Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Title: The Year We Fell Apart
Author: Emily Martin
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Source: from publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.

If nothing else, this book really reminded me of 99 Days, which I read earlier this year and kind of adored. But I know that a lot of people couldn't connect to the very flawed, very hurtful main character in that novel, which is why I'm putting this out there: Harper is the same type of character and she will make you want to smack some sense into her.

I love reading about imperfect characters. It's so much more fun to get inside their heads, even if you don't always like what you find. Something happened prior to the events of this story that sent the main character into a tailspin, and only her best friend can set things right again. Trouble is, she can't tell him what happened because the fallout would be devastating. Much like in 99 Days, the story rewinds now and again to show snippets of Harper's life before now and what led up to her partying ways, and it isn't always pretty.

I really could have done without all of the miscommunication and misunderstandings. It was almost enough to make me want to quit reading at times, just so I wouldn't have to see the aftermath. And I know that if Harper had just owned up to what happened, the story wouldn't have been what it was, but it also didn't have to be so drawn out, especially when the actual incident was relatively minor. In my opinion, anyway. Though, if we're being honest, there was more than one incident she needed forgiveness for.

Maybe the reason I relate to these types of characters so much is because I was like them in high school. I had none of my shit figured out and I was making mistakes left and right, and so when one big thing didn't go right for me, I went off the rails. It basically took from 17 to 21 before I turned my life around, and even then I wasn't perfect. So, I don't expect a neat and tidy ending to a book like this. That said, I would have appreciated a bit more insight into how things worked out when all was said and done...just as proof that Harper didn't chicken out and resort to her old ways.

Still, it verged on unputdownable, with me trying to sneak in reading at work - even with all of the cringeworthy moments - so that's saying something. =) I really enjoyed this novel about forgiveness and second chances, and I wouldn't hesitate to read more from this debut author.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Emily Martin lives and writes in the Greater Boston area, though she will always call Michigan home. She has a penchant for impromptu dance parties, vintage clothing, and traveling to new places. When not writing, she can be found hiking New England’s peaks, searching for the perfect cup of hot chocolate, or baking something pumpkin-flavored.

Emily’s debut young adult novel, THE YEAR WE FELL APART, comes out January 26, 2016, from Simon Pulse.

Her work is represented by Lara Perkins of Andrea Brown Literary.

Find Emily:

WebsiteGoodreads | Twitter | Facebook


  1. I"m getting mixed reviews on this and a lot of it has to do with Harper. I know a lot of people aren't taking to her too well. I've also seen where most are wanting more closure at the end. I think it sounds like a cute story and i'm definitely wanting to give it a try.

  2. I'm going to pass on this book. Harper sounds like someone I want to shake some sense into.


  3. https://www.behance.net/gallery/46472895/_


  4. https://kdp.amazon.com/community/profile.jspa?editMode=true&userID=1424531


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