When a horrible tragedy unites five very different high school seniors, they discover the worst moment of your life can help determine who you really are in the powerful YA novel, The Year They Fell.
Josie, Jack, Archie, Harrison, and Dayana were inseparable as preschoolers. But that was before high school, before parties and football and getting into the right college. Now, as senior year approaches, they’re basically strangers to each other.
Until they’re pulled back together when their parents die in a plane crash. These former friends are suddenly on their own. And they’re the only people who can really understand how that feels.
To survive, the group must face the issues that drove them apart, reveal secrets they’ve kept since childhood, and discover who they’re meant to be. And in the face of public scrutiny, they’ll confront mysteries their parents left behind–betrayals that threaten to break the friendships apart again.
A new family is forged in this heartbreaking, funny, and surprising book from award-winning storyteller David Kreizman. It’s a deeply felt, complex journey into adulthood, exploring issues of grief, sexual assault, racism, and trauma.
I was intrigued by the synopsis of this book when I was researching 2019 releases last year. The cover is what pulled me in first because it’s stunning, but then the concept of the story is when I knew I had to read it.
The Year They Fell was devastating, but also somehow uplifting. We follow ‘the sunnies’ who are a group of friends that all went to preschool together. They drifted apart over the years and are no longer really friends at all. Their parents are all still friends though, and when they’re headed to vacation together, their plane crashes killing everyone that was on it. Only Daya’s parents survive because they never made it on the plane.
These five kids are going through something terrible, and you’d think they’d try to do it together since they’re all dealing with the same thing, but that’s not really how it happens. I liked that their story wasn’t predictable. I liked that it was different and heart-wrenching.
Each character gets their own perspective, which is tough to do and be able to give them each a distinct and different personality and voice. I think the author did well with this with one exception. Archie and Harrison. I had a hard time remembering which was which. One was an only child and had severe anxiety, thought all of them were anxious at one point or another. The other was adopted and had a younger brother. Both were a little nerdy. I liked all of the characters. I liked the journey from who they had become into who they were going to be now after this devastating loss.
Overall, this story was wonderfully diverse. There were all sorts of different relationship dynamics at play and I loved them all, friendships and romances. I will definitely be reading more by this author in the future.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.