We All Fall Down by Natalie D. Richards

This Monday already sucks, so while you’re in between reading the news and helping everyone that need to be helped {I know you}, let me give you a bright ray of sunshine in an awesomely creepy, but still quite lovely, book.

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Title: We All Fall Down {368 pgs.}

Genre: YA/Mystery

Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Summary:

Theo’s always been impulsive. But telling Paige how he feels? He’s obsessed over that decision. And it’s time. Tonight. At the party on the riverbank, under the old walking bridge, site of so many tales of love and death.

Paige has had a crush on Theo since they first met, but she knows her feelings are one-sided. She’s trying to move on, to flirt. A party at the river is just what she needs. Except a fight breaks out, and when Paige tries to intervene–Theo’s fist lands in her face.

All Theo and Paige want to do is forget that fateful night. But strange events keep drawing them back to the bridge. Someone, something is determined to make them remember…and pay for what they each did.

When I read that synopsis, my immediate thought was a YA thriller, which are really too few and far between, but this leaned more toward the mysterious, the supernatural. And trust me, I was not complaining.

Paige and Theo’s friendship is something to behold. Both of them have their own issues – Paige has anxiety and Theo has ADHD, among other troubles – but they’ve come together to form the kind of friendship that everyone wants: they accept each other, warts and all. But one fateful night, it all changes, because while Theo wants to tell Paige how he really feels about her, she wants to hang out with Chase, the cool guitar playing guy who is, unknowingly, the catalyst for what happens later that night.

The punch had been a mistake, Theo aiming for Chase instead of Paige. But because of that miscalculation, Theo and Paige are pulled away from one another, both of them trying to convince themselves that it’s for the best. But something doesn’t want them to forget that night.

So, without spoilers, I felt like this book really was written for me. I’m not a teenager and I don’t have ADHD {anxiety, on the other hand…}, but there was one aspect of this story that made me nod so hard that I almost hurt my neck: the locks on the bridge. The party Theo and Paige attend is near a bridge where people put locks, like the love locks on the Paris Bridge. While I always thought this sentiment sweet, I was also very creeped out about them. I can’t put into words why they freak me out, but this book put my worst nightmare into very real words, and I was like, well, yeah, this could totally happen {it really probably can’t, but still}.

I was also of two minds about Paige and Theo’s friendship. It was beautiful and dark, and they helped each other through their lowest days. They understood each other {maybe the only ones in their town that tried to}, and they accepted one another as they were. But the adult inside me sometimes agreed with their parents. Their relationship could be dangerous, and I would probably do the same thing that Paige’s parents did, at least for awhile, especially when she came home from the party without some teeth. But the romantic part of me won out, because Paige and Theo were not as codependent as Paige’s parents thought they were. They held each other up, and keeping them apart only killed a part of each of them. They only wanted to bring out the best in each other.

I loved these characters, the realness of them. Watching Paige spiral down into an anxious tornado was terrifying and all too relatable. Theo’s absolute helplessness involving Paige and her parents was something that we’ve all felt once in our lives, maybe about a friend, maybe about a family member, maybe even about ourselves. These two don’t need each other to have a normal, happy life, but they do make that idea easier to find.

Anyway, it’s October, so we’re all ready creepy books for the next 29 days. Definitely pick up We All Fall Down, and get your October started right. But just a hint: don’t read this at night. Not alone in your bed. Especially not when the lights are out and your Kindle is the only light you have. Trust me, I have a sleepless night to prove how bad an idea this is {but do it anyway}.

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