Hey guys! Remember my post last month about How I Fall and How I Fly? Now it’s time for our place in the blog tour. Here’s my review, and excerpt, and at the bottom, the chance to sign up for another giveaway!
First, I’d like to say I loved these books. They made me laugh. They made me cry. They also taught me. A lot. I remember a time in middle school when I loved reading books just like these. Books about kids with medical issues trying to live as close to a normal life as they could, and trying to cope with what they have. Ellen Foster, one of the main characters in Anne Elliot’s books, is dealing with cerebral palsy, a disease that affects her life every day. I loved reading about what her life with the disease is like- her reactions, her peers’ reaction, and how it affects her. Most of all, I loved that the books didn’t center around the disease. I learned a lot about what CP is and was still part of Ellen’s normal (as normal as it could be) like. Boys, drama, grades, and life goals all play the biggest roles in the books.
There were a couple of things that I would have liked to see differently. The biggest of which is the narrator’s voice. The story is told from the perspective of two of the main characters- Ellen and Cam. I am totally ok with that. My problem was that each narrator had the same voice. Even though the two characters are very different, the way they narrate is exactly the same. At times, it took me a little bit to figure out if I was reading from Ellen or Cam’s point of view. I would have liked to see at least a minor change in personality in the voices of the two narrators. My only other problem is a very easy fix- proofreading. I saw time and time again tiny grammatical errors that could easily be corrected.
I would definitely recommend this to any more mature reader (some language makes the books too mature for small children), and I give both books in the two book series five out of five stars.
A two-book series by the bestselling author of Almost and Unmaking Hunter Kennedy.
How I Fall by Anne Eliot
*WHAT IF YOU HAD AN IMPOSSIBLE CRUSH?*
Impossible because she’s Ellen Foster. The beautiful, smart, and possibly fragile photography-girl. You’re Cam Campbell. The guy who plays football 24/7 with no life. But what if during junior year, you decide to finally try for her phone number—until this glitter-crazed new girl ruins your plan. Worse, the girl is Irish, awkward, and insists you and Ellen should become best friends—with her! Only, you don’t want to be friends with a human tornado, and you think Ellen might need to stay a crush. This is because after one interaction you’ve discovered Ellen Foster really is fragile. Your problems and secrets are too big for anyone to understand.
*WHAT IF YOU COULDN’T RESIST?*
But what if the three of you wind up assigned to a group photography project, where rumors are already circling about the new girl being ridiculous? You know she’s nice but very alone, so you convince your crush to help protect the new girl. Suddenly, working on the project makes hanging out, texting, talking—and even high school—seem fun and completely normal when it’s anything but normal.
*WHAT IF YOU KISS?*
What if you kiss Ellen Foster and it’s perfect enough to make you believe in things you shouldn’t. You tell her secrets and share your dreams. You make the kinds of promises and create plans to be together that might be impossible to keep when you’re only sixteen and your parents control your entire future, but… WHAT IF YOU HURT HER?
Praise for How I Fall
“How I Fall captures exactly how a high school crush feels. You can have endless long days—days that feel exactly the same—and then in one moment a little thing changes, a conversation finally happens, and suddenly there’s a new friend group formed where relationships are suddenly ‘on’! I loved this book (How I Fall) and I’ve already read the sequel, How I Fly as ARC. You will laugh, you will cry and you will fall so in love with Ellen and Cam’s story.” ~Becca H. Teen book blogger.
“Anne Eliot writes the sweetest first kisses. She also does those book boyfriends you can’t get out of your head. Cam Campbell in How I Fall doesn’t disappoint, nor does the awesome first kiss.” ~Judith, I Love YA Fiction, Blog
*WHAT IF IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON…?*
Over six months after an accident that broke her legs as well as removed her boyfriend from her life—because Cam Campbell left town and dumped her—high school senior, Ellen Foster, wants to move past her broken heart. She’s off to attend a summer photography workshop at a real university along with her best friends. Ellen’s determined to find a new love—or at least a summer boyfriend. In the dorm, she meets Harrison Shaw. He’s a handsome photography student, a charmer who likes her, and a perfect way to forget her past.
*WHAT IF IT ALL GOES PERFECTLY…?*
Ellen thinks she has everything she wants. Her summer program couldn’t be better. She’s half in love with Harrison Shaw, and she’s going after her next scholarship. But when she kisses Harrison, she can only remember how Cam Campbell used kiss her better, sweeter, and how he used to make her feel like she could fly…
*WHAT IF SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT…?*
When Cam shows up at the university it’s a shock, especially to Ellen’s new boyfriend. Cam’s distant, different and very afraid to hurt Ellen again. He asks Ellen if they could be friends despite the past and how they’ve both changed and Ellen agrees. But after all they’ve been through, can Cam and Ellen ever be just friends?
