How to Fall is a mystery/thriller by Jane Casey about a girl named Jess Tennant that tries to solve the mystery of her cousin Freya’s death while vacationing at a small oceanside town. She has never met her cousin due to a falling out between her mother and aunt, and when she arrives in town, she finds out that she looks identical to her cousin and that everyone she meets has secrets buried deep.
When I found this book at the library the other day I was intrigued by the whole premise. I am always up for a good mystery and was excited to read what I thought was a book I could really sink into. Instead what I found was an unoriginal story that resembled a mystery as much as Pride and Prejudice resembled a horror novel (and we aren’t talking about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies).
Jess was one protagonist I could not get behind. Not because her character was lacking, on the contrary, Casey did a superb job of creating a life-like character she just wasn’t likable. She came off as a know-it-all to me and not the good kind. She was rude, condescending, and little conceited and I was uninvested in her throughout the whole story.
While we’re on the topic of not being invested in a character, the only character I was even slightly interested in was Freya and she was dead. The love interest didn’t interest me at all and it didn’t make much sense, nor did it feel real. It felt more like they were thrown together because the author said they should be and not because they wanted to if that makes sense. The rest of the characters felt two dimensional and as if they had been standing around waiting for their lines until Jess came to town.
The longer I read, the more I found myself flipping through the pages until I flipped all the way to the end to find out whodunnit. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed because at that point I felt completely numb and was ready to be done with the book, which was unfortunate because I had really wanted to enjoy this. The story started off slow and didn’t really pick up the pace making whatever suspense I was supposed to feel non-existent.
Overall, How to Fall was a disappointing mystery that could have been a lot better than it was. This review is by no means a diss at the author and is only meant to be a personal reflection of my thoughts upon semi-finishing the novel. I do not like writing negative reviews as I do not like being negative in general but I do believe, as a book reviewer, that I have to be honest. As a fellow writer who is not yet published, I often don’t feel equipped to critique other people’s work but I am also a reader that just wants to sit down and enjoy a good book.
One thing about reading is that it is a subjective hobby and though I might not have loved this book it does not mean that you won’t. So if you would still like to give this book a try, by all means, do so.