By: Cammie McGovern
Released: October 6, 2015
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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? (Goodreads)
I really wanted to like A Step Toward Falling, but unfortunately this book was not what I expected it to be.
A Step Toward Falling is the story of Emily and Lucas who see one of their classmates, Belinda, being attacked and do nothing to help her. After the school learns that they both did nothing, they are required to volunteer at a community center for the disabled.
My biggest issue with the characters was that they were flat, especially Emily and Lucas. They were both characters who grow and learn over the course of the book. However, I just felt like the emotion from them was lacking for so much of it. I wanted to know more about what Emily was feeling and thinking in moments. I wanted more of her reactions to the events that took place. Lucas came across as even more one dimensional and I just wanted to know more about him.
The chapters were divided between Emily and Belinda's point of views. I did think that Belinda's chapters were interesting and gave a deeper insight into how she sees the world. Most of the time I enjoyed reading Belinda's chapters more than Emily's. Belinda is coping with the attack in her own way and trying to go back to school. However, the transitioning between Belinda and Emily's point of views was really choppy for the majority of the book.
The pacing of the plot was really slow and at times I considered not finishing this book. I struggled to keep reading because I just felt like there really wasn't much going on. At first I thought this book would be more about the attack on Belinda, instead it focused more on Emily and Lucas volunteering at the center. There were also a lot of subplots going on that were difficult to keep track of because they would be rushed through so quickly. I did finish reading this book though and I did like the last quarter of it the most.
I really did want to like this book more because I think that the whole concept is really important. This is the type of book that can teach the reader a lot, however the delivery wasn't solid. There were too many important lessons about doing the right thing, acceptance, and patience crammed into this book and they weren't given the proper time to develop.
Overall A Step Toward Falling just wasn't for me. I've heard great things about McGovern's other books though and I definitely plan on giving those a chance.