I was privileged enough to receive an ARC of Fear of Falling by S.L. Jennings. Being a fan of her previous work, The Dark Light series, I was pretty confident that I would enjoy this book. I was not, however, prepared for the ride this story took me on. I know you’re thinking to yourself right now, “Mo, that book has been out for like a week! Giiiirrrrrll, what took you so long?” I KNOW. Why haven’t I posted this review earlier? I simply had no words. S.L. Jennings broke my heart in this book, then stitched all the little black pieces back together again. I couldn’t compile my thoughts into any sort of coherent form that would do this novel justice (As a matter of fact, this is the third time I’m writing this review!)
In this story, which was inspired by true events, we meet Kami and Blaine. Quite simply, Kami is broken. Her tragic past has her bound in a web of fear, isolation, and rituals. She considers herself unworthy of love, and incapable of loving in return. Emotionally crippled by her past abuse, she cobbles together a makeshift family with her best friends, Angel and Dom. All three are damaged souls, but they love each other in the only way Kami finds acceptable.
That is, until she meets Blaine. What can we say about Blaine? First, I need to add a little side note. When I first met Blaine in the book, this scene IMMEDIATELY popped into my mind.
Since Duckie Dale was one of my very first fictional boyfriends (and Pretty In Pink remains one of my all-time favorite movies), it was pretty much insta-love for me and this book. Blaine is…*sigh*…he’s just Blaine. Tattooed, pierced, hottie bartender? Protective streak a mile wide? What’s not to love? Have I mentioned he goes commando? Sign.Me.Up
Their attraction is pretty much immediate, and it’s strong. They quickly form a bond, but Kami is terrified to let Blaine in. Blaine won’t give up that easily, though. He knows that Kami is someone worth fighting for.
“Kami’s demons had somehow become mine without me even knowing them. And I swore on my life that I would fight every one of them. I would fight for her.”
The scars of her past continue to make their road together a rough one. Blaine advances, Kami retreats. There were times when I wanted to yell at her, “Just let him love you, you stubborn ass!” Being inside Kami’s head is not always fun.
“…you have to be capable of feeling a semblance of love. You have to be able to return it. I’m not. I can’t. …..I’m saying I’m unloveable.”
Since Fear of Falling is told with dual POVs (which I love!), we also get to hear what Blaine is thinking.
“I needed to kiss her. So. Fucking. Bad. But not now. Not like this. I needed to make her believe that she needed to kiss me too. I needed to prove that I was worth of her lips.”
Seriously, yo…I could quote Blaine all day, every day.
“I wanted to make Kami mine in every way, shape, and form. I wanted to claim every moan, every whimper, every shudder”
Shall I continue? Yes??? Stop being a mooch and go buy the book, ya looky-loos!!
Ultimately, in my mind, this story, despite the suffering and horrible experiences within, is a story of hope. Kami and Blaine have proved that everyone is deserving of love, and that they are capable of loving in return. Kami taught me that if you’re courageous enough to let people in, they will build you back up when life tears you down.
5 Smiling-Through-The-Tears Stars