No Place to Fall
This book sucked me in right from the beginning. It was about a small town girl and big dreams, about seeing other people's mistakes and making her own, about discovering who she was as a person, about falling in love, about friendships, about family, about music.
Amber was a character I really liked right away. She felt real. Small town girl, big dreams, family girl, with a secret part of her life that only her best friend knew. She cared about her family and her friends, she never wanted to see them hurt and she always wanted to help, even if it meant making some stupid decisions. She was faced with some hard choices and didn't always make the right one, but she actually had to deal with consequences which was nice to see. A lot of my favorite scenes had Amber with her best friend Devon. They were amazing together. It was easy to tell they cared about each other and would always be there. Will, the love interest, took a little time to grow on me as a love interest. I liked him as Devon's brother but he had a girlfriend and still flirted with Amber, giving her hope and playing with her feelings, though unintentionally. Another character, nicknamed Cheerleader Amber due to there being three Ambers at the school, was great as well. It was nice to see a cheerleadering non-main character who wasn't a mean girl.
Amber's family was a bit of a mess. Her father was always gone, cheating on her mother. Her sister was married to a drug dealer who involved her in his business. Her mother was almost a recluse. But that dynamic made for some amazing interactions between the characters. I especially loved Amber's relationship with her mother and watching it develop during the book.
The writing was wonderful. It flowed and made for an easy reading experience. With music being such a big part of the main character's world and with lyrics included, lyrical would be a good word. I really enjoyed the southern atmosphere to the book. I'm not from the south so I can't comment on any authenticity but I liked it. There was a lot of contrasting elements that I like as well. Amber's sister Whitney's potential versus Amber's potential, Amber's 'trailer trash' family versus Devon's rich family, Amber the good girl versus Amber the rebel.
The whole story is one I think will stick with me for a while.
I have to say that with contemporary I usually don't have any doubt that in the end everything will come to a happy place, but this book wrecked me because there was times - especially in the middle - that I was feeling as suffocated and lost and without a way out as our main character. The plot of this book is much more mature than average YA, the sister of our main character is married to a drug dealer, the marriage of her parents isn't that great either, we have drugs, sex - and some rock and roll too -, and this made the atmosphere of the book being heavy at times... Heavy because this problems are so real, even if you never had any kind similarity with Amber's problems I'm sure you'll feel her desperate feeling of being trapped in her parents expectations and how she wants so much more than that.
That's the other thing, it tells an incredible story in such a beautiful way, the writing in this book made me connect and get into it so much, I'm not a big fan of singers in books - idk why but I usually just get embarrassed by their big dreams and never get the feel of the music through a book but I loved the song scenes in this one, I think it was because the narrative didn't focused on the song itself but in the feelings that singing gave to Amber.
This book is not a cutesy romance or a light read, it's heavy and at some points it made me incredibly sad, or anger, or frustrated but it also made me happy (this is the second but that I cried of happiness!), and it did have some cute romance scenes but it wasn't all about that. This book is a story about a girl named Amber figuring out herself, what she wants, what her dreams are, where her heart belongs and where is the place she wants to fall.