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The Moment We Fell
Kelli Warner. Wave Runner, $15.99 paper (380p) ISBN 978-1-73271-701-5
This sophomore effort by Warner (Not with the Band) follows 17-year-old ballerina Paige Bryant as she struggles to come to terms with her mother’s death. When a drunk driver kills Paige’s mother, her will stipulates that Paige live with her father and his family, who didn’t know she existed. Moving from San Diego, Calif., to Mystic Shores, Ore., and adjusting to her new family and school, Paige befriends reformed bad boy Cade Matthews, who has baggage of his own. As she attempts to suppress her grief and avoid dancing (and her father) altogether, Paige falls in requited love with Cade—but the duo’s inability to face their respective pasts threatens their chances of happily ever after. Warner adeptly conveys the emotions surrounding loss, which both Paige and Cade experience, by utilizing alternating perspectives. Cade suffers several bad boy clichés, such as having a motorcycle and tattoos, and certain plot elements feel soap opera–esque, but Warner otherwise populates the book with realistic characters and avoids melodramatic stereotypes. Readers looking for a chaste tale of love and healing will be pleased. Ages 12–up. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 03/20/2020

Release date 06/01/2019

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