Hello and happy Wednesday. Sometimes I get books just because they’re cheap or free, and sometimes I regret getting these books because they’re absolutely horrible. Take The Harder I Fall by Jessica Gibson, for example, more specifically the audiobook version. Now, if you ever come across this book, run in the other direction, do literally anything and everything, but don’t read it. You’re welcome in advance.
I had problems with this book from the very start, and that’s because Becca, the main character is this super shy girl who’s been through a lot and just wants to have a normal college experience, and that sounds a lot like This Is Falling by Ginger Scott, a book I absolutely adore by an author who’s one of my queens. The thing is, the beginning of the book reminded me so much of This Is Falling (even the name!) that it was impossible for me not to compare both.
Then we have Levi, who Becca meets on her first night (just like in This Is Falling), and they instantly fall in love with each other. Okay, that’s cute for books like Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, but is annoying in literally any other situation.
I had a super hard time adapting to the way the author managed the time in this story, like I felt that whole scenes were chopped off and left unfinished, and then some other scenes were superimposed, and the fact that I was listening rather than reading made it very confusing to me. Now, about the narration of the book I have to complain, just like Becca does, throughout the entire story, because the narrator sounds bored out of her mind. It’s like she lost a bet or is covering for someone but doesn’t really want to be there. She’s not good at changing her voice for different characters either, and that was another point of confusion and annoyance for me.
If you know me, you know that something I don’t like about books is when some sensitive issues are not well handled. There’s a trigger warning for this book regarding domestic violence, and the topic is thrown out there but it’s not handled in a way that as readers we understand that there was serious research on the topic, you know? I feel it was just something the author thought about to make her story more interesting, and that can be really hurtful to some readers.
For someone who’s already been through university, I think it’s key that authors really differentiate and capture university life versus high school life. I think it’s important because being in university means the way you socialize changes, and what I felt in this story is that the characters and the way they interact are totally immature. When Levi and Becca got together, I could only think about how pathetic it was, and how childish. I’m sorry, but that’s not how college people act. Then there was the whole Thanksgiving bit, in which Levi stays at school with Becca and that was basically just taken out of Anna and the French Kiss, or so I felt.
I had many problems with Levi because I think his character was conveniently written as Prince Charming, and was used almost as a wild card. He was, for example, conveniently rich, and we all know that money solves about every problem on earth, so thank you, dear Jessica, for that, you made the plot all the more interesting by making Levi and his family millionaires. But, oh, wait, Levi’s not perfect. No, he actually was a drug dealer or something while he was at school, and at some point he engages in this sort of discussion with Becca about who’s got it worse in life. Can you please not?
Levi also reminds me a lot of a guy I used to talk to on OK Cupid. You see how I said “used to”, as in past tense? That’s because the guy, like Levi, said “I love you” within two seconds of being in some sort of a relationship. Levi actually went a little further and confessed to Becca that he’d loved her from the moment he first saw her. Please, stop. I’m begging you. I’m cringing so hard everything hurts.
There was one thing that could’ve saved Levi for me and it’s the fact that he is a Jew, or so I thought. Then he had this huge Christmas (I repeat Christ-mass) celebration and I genuinely lost my patience with this book for real because how can an author be so careless as to imply a character is a Jew (you know, with the Jewish names and the family history) and then have them throw a massive Christmas party?
There were problems I had with the audiobook itself, like the lousy narration I already mentioned a few paragraphs above. But there were also technical problems, like the fact that a whole chapter was played twice. I thought maybe it’d been my mistake, like I had accidentally hit rewind or something, until a few chapters later this happened again with smaller fractions.
Becca was a super annoying character, but I think I hated her the most during those months after breaking up with Levi because she was moping around, and while that happened he got a girlfriend when supposedly they’d broken up because she didn’t love him back. I mean, talk about a story that makes absolutely no sense.
I honestly thought about putting this book on my DNF pile for 2017, but I need to finish it because of my Goodreads challenge and because I’m dying to give it a one-star rating but I need to be done with it first.
Now you tell me about a crappy read you’ve come across this year.
Love, Miss Camila