Title: If I Fall
Author: Anna Cruise
Publication Date: April 6, 2013
Publisher: Mission Bay Publishing
The Basic Summary: After her parents' divorce, Megan's life completely falls apart. With no one there to help her pick up the pieces, Megan is left to put herself back together. Enter Aidan. He's the perfect boyfriend, he makes her laugh, he makes her feel beautiful, and most importantly, he's the only one that's there for Megan. As time goes on, Megan learns that Aidan isn't what he seems, and as she falls deeper into his lifestyle, she loses herself a little bit more. Can she save herself before she falls in too deep?
My Review: *frustrated sigh* If the author had handled this book differently, it could have been an amazing book, but she didn't, so it wasn't. I've dealt with divorce, so I know how horrible it feels when it happens. It feels like your entire world is falling out from under you, and everything you thought you knew about your life is wrong. Basically, you feel lost. Because of that, it was easy for Aidan to take advantage of Megan. That part I understand, what I don't understand, however, is how easily everyone in her life gave up on Megan.
After the divorce, Megan's mother falls into deep depression and alcoholism. What bothers me about her mother is that NO ONE in Megan's life really bothered to check on her mother or Megan for a few weeks. Her aunt came in once, made Megan's mother get dressed, figured they were fine, and took off. After that, it was a while before anyone checked again. Her Aunt Sara eventually came back, sent Megan's mother to get some help, and moved in with Megan, after Megan got into trouble with her father. Another thing that bothered me about the situation with Megan and her mother was that Megan didn't care about her mother. When she did bring her mother up, it was usually to bring attention to how fat her mother was. The way Megan talked about her mother was awful.
At the beginning of the book, Megan's friends were there to support her through the divorce, but once she started liking Aidan, they gave up on her. They were incredibly judgemental, an dthey didn't really listen to her or care about what she wanted. When Megan finally stopped hanging out with them and started hanging around Aidan and his friends, instead of trying to get Megan back and talk to her about it, her friends started calling her stupid and a slut. Great friends, huh? When my parents got divorced, I pretty much fell apart, and for a while, all I could do was cry. I'm sure I wasn't fun to be around, but my friends never abandoned me. In fact, they went out of their way to make sure that I knew that I was loved. At the beginning of the book, Cruise kept talking about how Megan and her friends were so close, and how they'd known each other for years, but that's not how they acted. If you've been best friends with someone since childhood, and you're very close, they don't abandon you when things get tough the way Megan's friends did. They just don't. I didn't believe in the bonds of their friendship because they weren't really there. We were told that they were there, but we never saw them for ourselves.
What bothered me a lot about Megan was how quickly she changed. I understand that she was lost, but seriously? One hour she's a good girl hanging out with her friends and just talking, and literally an hour later, she's drinking, lying to the police, and practically having sex in a car with a guy she doesn't know. I don't care who you are, or what happened. No one completely changes in an hour. From there, Megan just gets worse. After the car hookup, Megan goes out with Aidan (the random guy) again the next weekend, they go to a party, get drunk, and he rapes her. The rape itself pissed me the fuck off because the author didn't treat it like rape. Megan said No and Aidan covered her mouth and continued to have sex with her. Afterwards Aidan apologizes for taking her virginity, and she forgives him. She didn't tell him he raped her, she didn't get mad that he took something she didn't want to give. She just went "Well.. He did say sorry." and went home with Aidan and smoked weed and slept with him again. Megan's transformation from a good girl into a delinquent wasn't at all believable. Cruise rushed it too much, and the entire thing just felt forced. Even more annoying was how Megan transformed from a bad girl to a good girl in a span of minutes at the end of the book, and how everyone acted like her having sex WITHOUT PROTECTION, drinking, breaking things, lying, sneaking out, skipping school, not doing homework, failing her classes, and doing drugs just never happened. Sure she was grounded by her aunt, but her aunt didn't address any of the things that Meg did. It was just "You lied to me and went to a party with your boyfriend, so you're grounded now." After a conversation with Case during her grounding, Megan decided that Case was right and she needed to stop doing all of the bad things she was doing, so she just quit. No, just no. Megan didn't decide for HERSELF that what she was doing was wrong. Case told her, and she basically went "Case said it's wrong, so it must be!" and then changed herself. Megan never actually thought for herself throughout the entire book. She just did everything everyone told her, but Cruise wants us to believe that Meg is a strong character? No.
Aidan was a douche. There's no nice way to say it. He introduced Megan to alcohol, drugs, and unprotected sex, but Cruise never really tried to make him sound like a bad guy. He was constantly guilting Megan into doing things, and towards the end of the book, he even cheated on her. At the end when Megan tried to leave him, he turned all psycho-boyfriend and told her that "We're not over until I say we're over." This pissed me off too because instead of Megan telling someone about this, she pretty much just went "Eh. I'll try again later." If a guy you're dating tells you that he's refusing to let you leave him, that's a huge issue. That's not something that you just ignore.
The only person I liked was Case, because he was the only person who was actually consistently there for Megan through it all even though she didn't realize it until the end. The one thing I don't like about the relationship between Case and Megan, is how sudden it all was. For 90% of the book, Megan kept insisting that she was in love with Aidan, but at the end, she suddenly realizes she has deep feelings for Case, and that he has deep feelings for her, and they get together. The problem with this is that we didn't see them develop deep feelings for each other at all. Once again, we were just told that they care for each other. We never actually got to see them grow to care for each other.
Basically, Cruise created a plethora of issues for Megan to deal with in this book, but Megan didn't actually deal with them. Megan fucked around for 4/5 of the book, and for the last 1/5th, everything somehow resolved itself with little to no impact on Megan. It just wasn't realistic. If you do drugs, have sex MULTIPLE TIMES without ANY protection, drink, fail your classes, and lie to the people who trust you, there are going to be REAL consequences. Was she grounded? Yes. But considering all of the dangerous things Megan was doing, that consequence is compeltely unrealistic. If you have sex without condoms or birth control repeatedly, you're going to get pregnant. Megan and Aidan had sex without condoms for MONTHS, and nothing happened to her. No STDs, no pregnancy, nothing. She did a multitude of drugs, drank a ton of alcohol, made it sound like she was addicted (she was constantly talking about how she needed *insert substance here* to cope), but she was able to quit all of it cold turkey and never thought about it again. She ditched her classes, failed tests, failed to turn in homework, but somehow none of this was ever brought up again, and it sounds as if there were no consequences for her failing her sophomore year of high school. It just wasn't realistic.
My Overall Opinion: I didn't like this book. I don't think the author handled ANY of the issues she brought up in a good way, and the fact that Megan faced no consequences for all of the things she did that year just makes no sense. If you have unprotected sex, drink, do drugs, and fail school there are going to be consequences. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone because it's just not a good book. In fact, it's awful.