*****Best YA Book & Author of the Year***** The Three Bookateers 2015 Indie Awards Kaitlyn Woodley is a beautiful, determined, high school senior who embraces her small-town roots and country life. She’s studious, musically gifted, and headed for a successful career in swimming. Her dreams are well within her reach. That is until she becomes tangled up with the handsome rodeo cowboy, Pistol Black. Not only does he turn every teenage girl’s head in the county, but he also turns her perfect world upside down. Kaitlyn’s protective twin brother, along with her best friends, begin to see warning signs in their relationship. When best friend Brody steps in to protect her, newly discovered feelings complicate an already volatile situation. Soon, everything begins to change. Old feelings die, new feelings emerge, and the situation that arises will alter their lives forever.
When Fall BreaksFeatured
‘When Fall Breaks’ is the first installment of the Seasons of Jefferson series. It is both a slow burn teen romance and a contemporary story of domestic abuse and teenage love gone wrong.
What I Loved: The slow burn romance between Brody and Kaitlyn is both realistic and very sweet. I love the idea of Kaitlyn and Brody being best friends before they started dating. I liked how the storyline tackled some hard-hitting topics such as domestic abuse and underage drinking and showed the consequences. Also, the country setting to this story is something different from the usual YA suburbia.
What Left Me Wanting More: First off, I understand that the underage drinking and risk taking in this book is to make a point of the consequences of bad behavior. However, I would have liked to see more of a parental presence in the story. Aside from Kaitlyn and Caden’s father being the football coach, their parents were almost never mentioned. Over-achieving teens like Kaitlyn and Caden would certainly have parents active in their lives and I would have liked to have seen that represented more in the story.
Secondly, being the mother of boy/girl twins myself, I found Kaitlyn and Caden’s relationship, one-dimensional and stiff. The only emotion that they seemed to show each other is Caden’s over protection of Kaitlyn. There’s no bickering, no joking, and no real affection between them other than Caden constantly looking over Kaitlyn’s shoulder.
Lastly, Kaitlyn perfection is a little much. Over and over again it’s mentioned that Kaitlyn is beautiful, smart, talented, and outgoing and is even described as an athletic Barbie doll. Yet she acts as if she doesn’t know if Pistol or Brody will find her attractive.
My Final Verdict: I enjoyed ‘When Fall Breaks’ and would really like to find out what happens next for the characters. The story is a YA romance with some important messages behind a sweet love story.
Aside from her relationship with Pistol, Kaitlyn lives a pretty nice life. She has a twin brother, Caden, and two best friends, Jenna and Brody. Brody is also Caden's best friend and they've all known for each for many years. Their friendship is built on a host of memories, jokes, and nicknames, and they all get along very well. So well, in fact, that Brody and Kaitlyn each have feelings brewing for the other but don't want to say anything lest they ruin their longstanding friendship. When these feelings bubble to the surface, it brings up a lot of good for the both of them as they learn what they really mean to each other, but it also brings about more trouble, since Pistol's overly jealous nature is not something with which anyone wants to reckon.
Even though the novel was interesting, there were parts of it that were not as necessary, as the storyline would have likely worked well without it. These scenes, however, were good in that they showed both the volatile nature of her relationship with Pistol and the kind and sweet nature of her relationship with Brody. Yet, the cliffhanger ending of the novel, even though another book in the series will likely resolve it, will leave readers yearning for more, upset that they've read quite a long book without a fitting conclusion.
Authors Julie Solano and Tracy Justice have crafted a story that will pull at heartstrings, bring some tears to readers' eyes, and make those same readers upset that there isn't more to be read in that particular storyline. It speaks to their ability to engage readers, and for that reason, the novel is certainly worth checking out. Plus, you can read the first couple of chapters of the next one in the series on Amazon's "Look Inside" option.