Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Review: How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo

Title: How to Keep Rolling After a Fall
Author: Karole Cozzo
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release date: August 2nd 2016
Pages: 272
Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance
Source: NetGalley - I received a free eGalley of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
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The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That's all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl's suicide. Now Nikki's been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can't look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates - almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it's like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance... and everyone deserves to be loved.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Lately I've been struggling with whether I still want to read as much YA as I used to. I've been reading more adult books, and the last couple of YAs I read just didn't impress me all that much; some of them were cute, entertaining reads, but there hasn't been anything I really loved, and I was wondering whether I'm just too old for YA. This is why I'm so glad I picked up How to Keep Rolling After a Fall; it reminded me of everything I love about YA.

I loved the premise of How to Keep Rolling After a Fall; it reminded me a little of Tease by Amanda Maciel, another book I loved. Nikki is an intriguing character; I love when we get to see a perspective that's different from the typical nerdy, unpopular MC. Nikki shouldn't be an easy character to like, but, as wrong as this sounds, I understood her reasoning and related to her decisions. Nikki is especially vulnerable in her relationship with her parents, and I loved seeing the growth in those relationships explored throughout the novel. I also loved Sam, a victim of bullying at her new school whom Nikki befriends; this is another relationship that worked really well along with Nikki's personal growth.

But of course, none of these relationships that Nikki has with other people compare to what she has with Pax; I absolutely loved him. I think this is the first book I've read with a differently abled person as a love interest (which is a shame, really), so I loved that this is explored in How to Keep Rolling After a Fall. Luckily, Pax isn't only characterized as a guy in a wheelchair; I loved everything about his personality. Pax and Nikki are so cute together, they have great chemistry, and they're actually good for each other. They have problems, too, of course, but those didn't feel like silly drama that could've been easily avoided (which plenty of other fictional couples have); their conflicts make sense and are actual issues the two of them need to work through. I just loved everything about their relationship.

I'm not really sure how to explain my love for this book; Karole Cozzo just sweeped me off my feet with her writing. The style isn't necessarily what I would call beautiful, but it flows nicely and works perfectly for this story. It reads super quickly; I finished this book in a day and didn't even notice the time passing. Karole Cozzo's is the type of writing you can read forever and that really lets you get lost in the story and the characters.

My one complaint would be that, at the end, things are wrapped up a little too quickly. Maybe this is just because I didn't want the book to end, but I really wanted to see Nikki and Pax continue to navigate the problems in their relationship and to see how exactly they make it work. I also wanted to see some more development in Nikki's relationship with her ex-best friends and with Taylor. But really, this might have just been because I wanted to remain within Nikki's world and never stop reading.

I'm so glad I decided to pick up How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, both because it's such a great story and because it reminded me of what I love about YA, and about reading in general. With immersive writing, unique characters that really come to life, and a story that I didn't want to end, I absolutely loved How to Keep Rolling After a Fall. I'm going to need to check out Karole Cozzo's debut, How to Say I Love You Out Loud, as soon as possible, and I can't wait to see what she publishes next!


  1. I LOVE How to Say I Love You Out Loud. It really touched me and I think Karole really did great job in developing her main character. You definitely have to read it. I have been waiting for her new book and reading this makes me thrilled.


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