Published by HarperTeen on October 6th 2015
Genres: Bullying, Contemporary, Depression & Mental Illness, Social Issues, Young Adult
Amazon // The Book Depository
Sometimes one mistake can change everything.
Emily doesn’t know why she froze. Or why Lucas did too. Afterward, she thought of different ways to rationalize it. But the truth is, they could have helped Belinda, and they didn’t. It’s a mistake they’ll both have to live with.
Sometimes doing nothing is the only way to cope.Belinda doesn’t want to talk about what happened. Because when she does, it feels like it’s happening all over again.
Sometimes good can come from bad.
Emily and Lucas’s punishment is community service at a center for people with disabilities. People like Belinda. Soon they 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. Like they could help not only those at the center but also each other.
But when Belinda returns to school, Emily and Lucas have to figure out if they can do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt most.
note: all quotes are from an advanced reader’s edition and may differ from the final copy.
A STEP TOWARD FALLING was painfully powerful.
the themes for this novel were openly embraced and thrived from beginning to end. right from the start, we’re introduced to a setting with two teenagers “volunteering” at a class for adults with development disabilities. the plot started off a bit slow (and boring, if i may say so myself). truly, there isn’t much going on and it’s more about character growth and realization than anything else. this isn’t a novel that’s going to be super fluffy and cute, nor is it going to be filled with a lot of action. A STEP TOWARD FALLING is a book you read to rediscover your morals and yourself. it’s a book that everyone should read since it’s filled with so many valuable points.
“Sometimes I wonder if working on behalf of all humanity has made it hard for us to get to know individual people.” (204, ARC)
the story was told in a dual POV, one was from a “normal” teenage girl and the other was a classmate with development disabilities. we clearly see how different our lives are, and also how similar. the way belinda, the girl with the development disabilities, is treated at school and everywhere else is so… SAD. these people are perfectly capable – full of wit and life – and yet we (in general) treat them as children or trash. this novel not only spoke to those with disabilities, but to society in general. we have these dumb stereotypes and notions of how people are supposed to act/be treated/live and the only thing they accomplish is causing pain. in a nutshell: I CONTEMPLATED LIFE WHILE READING THIS NOVEL.
i’ll admit, everything seems mediocre at first: the characters, plot, all of it. as the story goes on, i began to like the characters; the lack of a thorough plot didn’t seem to matter anymore. it was all about what the author was trying to say. in a way, the story felt a little less like a story and more like a discussion. at times, i found our MCs to be a bit irrational and annoying, but not everyone is flawless (and i actually think it was intentional because that happens in real life, more often than not). i wish there were stronger secondary characters, such as friends and family; it was mostly focused on our MCs, which has its ups and downs. i really like the relationships in this book because although it’s a contemporary novel, the romance isn’t the main idea. it was subtle and natural and very cute! <33
“Expectations are sad and complicating things.” (249, ARC)
overall, i really enjoyed it! i found the writing style to be a bit mediocre, but it got to the point. our characters had good morals but were simply in bad situations. the relationships subtle but incredibly cute, this book was delightfully refreshing. although the themes were powerful, i get the feeling that the novel isn’t going to be very memorable. everything was great, but there wasn’t anything (besides the themes) that truly stood out… characters, relationships, writing, or plot. the ideas will definitely stay with me, but the actual story? probably not.
i’d recommend if you like…
- books that make you THINK
- defying stereotypes
- reading. personally i think everyone should read this book to change their perspective on life.