Great Falls

 
0.0
 
4.7 (2)
875 0
Great Falls
Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
April 26, 2016
ISBN
9780763671556
One brother home from war. The other desperate to save him. A gripping journey together to the river's end.
Shane has always worshiped his big brother, Jeremy. But three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken their toll, and the easy-go-lucky brother Shane knew has been replaced by a surly drunk who carries his loaded 9mm with him everywhere and lives in the basement because he can’t face life with his wife and two small children. When Jeremy shows up after Shane’s football game and offers to take him to the family cabin overnight, Shane goes along — both to get away from a humiliation on the field and to keep an eye on Jeremy, who’s AWOL from his job at Quantico and seems to have a shorter fuse than ever. But as the camping trip turns into a days-long canoe trip down the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, Shane realizes he’s in way over his head — and has no idea how to persuade Jeremy to return home and get the help he needs before it’s too late. In a novel at once gripping and heartbreaking, Steve Watkins offers a stark exploration of the unseen injuries left by war.

User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.5  (2)
Characters 
 
5.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.5  (2)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Gritty but honest portrayal
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I would not be able to hand this book to my thirteen-year-old son, as much as I would like to, in part because of the language. But I believe that high school aged kids would be fine with the content; it's no worse than what they hear on the bus. The book also had a few scenes that made me cringe, but again, not because they were inappropriate or unrealistic, so I don't mean that a a negative. I just mean that this is probably not an appropriate read for a middle grade audience in case someone was deliberating whether to buy for younger readers. Lastly, I believe the affected character behaved very much like many other young veterans based on my own experience. I feel the author was fair and honest in his portrayal of not only the veteran but of his family members and spouse. Well done, Steve Watkins, and thank you for giving us a book that a certain audience needed.
Good Points
I'm so glad the author wrote about a family (actually two families) dealing with a returning soldier with PTSD. So many people right now are dealing with this same issue (like my own family) and it means a lot to be able to read something one can relate to. There just aren't enough YA books that deal with this tough issue.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Grippingly realistic
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Shane knows he's living atop a powder keg, both literally and figuratively. His step dad acts like he's running a marine corps division, even though he never really saw combat and is retired. His mother is intimidated by her husband, but does try to keep peace after he explodes. The real ticking bomb, however, lives in the basement. That's where Shane's older brother, Jeremy hides from the world and his demons.
Jeremy served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and now can't deal with peacetime back home. The invisible scars inside him fester, preventing him from sleeping, finishing out his tour at Quantico , or living with his wife Annie and their two infant daughters.
Shane feels adrift himself, not sure how to deal with Jeremy, angry at his stepfather and becoming detached from his teammates on the high school football team. He's ambivalent about his feelings for Annie, even though helping her and offering a supportive ear make him feel better.
That feeling of being adrift takes on a whole new meaning when Jeremy coerces him into skipping school and taking an impromptu canoe trip down the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. What transpires between the brothers and how the trip ends up make for a very well done and gripping read. It reminded me of Laurie Halse Anderson's The Impossible Knife of Memory in terms of getting readers to understand the scope and severity of war induced guilt, dreams and PTSD.
While there is violence and strong language in the story, both are integral parts of it and shouldn't deter libraries from adding a copy to their collection. This is an excellent and gut-hitting story.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Woven in Moonlight
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The new fifth edition of National Geographic's award-winning atlas is...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It’s a piece of cake! ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new arc in the bestselling...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The tenth book in Ralph Masiello’s popular drawing series shows...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
When they're stuck under one roof, the house may not...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They thought their troubles were over … but they’ve only...
The Monster Hypothesis
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Bohring-home to 453 people, 2,053 alligators, and one...
Where the World Ends
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Winner of the 2018 Carnegie Medal! New from Michael L....
Carnevil (Monsterstreet #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
“Fast, funny, frightening—and filled with shocks and surprises. These books...
Prophecy Untold (Shadow Realms book 3)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finding out my mother was taken by the demons...
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this charming debut about first love and second...
Six Goodbyes We Never Said
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love,...
Golden Crown
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
No longer only a warrior. Not just a queen....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first vampire. The last Nephilim. The end...
The Galactic Adventures of Hazel - Gurecoa
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
What is it like to live in 4519 AD...

Latest Member Reviews

Woven in Moonlight
 
4.7
"WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT is a lush fantasy that transports the reader into the world of Inkasisa, a place which is..."
 
3.3
"The story: Tyson Trice has not had it easy in life. Months after he is shot and almost dies he’s..."
Refraction
 
4.3
"Marty is a flawed character in any number of ways, not least of which is his propensity to do what's..."
Frankly in Love
 
4.7
"I love this book so much. I read it pretty much in one sitting because I couldn't put it down!..."
Where the World Ends
 
3.0
"WHERE THE WORLD ENDS is an intriguing historical fiction, based on a true story. The boys of Hirta are sent..."
Bury Me
 
4.7
"In horror books and movies, we often see dolls as the main source of scares( such as Annabelle or Child's..."
Juliet Takes a Breath
 
4.7
"Juliet Takes a Breath is a coming of age story about a Latina lesbian from the Bronx who travels to..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
5.0
"Fireborne is a fantasy novel set nine years after a bloody uprising against a brutal regime in which the poor..."
Jason & Kyra
 
N/A
"i am from Italy hello. Can you help me translate? /rardor"
The Galactic Adventures of Hazel - Gurecoa
 
3.0
"THE GALACTIC ADVENTURES OF HAZEL - GURECOA takes place in the far future, where our planet is only vaguely recognizable...."
Batman: Nightwalker (The Graphic Novel)
 
4.3
"BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER (THE GRAPHIC NOVEL) converts the YA novel by Marie Lu into graphic novel format. The plot remains the..."
Adorkable
 
5.0
"ADORKABLE is a book you can easily predict, but the journey is unbelievably delightful. Sally Spitz is a senior in..."
Six Goodbyes We Never Said
 
3.3
"SIX GOODBYES WE NEVER SAID is quite a heavy YA contemporary. We follow Naima and Dew in alternating sections. Naima..."
Wilder Girls
 
4.7
" THIS WAS INCREDIBLE. This book reads like BUTTER...… Moldy, rotten, disgusting butter,..."
The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
 
4.0
"After killing a man in Paris, Celine is forced to flee to a different country and finds herself in New..."
The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
 
5.0
"Guinevere has one role to play when she arrives in Camelot. She has to protect King Arthur with her life...."
Unstoppable Moses: A Novel
 
3.3
"UNSTOPPABLE MOSES is quite an interesting YA contemporary. With dark humor, grief/healing, and guilt/blame, this book takes on some big..."
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
 
4.0
"The most amazing thing about classic horror stories is how they still influence many writers today. To read 'the..."
Patron Saints of Nothing
 
4.3
"After learning that his cousin Jun (his best friend and penpal) has died, Jay Reguero heads back to visit his..."
Now Entering Addamsville
 
3.7
"Zora Novak has been accused of a crime she didn't commit. It doesn't help that her family are known as..."