Book Review: The Girl Who Fell by S.M. Parker
January 17, 2017
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Zephyr Doyle has always been focused on the future: taking her field hockey team to state, going to Boston College, and getting out of small-town Sudbury. But then Zephyr meets Alec, and their relationship soon becomes something bigger than Zephyr can control.
I thought this was going to be a cheesy romance novel. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead, this was a powerful, intoxicating read with an insightful look on psychologically abusive relationships.
We know from the prologue that Zephyr and Alec’s relationship will eventually take a turn for the worse. However, the author developed their relationship beautifully: it was sweet enough in the beginning to be believable, but the reader could see it slowly, subtly turning poisonous.
This book gets major points for characters. They were very believable and real. Zephyr was easy to root for; Alec’s character showed amazing growth as he slowly morphed into an obviously (the reader knows from the beginning that he’s abusive, but it takes a while for Zephyr to realize that) abusive boyfriend; Lizzie and Gregg were (though cliche) perfect best friends; and even Finn, Zee’s dog was lovable.
The majority of the plot centered around Zee and Alec’s relationship, but I wish that the rest of the plot had been more fleshed out. Within the first few chapters, we learn that Zee’s dad recently left her and her mom because he was “tired of being Zephyr’s father”. Zephyr repeats that this is a major cause of self-esteem issues for her, but her and her father’s relationship was so underdeveloped that this was a little hard to believe. Another example: from the beginning of the book, we know that Zephyr wants out of Sudbury and wants to desperately to go to Boston College. But we never learn why she wants so badly to go there or what the pull of Boston College is. And Zephyr’s field hockey team seems to be a big part of her life…but this component was also underdeveloped.
The writing, though suspenseful, occasionally felt a little repetitive and was little predictable. I could’ve done without the love triangle (especially since Zephyr and Gregg, the other member of the triangle, were lifelong best friends *rolls eyes*), but Alec’s jealousy of Gregg was an important factor in his and Zephyr’s toxic relationship. On the other hand, I did read this book in an entire sitting…
In spite of a cliche love triangle and a plot that should’ve been more fleshed out, this was a powerful read about psychologically abusive relationships, showing that words leave the deepest wounds.