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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 11/2021
  • 978-0-9600177-2-0 B09HQ5WWQR
  • 300 pages
  • $6.99
Leslie Tall Manning
Author
Rules of Falling

Young Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

Bronze Medal Winner, Readers' Favorite

Erica O’Donnell is hardly the quintessential high school senior. She doesn’t have a driver’s license. She’s never been to a concert. Sports are out of the question. She doesn’t own a pair of heels. No boy has ever asked her out. All of this for good reason: Erica faints. A lot. And at the most inconvenient times. Chronic fainting, also known as syncope, keeps Erica on the sidelines as the odd-girl out. Luckily, Lindsay Bennett hovers nearby to catch Erica each time she nose-dives to the floor. Lindsay isn’t only Erica’s best friend—for four years she’s been her savior. But things are about to change. When Lindsay breaks up with her boyfriend Adam to pursue a married man, Erica is intrigued. But as Lindsay’s relationship intensifies, Erica finds her own world spinning out of control: from covering up her friend’s affair, to hiding her feelings for Adam, to casting suspicion when a string of arson fires sweeps through the town. Gradually peeling away layers of deception from those she trusts the most, Erica must decide how far she is willing to go to uncover truths—and how many people will get burned in the process.

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.75 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot/Idea: This young adult mystery portrays an engaging and lifelike depiction of a high school senior's struggles with an unusual condition and her navigation of friendship, romance, and right and wrong.

Prose: The narrative is clear, authentic, and effectively establishes a sense of time and place, while building tension throughout.

Originality: The protagonist's medical condition brings a unique element to the story, setting her circumstances apart from individuals in other coming-of-age stories. The intrigue and danger surrounding Lindsay Bennett add welcome depth to the story, as does the well-developed mystery.

Character Development/Execution: While the story's protagonist is successfully established and sympathetic, the work may benefit from additional details relating to other characters, their backstories, and relationships. Nevertheless, Manning delivers a thoughtful, twisty novel that will have readers hooked from the first page.

Date Submitted: July 10, 2022

Reviews
Goodreads

Rules of Falling follows Erica, who suffers from the fainting disorder syncope and has a less than normal life because of it. Her best friend Lindsay helps by staying by her side at all times, but a rift drives a wedge between the two as Lindsay begins a relationship with a married man. Erica quickly finds herself buried in secrets, which all begin to come to light as a string of mysterious fires hit her town.

Rules of Falling gave me a lot of the same vibes as i am Elephant, i am Butterfly, and I am just as impressed with this book. Once again, I had to take a step back and let it all sink in before writing this review. Lots and lots of things going on here: chronic medical disorders, predatory relationships, arson, and more. How did this all fit into one book and still manage to flow and read well? Color me impressed. And while Erica is the lead and a great one at that, I found myself fascinated with how Lindsay's character was written. It's easy to get so frustrated with her, but when things start to go wrong, the reader is reminded of how young she is and how this impacts her choices and outcomes (parents: her story is incredibly important to read). I also feel like I should have seen the twist coming, yet I was completely caught off guard! I could keep going, but I'll just leave it at this: pick up a copy of Rules for Falling when it publishes, readers will not be disappointed.

Thanks to BookSirens for this ARC; this is my honest and voluntary review.

Goodreads

Once again Leslie Tall Manning nails the teenage psyche with this engaging young adult novel. Erica, our main character suffers from syncope, a fainting disease. Her best friend, Lindsay, knows just what to do when Erica suffers a fainting spell and helps her navigate her way through high school. But everything changes when Lindsay becomes obsessed with a married man. Erica doesn’t trust Lindsay’s new heartthrob and is convinced he is not the man Lindsay thinks he is. But when Erica tries to warn her, Lindsay pushes her away. Couple that with a series of mysterious fires and you have a coming of age, romance, and mystery story all rolled into one that will keep readers engaged from beginning to end. Highly recommended. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Goodreads

I am a fan of Leslie Tall Manning’s work, having read all six of her published novels. And, somehow, her writing just seems to get better with each release.

RULES OF FALLING, her latest, centers on Erica, a teen who suffers from syncope (fainting spells), and her best friend and protector, Lindsay. Introduce heartthrob Adam, and you have the makings of the perfect teen friendship and romance. Yet there is so much more to this story than teen friendship and romance…

When Lindsay makes a profoundly damaging judgment call, friendships are shattered, and painful hidden truths come to light. A tale of deception and manipulation, RULES OF FALLING is an edgy teen tale with a terrifying, heart pounding ending.

Though it’s a great adult read, RULES OF FALLING is a young adult novel that should be required reading for all teen girls.

Goodreads

Rules of Falling by Leslie Tall Manning is a mystery, romance and coming of age novel all in one. Manning does an excellent job creating complex and intriguing characters, and by the end of the first chapter I was fully aligned with Erica, the protagonist living with syncope. Erica manages high school thanks to her best friend and protector Lindsey, but when Lindsey becomes obsessed with her affair with a married man, things quickly complicate.

Erica tries to protect her friend, but ends up being pulled into the drama along with Lindsey’s ex-boyfriend Adam. Against the backdrop of a string of unsolved fires in town, Erica must deal with lies, betrayal, and navigating her newfound feelings for Adam. With each chapter Manning escalates the tension, and the intense ending both surprises and inspires.

Using the combination of mystery and strong character development, Rules of Falling expertly tackles the teenage challenges of friendship, romance, fitting in, independence and making ethical choices. This is a fabulous read for all ages, but young adults will especially resonate with the themes.

Readers' Favorite Reviews

Manning has pieced together a web of events and characters with a perfectly elegant flow. What seems to be a modern coming-of-age tale, mixed with a slight bit of romance, quickly turns into a suspenseful mystery filled with betrayal and deceit...highly recommend.

The Prairies Book Review

The prose is clear, straightforward, and immersive, and the fully fleshed-out cast of secondary characters and sharp dialogue keep the reader engrossed. The skilled narrative enhances the characters' individual drama that may hit very close to home for YA readers struggling with issues of identity, love, and self-realization. Complex and sophisticated. Absolutely un-put-downable!

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 11/2021
  • 978-0-9600177-2-0 B09HQ5WWQR
  • 300 pages
  • $6.99

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