Title: A Step Toward Falling
Author: Cammie McGovern
Release Date: October 15th, 2015 by HarperTeen
Cammie McGovern follows up her breakout young adult debut,Say What You Will, with this powerful and unforgettable novel about learning from your mistakes, and learning to forgive. Told in alternating points of view, A Step Toward Falling is a poignant, hopeful, and altogether stunning work that will appeal to fans of Jennifer Nevin, Robyn Schneider, and Jandy Nelson.
Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing—until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.
Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they’re starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?
“It surprised me because she put it as well (or better) than I could have and made a simple point she didn’t even intend: being disabled wasn’t the main thing about her.”
If there is one thing that you will get away from this book its a new sense of friendship, love, bravery, fear, and family through a very important real world situation.
A Step Toward Falling uses a mixture of flashbacks and present day in order to tell its story. The plot itself is set up in such a way that the reader gets all of the information gradually, allowing them to judge the other character’s actions as well as reflect on what they would have done based on the information given. This self-examination, character evaluation, and wonderful writing causes this 378 page book to be one that you will blow through in no time.
The character development in this novel is amazing. Emily starts off as the perfect student who cannot believe that with all she knows, she did nothing to help Belinda at her greatest time of need. She blames herself until it comes time to confess the truth to others. Here she turns the blame onto Luke. However, as the novel progresses we begin to see how this affects her and notice all the little ways that she changes. Luke also goes through this same transformation. The beginning of the novel shows Luke as your stereotypical football player/sports jock but as it progresses peels back all of the layers that make him Luke and the motivation behind what he does. McGovern does a beautiful job of demonstrating how people are more than just what you see.
As for Belinda – wonderful and beautiful Belinda- you cannot help but love her. She’s smart, witty , and views the world in a way that is so unique that you can’t help but be captivated. Her fascination with the classic Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen makes her that much more fun for fans of the classics. She is no exception to McGovern’s excellent character development.
If you are looking for a book that revolves around a lot of real life issues A Step Toward Falling is definitely a book that you want to pick up.