The Timbits generosity alone should have been enough to seal our friendship for good—because those tiny balls-of-addictive substance are that fresh and that good—but Patrick swears he wasn’t sure about my loyalties until the day I faked a spastic-limb-attack to soak a kid with a whole tin of Mandarin oranges after the kid called Patrick the Jolly Green Giant. I think I also shouted something like, “He’s not even green, you dummy, and now you’re the Mean Orange Bully, so there!” I’ve always sucked at fast comebacks.
I finally gave Patrick my permanent trust one week later. It was the day some kids thought it would be funny to take my crutches and leave me on a swing. Back then I couldn’t go across a room without crutches because my good leg was not strong like it is now.
No one noticed I was missing, either. Except Patrick.
He’d dashed back out to the playground while the teacher was calling the office for back up. He found me, dried my tears, and without a word, helped me to the office. They let him wait while the nurse bandaged the scrapes on my hands and knees. My mom, the principal, and Patrick were angry that I’d been stubbornly trying to crawl my way back inside instead of calling out for help. But later Patrick told me he understood. Said he would have done the same.
He’s never left me alone at recess ever again. Of course, we haven’t had recess for years, but the guy still tries to make sure I’m okay no matter where I am or where he is. I endlessly tell him I can take care of myself, but I know that it’s just his way. He’s still trying to keep that promise because that’s who he is as a person. His inspirational quotes and texts are some sort of over-compensating thing he’s developed because he can’t be near me all the time.
Last summer, Patrick got really lucky. He stopped being so clumsy, his shyness disappeared, and his six-foot-four frame makes perfect sense now that some of the other guys have had growth spurts to match. All that, plus the part where his status on the football team has locked him into the popular crowd, has fast-tracked him to a completely different level than where I’m stuck.
I figured it would happen eventually, because he’s awesome and gorgeous and people were bound to discover that. I refuse to let him be slowed down by me for his entire life, so I’m really careful about acting sad or letting him think I’ve been left behind somehow, because that idea would kill him. Besides, I’m not sad or left behind.
I just miss him, that’s all. I’m also doing great, making my own way bit by bit. And when I’m not, like today, I’m a master at faking it. As much as I try to hide my condition and pretend that I’m just like everyone else, I know that people with CP don’t get lucky and transform into graceful swans like Patrick did. It just doesn’t happen.
Testing the pain in my bad leg with half my weight again, I’m relieved to discover it’s fading away. Just in case, I keep one hand on the car and turn to grab a few shots of this long, delicate icicle melting off the bottom of a mailbox at the edge of the driveway. It’s too tempting not to snap it off and drop it in the perfectly round, snow-bordered puddle near my feet. I get a bunch of cool shots when it floats to the top dead center. The narrow tip is pointing outward and it’s going around and around like it’s a nature-made game spinner.
Patrick texts again: Give me a sign that you are perfectly happy and that you aren’t lying to me right now. How’s the snow? Are you really, truly, absolutely okay? Prove it, or I’m coming over there.
I text him one of the floating icicle photos and add: I’ve never been better. Swear. Now get on your bus and study for your test.
His answer: Beauty. You should take up photography or something…you might be good at it. 😉
I grab a few more shots of the snow-heavy, leafed-out branches above, and then force myself out of my photography haze, because I’m supposed to be working on casually getting myself near enough to board the bus.
My heart sinks and twists yet again as I realize what I’ve missed. No wonder Patrick texted me that big-eyed, brave kitten. The crowd down at the stop is huge. I’ve got way bigger problems than the possibility of limping in front of people. I’d totally forgotten—or blocked out—how crowded it was going to be today. In our town, all car keys are pulled by parents on snow days, because the school closes the student parking lots. I let out a long, shaky breath, wishing I could run all the way back home. Today, we are going to be forced to ride three-to-a-seat.
*Ellen Foster prepares to die.*
About the Author
Anne Eliot is the author of the, How I Fall/How I Fly two book series, and bestselling, young adult teen issue romances, Almost and Unmaking Hunter Kennedy. She loves writing about teens who live outside the ordinary and she’s devoted to stories about teens who live outside the ordinary but who also get to find sweet first kisses and first loves.
Anne resides in Colorado with a very patient husband, two teens of her own whom she adores (an some teens near and far thanks to hosting many exchange students) who are all growing up too fast.
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