I received How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo as an ARC via Netgalley, from the publisher, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review.
“After a cyber bullying incident turns her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl that everyone deserves a second chance in this swoonworthy new novel from the author of How to Say I Love You Out Loud.
The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That’s all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl’s suicide. Now Nikki’s been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can’t look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates – almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it’s like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance… and everyone deserves to be loved.”
WARNING: Some spoilers ahead!
At the beginning of How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, we learn that Nikki did something horrible. What Nikki did she can’t take back, no matter how much she wants to. And over the course of this book, we see the repercussions of that action. We see how Nikki deals with the things she’s done. We see some great character growth in all of the characters. — Even in the characters that make a small appearance. It’s really crazy actually, that even the characters that we see little of, or when we see them once and never again in the story, they’re still super realistic. And I’m not talking about in the fluffy way, way they’d flirt themselves out of a situation. I’m talking, the characters are like Cozzo has taken people from our world, and put them into this book.
There were some great character growths in this book. Nikki realized who her people were. At the beginning of this story when we first meet Nikki, Nikki is scared and incredibly frustrated. All within good reason. And the characters that weren’t superficially important in this book, are incredibly realistic as well. Cozzo writes such realistic characters, even if said characters were only spoken of briefly. They all seem incredibly realistic. As if these characters were people in our realistic world — like she just pulled them from our reality, and plopped them into this book. Seriously.
After we learn what has happened, and why Nikki is in the position she’s in, the book sort of… falls into place. Everything about this book seems to fall down neatly into place. I’m not saying that to be mean. I’m just saying that because now that I’ve finished the book, that’s how I honestly feel about the plot of the book. The plot of this story feels like it was all planned, everything nicely calculated. While that was going on, making the story seem calm, there were some character freak outs. Not to the extent of completely bizzaro world though. Like Nikki just got so tired, and she just let go of all her pent up emotions.
Nikki is the type of character (now at least) where she’s genuine in every fibre of her being. She’s no longer the one who secretly fights for attention with her ex-best friends. She’s no longer the popular girl, whose friends would rather throw her under the bus, than actually admit that they’d all done something wrong. Together. And face it, together. Now with the start of this book, Nikki finds new friends that are soulful. They actually care enough about each other, that they stand up for one another..are there for one another.. Nikki now knows the meaning of true friendship, and she’s going to keep these new relationships for as long as they last.
That said, Nikki’s character drew me in, and Pax kept me reading the rest of this book. The two characters flow so well around each other. After the the initial awkwardness of different situations, the two were good to go.
I found that Pax is such a cutie pie! He’s definitely stronger than people think he is, and is also just a general all around good guy. I absolutely loved his character. I found that Cozzo portrays Pax in a realistic way, but I wouldn’t know for sure. I want to stress that I can’t be 100% sure. The reason why, is because that Pax’s character has to use a wheelchair to get around. And I’ve never used a chair, so as I’ve said, I can’t be completely sure about that part of his character.
How to Keep Rolling After a Fall has the ability of being cute and fluffy while being simultaneously serious. Which is no big feat. There were some scenes in this book where Nikki and Pax were being cute and fluffy, and the mood in the scene would inevitably shift to where the two of them would become serious. These scenes like these flowed so naturally; it astounds me.
How to Keep Rolling After a Fall is one of the few books where the romance and story feels completely natural. All of the book seems natural.
How to Keep Rolling After a Fall is a Contemporary novel. And from reading this book, I can honestly say that this book deals with some topics that a lot of other YA Contemporary’s either ignore or don’t even touch. For that reason alone, I found How to Keep Rolling After a Fall to be one of the more (if not the most) realistic books I’ve read.
I found that there wasn’t anything that I didn’t hate, or didn’t like. How to Keep Rolling After a Fall is a realistic contemporary romance that I found myself liking from the first and last words of this book. That doesn’t happen often, folks! While this book ended up not being one of my all times faves, I can honestly say that I really enjoyed reading about Nikki’s story. Pax is quite the young man as well!
And the epilogue at the end is just so freaking cute! I really enjoyed this novel.
Thanks again to Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for allowing me to read How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, and to Karole Cozzo, for writing such a great YA Contemporary novel!
Thank you for reading my review!