book cover of When We Fall by Emily LeibertReviewed by Rebecca Donatelli

Admittedly so, I was drawn to When We Fall from the beautiful cover it presented. In typical stereotypical female fashion, just as this story reads, I made a quick judgment, not realizing what the book’s contents actually held. Full of hope, I thought this would be a light and lovely romance, but in turn, was the opposite. It was an emotionally challenging read and based on a topic I tend to shy away from: nasty girl drama. When I read, I like to get away from everyday occurrences and enjoy getting swept up in fantasy and light-heartedness. For me, I struggled to get through this novel, even though it was written well. It touched on insecurities, jealousy and flaws of female friendship, which held truth, but was too much for me to handle. While all of these things are seemingly normal, for me, reading is an escape and with this, I felt like it was all too close to home, which made me shy away from really getting into it.

Allison, and her 10 year old son, Logan, move back to New York a decade after her husband passes away. She is eager to move forward, put the past behind her and focus on her career. Ready for change, she befriends Charlotte, her best friend’s wife. At first glance, the friendship seems like exactly what the other one needs, but as it falls apart, the women are exposed for what we all say we are not: jealous, gossipy, judgmental and crass. Maybe I did not enjoy this book because of that. I like to believe that, when faced with horrible challenges and circumstances, that we (women) will all stand together in a united front and love and support each other while fighting the good fight. In this instance, too many comparisons were brought to life. Two women, in transition, going through parallel instances, reminded me of how we like to tear each other down when we are trying to get back up and I did not like it at all.

Although Charlotte appeared to have it all, like most of us, she shielded and hid some of the things really going on in her life. I rooted for Charlotte the entire time and did not particularly care for Allison’s character. She came across naïve and allowed for much animosity to play a part in what should have been two sad people coming together. Although Emily Liebert writes beautifully, and really pulled emotions out of me, I felt drained after reading this. My favorite thing about reading is being able to not think, and I felt that I was thinking way too much while struggling through this one.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Rebecca is passionate and insane, empathetic and aggressive, loud and predictable. She loves reading, writing, shopping and creating. She is what she is and it may not be what the world wants but it is what it is. Love.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Penguin Group. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.