How to Keep Rolling After a Fall
Publication date: August 2nd 2016
Contemporary, Young Adult
After a cyber bullying incident turns
her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl
that everyone deserves a second chance in this swoonworthy new novel from the
author of How to Say I Love You Out Loud.
The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account.
That’s all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying
incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl’s suicide. Now Nikki’s
been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own
parents can’t look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki
resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates – almost as much as she hates herself.
But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it’s like
when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her
past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance… and everyone deserves
to be loved.
KAROLE COZZO is a school psychologist by day, a wife and mother of two by
night, and a writer of YA romance in the wee hours of the morning. She loves camping
out at Starbucks, breakfast cereal at all hours, and watching every movie made from her
favorite YA books. How to Say I Love You Out Loud is her debut novel.
Quick Reasons: realistic, natural, human relationships; a very deep, strong focus on forgiveness…both of others, and of ourselves; an emotional, touching journey to self-discovery and self-acceptance; a haunting glimpse into human nature, and the ways we make decisions; great focus on familial relationships/the rebuilding of them after the loss of trust
Huge thanks to Karole Cozzo, Swoon Reads Publishing, Netgalley, and Xpresso Book Tours for granting me early access to this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
I guess I’ve been in sort of a “quiet reads” mood lately, guys–and this one fulfilled this mood. Also, it’s cutesy contemporary gooey romance mush, which my cold penguin heart has been craving lately as well–so, two birds!
Seriously, though–this book? Super quiet. And super adorable. And all the mushy gooey marshmallow fluff you could ever POSSIBLY want in a contemporary romance. Of course, that isn’t the MAIN focus or point of this read–I just wanted to harp on about it a while because the two characters are so freaking adorably heart-melty. But let me move on, yes?
The focus on forgiveness in this book–both of those who’ve hurt us, and of ourselves–is astounding. The situation is so heartbreaking and realistic; every day, there are girls being bullied, boys being teased, people being hurt by other people. Every day, things like the backstory of this book happen…but we don’t often see the impact. We don’t often see how far-reaching the pain goes. And we don’t hardly ever see the struggle to overcome, the struggle to move on, the struggle to forgive. So being put into the mindset of a former mean-girl trying to find self-love and self-acceptance after such a situation…and seeing the world around her react to and treat her differently in light of the past–was both heart-wrenching and enlightening, at least for me personally.
There are some very deep and hard-hitting moments of wisdom happening throughout this book–both inside and outside our main character. Relationships are broken and repaired…or broken and left hurting. The amount of growth that Nikki goes through–from the very beginning, at that!–is enough to touch even the coldest stone hearts. This is a book that is important, though perhaps not in the way people want it to be. There is no “solution” presented. There is no moment that puts in perspective why people do the things we do. We’re all people, and that’s the point–we make mistakes. We are cruel to others, both intentionally and unintentionally. Sometimes, we do things and don’t know WHY. What matters is what we do after we screw up. What matters is that we learn something from it. This is the biggest lesson highlighted in this read–or, at least, in opinion.
This was a quiet, emotionally-driven read…but so important, in my mind. The focus on forgiveness and human nature both surprised and pleased me; the romance is realistic and squishably-adorable. No, squishably is not actually a word–but I’m using it anyway. This was, overall, a cute and enlightening read! I definitely recommend to lovers of contemporary romance, heart-wrenching plots, and quiet but powerful prose. I will definitely be checking out more of Karole Cozzo’s writing in the future!