All-consuming fame and fortune prove too much for a teen popstar who suddenly goes missing–Eddie and the Cruisers for the Justin Bieber era.
After 15-year-old Joshua Blackbird posts a performance of an original song on YouTube, he becomes an overnight sensation, catapulting to the dizzying heights of celebrity. Joshua is plucked from his middle-of-nowhere small town to pursue a pop star career complete with million-dollar record deals, international tours with sold-out crowds, and a diehard following who call themselves “Birdies.” But it’s not long before the never-blinking eye of fame begins weighing this bird down–the constant hunger of managers, record execs, paparazzi, even family, all leeching onto him. Then there is the staged romance with a teen pop princess and the unsettling fear brought on by a stalker. Everyone reaching out, determined to grab their piece of stardom, forgetting that an actual person–a kid nonetheless–is on the other side their grasp. It’s all too much.
Until, that is, Joshua Blackbird disappears. Was it a suicide? An accident?
Narrated from the perspective of Joshua’s girlfriend from home, Roxie, The Falling Between Us presents every wannabe teen heartthrob’s dream come true . . . only to realize it is a nightmare.
Oh, this is a tough one to pinpoint a rating. I’m going to go with three crowns at the moment, but it was super super close to getting a 3.5 crown.
This book was mesmerizing in a weird way, and it just emotionally pulled me in so deep. I felt like I was in such a different head space in this book, and I really have to commend Parsons for this. I don’t think I’ve ever been in this deep with a novel in…such a long time. I have to give major kudos, but I will admit that if you’re in a head space that is depressed, I’m not entirely sure this the right book to pick up. It wasn’t dark per say, but it deeps with a few people that are struggling with mental wellness and mental health.
To be completely honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into. Was it a mystery? Was it a story of self-discovery? Some kind of fluffy contemporary? However, the story that I got was a deep look into the struggles that Joshua, an viral young musician, and the deep grief that Roxanne faces after she loses him. It’s an interesting, emotional look into the dark descent into depression and helplessness that Joshua faces along with the consuming grief that Roxanne feels. They’re both done so well done and realistically. Joshua’s descent just felt so REAL and my heart ached for him. The same for the way that Roxanne reacted. There was no quickly getting over it. Most the YA novels that deal with grief show only one way and then are like, okay, I spent a chapter, LET’S MOVE ONTO HAPPINESS AND BRUSH THIS ALL AWAY. However, this book did such a wonderful job with the deepness and emotional impact and realisticness.
I’m a tiny bit torn about the characters. To be completely honest, I felt this was kind of a Great Gatsby situation. I did feel for a majorly big part of the story, Roxanne was just the narrator like Nick Carraway was. It wasn’t her story because I never really felt her other than her grief. I kind of forgot sometimes she was a big history love because I was so wrapped up in the other characters. I wouldn’t have really blinked if someone had told me this was inspired by The Great Gatsby with the narrator that was just along for the ride and questionable side characters in their pursuit of wanting something from the Gatsby character (Joshua) – which was a cool feeling, but I did want more from her heroine. I wanted to know what made her tick, and other than Joshua love, I’m not entirely sure I got much from her. Her connections to Lillian were interesting, though.
Joshua was really the shining star to me. He had such detail to him. Wow, he was defined, and I feltttttttttttttt for him. He was so intriguing for me with all of his little complexities. Speed, Ty, Artie, and even Grandma were well done as well. I got them, I saw them, and I liked them. Other than Roxanne, I thought most of the characters were pretty well done and I got what I wanted from them.
The writing was a bit interesting for me as well. In the beginning, it was a lot of telling. You know the rule show, don’t tell? It was a lottttttttttttt of telling. It didn’t really throw me off that much, but it did get a little annoying once I picked up on it and it was all I could read. However, by the middle, it totally hits its groove. Parsons definitely shows a lot of promise for her first novel, since it just hits you quite hard in the feels and completely engrosses you. I binge read this literally in two sittings and it was so, so easy to read. Pacing was on par.
The mystery/plot was interesting as well. Once we got to the BIG change in the story, I was super lost on where it was going to go. However, I thought it did a pretty good job with keeping it still interesting and giving us a few twists and turns. The mystery aspect doesn’t really show up until quite late in the story, and while I did have my guesses, I wasn’t entirely sure how it would pan out. I’m not entirely sure how I felt about the ending, though. It did feel a bit abrupt, and I kind of felt like it might have been better if it had entered just a slight bit differently. But it still was quite interesting.
Overall, this was quite an interesting little read that was super different than anything I’ve read in such a long time. I don’t remember feeling as engrossed in a novel as I had in such a long time. It was so different and I still feel so suckered into this book world. However, it did have a few issues like a weak main character and some writing/small plot issues. That being said, I did think this was a great debut, and I would recommend it if you’re looking for a contemporary that is totally different and you just want to be hit in the feels. It is a bit dark and does talk about mental health/wellness, so warning for that. Three crowns – that might eventually be turned into a 3.5 – and a Jasmine rating because this was a whole new world.
What do you think? What was the last book that completely suckered you in and left you spit out in a weird book funk? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
UN Right #3
3. The Right to Life. We all have the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety.
This one fits quite well with the book. Joshua feels so trapped in his life – by the fans, the media, the music company, the life that he got stuck into when just wanted to play music. We don’t really think about what some of favorite musicians might go through and what their rights are versus what they signed up for. Joshua’s story really took an interesting take on this right and how much he can take before it’s too much.
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