ARC: How to Fall by Jane Casey

Posted on 04/21/2014 in Book Review / 5 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC: How to Fall by Jane CaseyHow to Fall by Jane Casey
Series: Jess Tennant #1
Published by MacMillan, St. Martin's Griffin on 8/26/2014
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Jess Tennant has never met any of her relatives, until her mother suddenly takes her to spend the summer in the tiny English town where she grew up. Her mom’s decision is surprising, but even more surprising is the town’s reaction to Jess. Everywhere she goes, people look at her like they’ve seen a ghost. In a way, they have—she looks just like her cousin Freya, who died shortly before Jess came to town.\r\n\r\nJess immediately feels a strange connection to Freya, whom she never got to meet alive. But the more she learns about Freya’s life, the more suspicious the circumstances of her death start to look. One thing is for sure: this will be anything but the safe, boring summer in the country Jess was expecting.\r\n\r\nBeloved author Jane Casey breaks new ground with How to Fall, a cleverly plotted and remarkably written young adult mystery.

Jess Tennant is officially my new favorite Brit. Okay, second favorite – no one can replace Colin Firth! Maybe it was the fact that we share a name and I’ve always fancied myself a bit of a detective, or maybe I’m just a sucker for a good murder mystery. Whatever the case, I really enjoyed this book. When we meet the 16-year-old Jess, she has been dragged from her London home to spend the summer in a small seaside town where her mother grew up. Her mother is reuniting with her identical twin sister after years of being estranged, so Jess has never met any of her family. Her cousin Freya died the previous summer in what appeared to be a suicide. But was it actually murder? Simply a tragic accident? Or did Freya have enough hidden secrets to have a reason to commit suicide? It just so happens that Jess looks exactly like Freya, so her arrival in the small town is pretty awkward, to put it mildly.  Jess feels connected to Freya and sets out to learn more about her. She soon finds that almost everyone in Port Sentinel seems to have a secret, and no one wants her digging around to find out the truth about what happened to Freya. Of course, this makes her even more determined to get some answers. How to Fall by Jane Casey was a very quick read, and it’s a promising start to a series.   She painted a vivid picture of the town and its inhabitants, and I enjoyed reading about it (and imagining all the voices in British accents).  The characters were interesting, and I quickly found myself rooting for Jess, even though she seemed to get herself into danger unnecessarily on multiple occasions.  I wanted more interactions with her cousins – there was a fun family dynamic that was touched on a little bit, and will hopefully play more into future books.  There was also a group of mean girls, a love interest, an accidental summer job, and secrets galore, all of which kept me thoroughly entertained. The only time that I felt like Jess wasn’t very realistic was during her interactions with creepy Dan Henderson, the local law enforcement who is the father of her love interest and also has a past with her mother.  Jess also lost a few points with me due to her scenes with the hunky and flirtatious Ryan. He came across as an entitled d-bag to me, and I kept hoping she’d be a little stronger and put him in his place. The ending wasn’t anything I didn’t expect, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable.  Jane Casey is definitely an author that I intend to read more of, and I especially can’t wait to read the next Jess Tennant novel!

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Jessica’s addiction to books began at age 4, going on weekly trips to the library with her mom. After being a young fan of Sweet Valley High and The Baby-Sitters Club, she discovered the thrill of reading a book that made her want to leave the light on and check under the bed. Her all-time favorite author is Stephen King, but she will read just about anything! Jessica never leaves home without her e-reader, and considers it the best gift she ever received. Her other hobbies include running and going to Disney World as often as possible.


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