Jaime Reviews ~ The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin ~ Blog Tour and Giveaway

The Year We Fell Apart
by Emily Martin
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Rate: 4 Stars


In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.

  The Year We Fell Apart landed on my radar because of it's beautiful cover art. After seeing it, I had to know what the book was about. Though these types of books, the realistic/contemporary fiction type reads, aren't my go-to's, there are certain ones that intrigue me. This is definitely one of the ones that captured my interest. After all, I know all about making epic mistakes. 

  There is a lot to this story; love and heartbreak, death and life, addiction and freedom. There are some truly great themes in this book that I feel are necessary in the world of teens today. One being just how easy it is to fall into an addiction, and how hard it can be to overcome it. Another, that you can't always run from the bad things that happen in life, or try to drown them. Harper, our main character does both. She makes some really horrible choices during this story. But in the end, she starts to overcome!

 Harper, Declan and Cory have been the best of friends for a long time. Eventually, after Declan's heartbreaking loss of his mom, they became something more. After Declan's dad sent him away to school, they started losing that connection a little at a time. Harper did something horrible to ease her pain and then ended things with Declan. Since then, she has continued to make horrible decisions and now that her own mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer, those decisions become even worse. And now, Declan is back in town and Harper feels overwhelmed with guilt and remorse and she is full of anger and fear over her mom's sickness. This is the story of Harper's road to redemption and her and Declan's chance to make it work.

 I really did enjoy the book, but there were several things that bugged me. The good things first, though! Emily Martin handles emotion and feeling like a heavyweight champ. She gets so many things right. The desperation, the fear, the anger, the feeling of unworthiness and "why the heck shouldn't I?". I love how true-to-life these things were. The other best thing was the friendships that Harper made. Her friendship with Cory was wonderful. He was always there for her, even when he was angry at her. He also didn't let things slide. He told her how he felt about her actions and choices. Harper's new friendships with a couple of the girls from her summer photography class were also a highlight. Love these girls! Finally, Martin's depiction of a negative friendship is so on par with Harper and Sophie's relationship. It was toxic but it was also a part of true life. There are people who just are not good for you.

 My one issue with the story was, unfortunately, Harper herself. Yes, Sophie was terrible, BUT she was meant to be terrible. Harper on the other hand made a couple of decisions that just did not sit well with me. I won't go into them because I don't want to give any spoilers, but if you read the book maybe you can guess?! Hint: Harp's mom  Hint: End of the book! GAH, I want to talk about it so badly. Maybe in the comments we can talk! 

 All in all, The Year We Fell Apart was a really realistic, true to life story. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I am looking forward to hearing about what's next from the brilliant mind of Emily Martin. Finally, thanks for letting me be a part of this tour!

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Follow the The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Emily Martin lives and writes in the Greater Boston area, though she will always call Michigan home. She has a penchant for impromptu dance parties, vintage clothing, and traveling to new places. When not writing, she can be found hiking New England’s peaks, searching for the perfect cup of hot chocolate, or baking something pumpkin-flavored.

Emily’s debut young adult novel, THE YEAR WE FELL APART, comes out January 26, 2016 from Simon Pulse.

Her work is represented by Lara Perkins of Andrea Brown Literary.

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