Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review: The Year We Fell Apart

The Year We Fell Apart by Emily    MartinAbout the Book:
Title: The Year We Fell Apart
Author: Emily Martin
Pub. Date: Jan. 26, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 316
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary 
Rating: 2/5 stars


Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.



This is the type of book that just makes you sigh after you're finished reading. I knew going in this was going to be full of angst and drama, but this book went way overboard in those two categories. For almost this entire book, the drama that existed was literally pointless. I get it, communication between people isn't always the greatest, but when scenes end with, "Just forget about it...", what do the characters really expect to happen if a character ends a conversation like that? Nothing will come from anything, and it just further perpetuates the endless cycle of drama. 


I had multiple problems with this book, but one of the biggest was the main character. Harper was so unlikable (which was probably intentional to a certain extent). She was self-absorbed, incredibly selfish, and basically just a terrible lead character. There was nothing I liked about her. There's a line between making a character relatable and making a character so over-the-top that the character is basically unrealistic. I felt that Harper's character was taken to the extreme, especially with how she supposedly acted prior to Declan's departure. Furthermore, I didn't feel like Harper grew at all over the course of the novel. There were times where I thought, this is it, Harper will finally grow up and realize that she is the cause of all of this ridiculous drama, but alas...that didn't happen. In all honesty, I still don't get why Harper acted the way she did. Why she never apologized for mistakes and why she kept making the same mistakes. And personally, I don't think Harper even knew why she was acting the way she did. By the end, I was sick of the pity-party that was Harper's character, and didn't really care what happened between her and Declan. 


Another big problem I had was the whole romance between Declan and Harper. It was poorly done, and it felt extremely underdeveloped. The entire plot surrounding the reasons behind Declan and Harper's breakup didn't make one ounce of sense. And Harper's child-like behavior towards Declan throughout the story just reinforced everything I felt about her character. Yes, they had some sweet moments, but these were few and far between. Even the end of this book was very lackluster and almost anti-climactic. I didn't even really like Declan either while reading, and if I would have met those two characters in real life, I never would have guessed that they were best friends prior to Declan leaving, let alone dated. 


The last big problem I had was the subplot of Harper's mom and her cancer. From the description, I thought this aspect of the story would play a much larger role in the story. But it was relegated to the background, and barely talked about throughout the novel. I thought it was ultimately going to be what brought Declan and Harper back together, but spoiler didn't. I kept waiting and waiting for Harper's family to be explored more deeply, and if this happened, the book would have been much stronger. 

I can't say that I would recommend this novel because while the premise is good, it wasn't executed properly. There was way too much pointless drama that could have been resolved earlier on if these characters would have just opened their mouths and talked to each other. This book definitely let me down, but onto the next!

Happy reading :)



  1. Great review.
    Seems like a lot of YA romance books are tumbling downwards this year.

    ~ Scott (The Jolly Wordsmith)

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