Book Title:
How We Fall
Book Author:
Kate Brauning
Publishing Date:
November 3rd, 2014
Merit Press
Date Read:
September 17th, 2015


Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle's sleepy farming town, she's been flirting way too much--and with her own cousin, Marcus.

Her friendship with him has turned into something she can't control, and he's the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn't right about this stranger, and Jackie's suspicions about the new girl's secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus--and deepens Jackie's despair.

Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else's lies as the mystery around Ellie's disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?

My Review

This book made me want some hot chocolate.  Aside from the fact that the characters in this book make tons of it, it seemed like a book that could pair well with a nice cup of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and a warm, fuzzy blanket.

I’ve read a lot of books with heartwarming relationships, and yes, they’re sweet and fun, but I mean, how many of those types of stories can you read, really?  Eventually something is going to come along and rattle the cage a little bit, because it’s so taboo and different than other stories you’ve read.  This book falls into the latter category.  It’s different than your typical love story.  How?  Well the two main characters are cousins.

Weird yet?

That’s the thing.  It’s weird, but in another light, it’s a sweet love story between a boy and girl who know they can’t be together, but can’t deal with being apart.

The main character in this story, Jackie, has been through a lot.  She and her parents moved out of their home in California into a farmhouse with her aunt and uncle, and their huge family.  So there are quite a few people living under one roof, and she’s often put in charge of babysitting her younger cousins.  Her oldest cousin, Marcus, is the same age as she is, and the two of them are incredibly close.  They are always paired together for chores, babysitting, etc., and they spend a lot of time together.

A few months prior to the story’s beginning, Jackie’s best friend goes missing.  While she and Jackie weren’t as close as they had once been, Jackie is still lost and in a lot of pain.  She feels guilty for not spending more time with her friend, and it’s eating at her.  Throughout the book. Jackie learns new facts about her friend’s disappearance, that lead up to a thrilling ending.

But back to Jackie and Marcus.  At first, a few summers ago, they had kissed on a dare while they were playing with their friends.  While they thought it was kind of weird, their attraction to each other made them do it again, and eventually, two summers later, they realize that the feelings that they have for each other are more than they should be.  They try and hide their “relationship” from their friends and families, because it’s not something that others would be accepting of.  They call it quits so many times, only to find their way back to each other.  They even try dating other people, thinking that it will help them get over one another, but in the end, is it ever really that easy?

When Jackie and Marcus realize that they truly love each other and can’t get away from it (plus, how easy can it be to break up when they’re living in the same house and seeing each other every day?), they have to decide whether it’s worth it to be with the one that they love, even if it means facing the criticism of their families and friends, and wondering if their choices are the right ones.

This book is fantastic.  It’s not only well written, but it’s captivating and fun to read.  It keeps you guessing the entire way through – what really happened to Jackie’s best friend?  Will Jackie and Marcus stay together, despite everything, or will they choose to end their forbidden relationship, in search of something a little more “normal?”

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

5 stars
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3 Responses to How We Fall by Kate Brauning

  1. Oh yay, I am SO glad you loved this book too! It was fabulous! I mean, of course I was a little wary because of the cousin love thing, but it didn’t even matter! Like, I dare someone to read this book and NOT root for Jackie and Marcus! I seriously could not believe that it was so well written that I was actually begging the author for cousins to get together- that is just the sign of fabulous characters and writing! Your review is lovely, and you’re so right- it IS captivating!

    • Kelly says:

      I was actually really hoping that Jackie and Marcus would end up together, too…I thought I was weird fo hoping that they would, but once you get past the cousin thing, it was such a wonderful love story!

  2. MarcusJackieForever! says:

    I Loved, like really loved it! I will always choose Marcus Jackie. I don’t care that theyre cousins, They are meant for each other. Soulmates

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