Dare to Fall by Estelle Maskame Review
Synopsis: “MacKenzie Rivers seems like she has it all figured out. She has great friends, she’s doing well in school and her handsome ex-boyfriend is desperate to win her back. But something is missing from her life in Windsor, Colorado. And as much as she hates to admit it, that something might be Jaden Hunter. Tall, blond and athletic, a year ago Kenzie was falling fast for him and his crooked smile.
Twelve months later, everything has changed. A tragic accident has destroyed Jaden’s family and, despite the way she feels, Kenzie has no idea how to talk to him anymore. She is all too familiar with the impact family tragedy can have on the people she loves, and she can’t bear to go through it again with Jaden. She does the only thing she knows how to do: walk away.
When the pair meet again by chance one night, Kenzie realizes that she can’t ignore her feelings for him any longer. But as she is drawn back into Jaden’s life, she finds herself caught between her increasingly volatile best friend, her interfering ex-boyfriend and her own fears about opening up to Jaden.
Will Kenzie dare to fall for the one person she’s so afraid of growing close to?”
Dare to Fall is a fast-paced story about two teenagers learning how to deal with the death of close family members. At the age of 13 Kenzie’s baby sister died stillborn, so for four years, she has been carrying this weight around because in her parents have never dealt with the death of their child and find ways to deal with the grief differently. After Jaden’s parents died, Kenzie wasn’t sure how the death would affect, would it leave him broken like her parents or would he be able to keep living his life without the presence of his parents.
It’s amazing to see the different ways that grief affects people. There’s the type of people who try to unhealthy ways of coping and those who accept death and try to live life to the fullest.
Going into this story, I wasn’t sure how exactly how Jaden and Kenzie would repair their relationship because, when Jaden needed her the most, she left him and didn’t look back. I didn’t know if he would be resentful and angry or just upset that she wasn’t there.
“The right timing can make things go wrong, but the wrong timing can also make things go so right” – Dare to Fall by Estelle Maskame
I felt like the transition from not talking to trying to mend what was left very natural and healthy. It wasn’t like they went from radio silence to full blast noise, but a gradual development of okay we’re talking again let’s see where this takes us. Even after a year of not talking, they fell into a similar relationship like the one they had had a year ago.
In stories were somebody is “broken” and not who they use to be, it’s easy for the author to have that person use the other person for a distraction to get their mind off of the pain, but Jaden was honest to goodness a gentleman throughout all of the story and never used Kenzie in any way. It’s obvious that, despite all of the unknowns they face, the feelings between Jaden and Kenzie are real and not forged by the grief and heartache of the situation.
Will, Kenzie’s best friend, might be one of my favorite book friends. I mean he’s a hard-working student (hello he’s taking physics), supportive, funny, and he’s basically Switzerland between Kenzie and Holden argue. It’s one of those, you have to read about him to get the overall picture, but tbh he’s the best.
One of my favorite scenes is when Jaden shows up at the bowling alley where Kenzie works. Jaden just so happens to conveniently walks in with his grandparents to play a game five minutes before Kenzie get off from work. Since Kenzie has decided that she wants to try and fix their relationship, she stays and plays with Jaden and his grandparents. Later that night after she goes home to eat supper, Kenzie goes over to Jaden’s house, and their relationship slowly starts to become more.
I highly recommend this book not only because it is a fast read, but because it shows the different ways that death and grief effects people. Even though one of the main themes of this book is grief, it is not a “dark and depressing” story. The characters are not cooped in their rooms, but instead going to football games, homecoming, and spending time with their friends. It shows that grief is a natural reaction to death, but it shouldn’t take over your life.
Happy reading until next time,