Friday, August 5, 2016

Review: How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo

How to Keep Rolling After a Fall

Author: Karole Cozzo
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Pages: Paperback, 272 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: August 2nd 2016


After a cyber bullying incident turns her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl that everyone deserves a second chance.

The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That's all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl's suicide. Now Nikki's been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can't look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates - almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it's like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance... and everyone deserves to be loved.


I have to admit, that I kept delaying reading How to Keep Rolling after a Fall. Retrospectively I am not really sure why.
Actually, I do know. Honestly I knew that potentially this could be beyond disappointing. I loved the blurb. And how pretty is the cover?
But it's safe to say- ˆlooks at her rating - it didn't disappoint.
When I finally did start reading, I had decided to go into this with an open mind and little expectations.
Well, while that did work, it was actually not necessary.
HTKRAAF was written entirely from Nikki's POV and Cozzo throws the reader right into the deep end.
This picks up after Nikki's epic mess-up and just moments before she meets Pax.And let me tell, I was emotionally invested right from the beginning.Which is to be credited to two things: Writing style and character building.
The writing is easy yet has depth and huge amounts of insight.

The character building is what makes this an absolute must read.
Over the course of the book all characters evolve, we see different sides to a story and Nikki does do a lot of growing up.
The support cast, just like the two MCs, have layers and depth to them. I felt I understood the parents, I got to know the friends and I felt a strong connection to the MCs and could identify with them.

The plot is well paced. The story well told. I really enjoyed a different kind of romance.
Essentially this a coming of age story with a unique romance. It feels realistic and yet it is super cute.
The thing that makes this stand out though:
Cozzo managed to tackle some serious issues without sounding preachy. We see the result of bullying. We see friendships form and fall apart.
We see young people mess up and the effects of their carelessness. In this case they have some devastating consequences. It's definitely something that gives food for thought, but it isn't depressing. Not at all. Cozzo takes those devastating consequences and makes it a story of hope, friendships and expansion. Honestly the way this was done touched me deeply. I was a 17yr old who managed to have some pretty epic mess ups- simply because I didn't think things through, just like Nikki at times (I would have never gone along with the cyber bullying, but I manage some other retrospectively stupid things)- so I found myself in a situation, where I had lost the trust and felt alone, but also not sure how I could fix it. And then I have a friend, who had an accident at the pool and ended up in a wheelchair. Pax really reminded me of him!
So for me Cozzo got so much, so right!

A Story that moved me, that is full of hope, heartbreak and laughter and that reminded me of the important things in life
And yes, we all get second chances, we decided what we do with them!
Simply put: A wonderful book



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