The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker
Pages: 320 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse, March 2016
High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense and volatile relationship—by the new boy in school.
Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.
But love has a way of changing things.
Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.
Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and … terrifying?
But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.
So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.
If she waits any longer, it may be too late.
I’m going to start off with a few warnings about this book: it isn’t for everyone. There are a few trigger warnings with this book, since it is about an unhealthy relationship — I definitely recommend you take caution before reading this book.
To further elaborate on the “isn’t for everyone” part, this book is written from the perspective of a girl who finds herself in an obsessive relationship. These type of unhealthy relationships are never seen in YA contemporary books. Although it is rare in literature, it happens in real life. I have experienced one; I have had friends who have experienced them. Before you judge and say that this book is unrealistic, dramatic, or exaggerated, please take a moment to consider that others might have gone through experiences like this which you might have been lucky enough to have not experienced. Everyone has different experiences, so don’t be too quick to judge.
Anyways, on to my feelings about this book, I mainly bought after seeing it on Emily Henry’s Instagram (author of TLSTW) and reading the description. Because it is something I hold so close to my heart, I really wanted to read and see how Shannon Parker dealt with this subject.
To my surprise, this book felt so real. The raw emotions I felt from this book was undeniably real. It was so real that I had to put it down and take a breather because it reminded me too much of my past experience. This alone is something I commend Shannon Parker for being able to write. It is not easy to describe such an experience, I know I would never be able to do that. I connected so much to Zephyr, it honestly hurt me.
I felt like the plot did have some minor flaws and character development was a little lacking as well.
However, there is something beyond that about this book that makes me feel like it was a very important read.
Shannon Parker mentioned on Instagram that the lips on the cover represented the power and hope for girls to be able to speak up. This, this, this. This hit me hard honestly. The way this message is seen throughout the book is so so so important, and I can only thank Shannon for writing this book. This is not an easy subject to write about so I definitely applaud her efforts.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a different perspective/type of relationship not commonly seen in YA literature. However, please do note the warnings I have mentioned and do keep in mind that this book is hard to understand if you haven’t experienced it or known someone who went through a situation like this!