"It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in. And then you're dead."
-Quote from The Way We Fall synopsis
With a pitch like that of Megan Crewe's The Way We Fall, how could I possibly resist? Since early 2011, I've been a very big reader and lover of post-apocalyptic fiction. I've delved into them like an addict on the verge of a withdrawal, I just couldn't get enough. With a synopsis that quickly reminded me of the 2011 film Contagion, I could not wait to see how Megan Crewe would deliver the story.
The Way We Fall tells the story of Kaelyn, a sixteen year old teen who lives with her family on an island in Northern Canada. Leo, Kaelyn's best friend, leaves the island for the mainland. Upon his leaving, an unexpected development takes place - a deadly virus is sweeping through the island. It begins with an incurable itch, only to develop into a fever, an onslaught of hallucinations, and then death. With a father for a doctor, Kaelyn finds herself in the middle of the disaster, witnessing first hand at how quickly it kills friends, neighbors, and the people she loves.
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe was uniquely told through a series of journal entries, the protagonist's direct telling of the occurring events during the epidemic. Most of the journal entries, in fact, were addressed to Leo, the aforementioned best friend who left the island. I loved this particular aspect to the story because not only did it help me connect with Kaelyn on a realistic note, but it helped me capture every emotion she passed down through her writing. Some of the novel's events were frightening, heartwarming, and heartbreaking. Agreeably so, the emotion behind The Way We Fall was incredibly strong and impacted me greatly, instantly pulling me into the story right from the beginning.
Compared to other post-apocalyptic titles, The Way We Fall came across as a much lighter and straightforward telling. As I've noticed in other titles in the genre, most are muddled with an endless stream of unrelated events that almost always take away from the story. However, with The Way We Fall, I found that the events and relationships were developed at a realistic pace that didn't have me shaking my head in disbelief. If you've ever read a novel about a world that has already succumbed to a deadly disease, but have always wondered about it's beginning stages, I'd highly recommend settling down with The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe.
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe was realistic, evenly paced, and intriguing. A recommended read for science fiction readers and Canadians! (eh?)