book review

Heartfall by J.B. McGee


***Received ARC from publisher via NetGalley***

Goodreads description:

Claire Ross has never been good enough. Not for the girls in the elite group of dancers in her class and certainly not for the approval of her ballet teacher, Mr. Robins. She definitely doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror. Simply put, she doesn’t love herself, so how could she possibly love someone else?

After twelve years of friendship, Sebastian Reyes’ adoring gaze holds more. They soon find themselves unable to control their feelings for one another.

When tragedy strikes, Claire finds herself in a very unlikely and unfavorable position. Regardless of the weight of the emotion, she must make difficult decisions that impact the rest of her life.

Will Claire see that her true love has been right in front of her? Happily ever after isn’t just for fairy tales. To get hers, all she has to do is trust, open her heart and fall.

Though I recognize that bullying is a heavy topic that a lot of authors should take very seriously (which the author did in this story for the most part), this book left me wanting. Wanting a clear timeline. Wanting a little more character development. Wanting a little more depth to the back story. Wanting a little bit more out of the interactions between characters. Wanting a little more chemistry. Just… I needed a little bit more all around.

And while it was lacking in a lot of essential aspects that make a great story, it also had too much of things I didn’t need. There were too many things going on that it made my head spin. Too many back stories that left me with even more questions. Too many characters but hardly any of them left a lasting impression. Too many voices, though barely any of them stood out. And then a wrap-up chapter from a narrator that was never present in the story before. This was a rollercoaster ride of a completely different caliber, and all I wanted to do at the end was to consume a new book, like washing down a handful of Dramamine to clear away the dizzying details and steady myself.

It started out strong, establishing the bullying Claire had endured pre-Sebastian clearly. Everything post-Sebastian, however, fell flat. All the intricate details from the beginning of the story wasn’t sustained throughout the book. This is one of those stories that somehow felt like it was dragging despite how quickly things escalated.

Overall, it was a good concept. It just needed better execution. There were touches of elements that make a good story. I just think it could’ve been fleshed out better.

Rating: 2.5 stars


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