It's about six hours since you left the island. The way things have been, I know you wouldn't have expected me to come to see you off, but I keep thinking about how you waved and waved from the dock five years ago, when I was leaving for Toronto.
The Way We Fall reminded me of Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It. Not that the catastrophe's are that similar. They're not. (I still haven't decided which is more devastating...) Perhaps it is the personal touch of the narrators that make them similar. Miranda writing a personal journal that might--one day--be shared with others; Kaelyn writing specifically to an ex-best-friend, Leo. (She wanted to be more than friends, he didn't. There was awkwardness, silence, and avoidance.)
So The Way We Fall is set on a small Canadian island. Kaelyn's father is a doctor, a specialist, whose expertise is about to become essential. For there is a virus, a very deadly virus, spreading through the island. Within a week or two the island will be under quarantine to keep people from spreading the virus to the mainland. The survival rate is almost non-existent, out of hundreds of cases, only a handful have survived. (I can't remember if it is five or eight--but it is a SMALL number.) Once people start showing the symptoms, that's it, that's the end of hope and the beginning of misery. Because in the first few days, victims KNOW what's happening, true, they forget by the time the illness has progressed, and by the time it reaches the final stages they're beyond caring, but still, it's NOT a pretty way to go. The dust jacket says it all, "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."
So The Way We Fall is a the personal account of our young heroine, Kaelyn. Through her eyes we witness the best and worst of humanity--as the island's society collapses a bit. As some people in the community go out of control...
Read The Way We Fall
- If you're a fan of survival stories like Life As We Knew It or Ashfall
- If you're a fan of dystopias, this one is plague/virus driven
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews