Wednesday, June 3, 2015

THE FALL by James Preller

Review ARC courtesy of Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends Publishing
Release date: September 2015

It was 2:55 am as I finally gave up on the notion of sleep.  Having started reading THE FALL by James Preller earlier in the day, I knew sleep would not come until I had finished Sam's story.  Now, having turned the last page, it still haunts me and will for quite some time.

Sam Proctor has decided to record his thoughts about the events leading up to the suicide of classmate Morgan Mallen.  Morgan jumped to her death from the town's water tower, and Sam must come to terms with whether or not he may have played a part in her decision to end her life.

Through journal entries suggested by grief counselor Mr. Laneway, Sam recalls his observations of Morgan, his conversations with her, and his participation in cyber-bullying instigated by classmate Athena Luikin.  He questions if he and Morgan actually had a real relationship or had they just been two souls passing through the craziness of high school life. 

As he searches for understanding, Sam tries to determine the motivation for his own behavior toward Morgan, as well as the mean-spirited actions of others directed at this lonely girl.  Though peer pressure played a role in Sam's participation, he comes to believe he not only must make amends for his actions, but also take steps to prevent a repeat occurrence. 

THE FALL presents a powerful story with a message that rings all too true as young people struggle with acceptance and the pressure to fit into preconceived perceptions.  Teen readers and adults alike will find much to contemplate as they experience Sam's awakening.  Author James Preller, already known for his book BYSTANDER, has added another worthwhile read for teens and young adults.

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