It's not easy being Claire. (Really.) Claire's life is a joke . . . but she's not laughing. While her friends seem to be leaping forward, she's dancing in the same place. The mean girls at school are living up to their mean name, and there's a boy, Ryder, who's just as bad, if not worse. And at home, nobody's really listening to her -- if anything, they seem to be more in on the joke than she is. Then into all of this (not-very-funny-to-Claire) comedy comes something intense and tragic -- while her dad is talking to her at the kitchen table, he falls over with a medical emergency. Suddenly the joke has become very serious -- and the only way Claire, her family, and her friends are going to get through it is if they can find a way to make it funny again.
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This is an honest narrative about dealing with growing up and all the challenges that come along with it. I could relate to a lot of the questioning, doubt, and even the selfish moments Claire finds herself in throughout the book. I was 22 when I had to deal with this situation and I believe it would have been even harder had I been 10 years younger.
Claire and her family feel like they could have been my own, the neighbors next door, or my best friend's family. They are real, they are raw, they are not perfect. But underneath everything is love. Readers will find themselves or people they know in at least one of the characters.
The writing is not only powerful and heartbreaking, but also hilarious at the same time. It is one of the things that makes Sonnenblick's writing so incredible. He can make it okay to laugh even during the darkest times. In hindsight, sometimes we do need that humor to help us through those tough times. As a reader, you find yourself cheering on all the characters but especially Claire.
Sonnenblick is at his finest in Falling Over Sideways. Fans of his other novels, Drums, Girls,and Dangerous Pie, After Ever After, and Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip, will not be dissapointed. This is a must read for middle and high school students as well as adults. Just make sure you have some tissues handy.
the book held itself on its own. the book description tells us that this is once again a story of family, challenges, music and a lot of teen angst! and i just truly love it!
this definitely clenches my heart because what happened to Claire's dad also happened to my dad. so basically i was the feels on this. i loved Claire very much because I totally get how she's feeling about everything. the whole anger thing, to being scared, to worrying is how i felt growing up. and that's what so amazing about jordan sonnenblick books, he definitely knows how people at that age can be so selfish but at the same time learn all that feelings...
I know that this is mostly considered as a middle grade book but I also see it as a young adult... mg books are really innocent and have sheltered characters. but i kinda see it as ya because I was like that when i was already sixteen. with all the seriousness, drama, and relationships that ya has, having read this book can be looked as a breathe of fresh air. it just so nice to have those things in here too but with a different flavor.
i definitely love the aspect of family here. i mean jordan sonnenblick books definitely has a signature of relationship between an adult and a child or teen and the growth of that relationship. and Falling Over Sideways has it too.
I just love this book very much! just the writing style, characters, subplots and the whole story itself is just so crazy amazingly good!
~ finally! A female character
~ it's a Jordan Sonnenblick book! Of course it's amazing
~ Claire is sooooooooo realistic!
~ this is MG but I also see it as YA
~ family is ?