“Stella Button, the moment you ripped that ice cream out of my hand, you knocked me off-balance. All I could do was fall.”
4,5 “light and dark” stars.
Fall is another stellar light yet deep, funny yet serious creation of Kristen Callihan!
It is the perfect blend of fun *see some of my favorite quotes* and thoughtfulness.
Fun because Stella and John alias Jax are what we call in our “jargon” OTP or One True Pairing. In other word made for each other.
They have the same taste in food, they went through difficult time as kids, they both are caring people and have one of the best banters!
This story is filled with swoony moments and laugh. I swear just the opening scene with Stella stealing John’s ice cream had me smiling like a loon! I laughed not only reading the quick remarks flying between Stella and John but between Scottie and Jax! Haaaa! Scottie my man. He was back in all his glory making fun of John/Jax and being completely smitten by his son Felix. Pure bliss!
Here is Scottie explaining parenting after John failed to calm Felix:
“Scottie and Felix shoot me twin glares. My nerves are officially shot, and I swear I need a drink or to run this adrenaline out. “Holy hell, mate, how do you even know what to do?” “Trial by fire.” Scottie smiles thinly. “Only the strong survive.””
And another one of my favorites in the book, when John confesses to Scottie that he may have offended Stella:
“What do I do?” I blurt out. Scottie gives me a sidelong look. “Invest in a good set of kneepads. I predict a lot of groveling in your future.”
The story is not pure light and fun. You have a serious and thoughtful undertone. John suffers from depression and is battling inner demons for years now.
Kristen told us she also had hard times and it’s obvious she knows her topic. Depression is broached with acute precision and enormous respect. It’s hard to escape your thoughts when your mind is trying to trick you and pull you down. You can’t just turn a switch and make it go away. Even if the person wants to get better and to be better it’s still a hard battle. Sometimes you slip down into that really dark hole because it’s just too hard to keep fighting. That’s what John is living for years now, very bravely.
“But that’s not what I think about.” He swallows audibly. “What I hold onto, what I keep crystal clear, is that moment when I started to fade. I remember how fucking terrified and regretful I felt. I didn’t want to go. Not really. I just wanted to feel okay.”
Stella is also what I would call a courageous soldier. She’s suffered from parental neglect and has been alone for a very long time. Her father left her to fend for herself. Yet she is one of these sunny personalities, always wanting to help others and possessing a true warmth. She is an Uber resilient human. That’s what makes her the perfect counterpart to John’s own brand of shadows.
I loved how Kristen Callihan made their love story progress. It was not insta-love even if there is insta attraction but the more they’ll know each other the more their feelings will grow.
I loved…so many things!
-the main and of course side characters (we got to see our old favorites);
-reading about Scottie being smitten by his baby boy Felix and still so in LURV with Sophie;
-the banter! Priceless. I was chuckling alone on the train;
-the past of both characters that added a real depth and some drama to the story when said past resurfaced;
-Kristen spot on yet respectful writing about depression and mental illness.
Reading Fall was like getting your favorite blanket out of the closet *you know because it is fall and you got a little bit cold* and wrapping his comfortable warmth around you.
Well now you do just that: grab you favorite blankie and dive under to read Fall while drinking hot chocolate. Better try to eat mint chocolate chip ice cream to get in the mood!
A copy was generously provided by the author but it had no influence whatsoever on my willing and always honest review.
Have you read it? Or any of Kristen’s books?
Thanks for reading!