Stinkbug has now adopted out 40+ dogs to kids who live around the Rocky Mountain Region all because Allison never gives up baking. Now so many people help to raise awareness while others donate baking and packaging supplies and volunteer to help Allison bake and sell the treats.
This girl, who soon will be an amazing woman, is now cancer free but she still works tirelessly at baking and selling biscuits for what has become a thriving community charity effort. The trained dogs are all rescued dogs who come from the very special, Colorado based, K-9 correctional dog training program. Adoptions and applications for a dog are now handled via the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. More information about The Stinkbug Project, Allison, and RMHF can be found at:Every year, a donation will be sent by me to support this amazing project, and at all book signings I will be accepting donations on behalf of this wonderful project and donating them to Allison’s efforts as well.
Anne Eliot writes sweet, first-love stories. She was raised in the mountains of Colorado, but says she really learned about life, love and friendships from summers spent with her large, Italian immigrant family in Ontario, Canada.
Anne is grateful to have had schools with inspiring teachers and librarians who directed her to worlds she would not have found on her own. To this day, she adores school visits, teaching writing to teens, and is dedicated to making sure kids in need have access to books that will fuel their hopes and dreams.
While growing up, Anne hid her own anxieties by hiding and reading book after book. She developed an addiction to first love, first kisses and her favorite: the happy-ever-after story. This is what she writes today. Now she's a mom of two and happily married to her own first love. Anne works hard to juggle being a wife and parent while writing, but fails at cooking because she is still trying to read book, after book of love stories on the side.
Anne Eliot’s first book, Almost, became a top 100 best selling Kindle book, and was a Readers Choice, Top 12 of 2012 book for Amazon.com at #11, and will be translated and released in Germany and Turkey fall 2013. Her second book, Unmaking Hunter Kennedy, is a also a Kindle, top 100 best selling book in Teen Romance for 2013. She's hard at work on her third novel, another sweet teen romance releasing fall/winter, 2013. She loves to hear from readers. Please look for her on Facebook or tweet her @yaromance.