Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Falling Away by Penelope Douglas

By 8:03 AM , , , ,

Falling Away (Fall Away #3)
    by: Penelope Douglas

Publication Date: Jan. 6, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 429 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Jaxon is the guy she’s supposed to avoid.

K.C. is the girl he won’t let get away....

K. C. Carter has always followed the rules—until this year, when a mistake leaves her the talk of her college campus and her carefully arranged life comes crashing to a halt. Now she’s stuck in her small hometown for the summer to complete her court-ordered community service, and to make matters worse, trouble is living right next door.

Jaxon Trent is the worst kind of temptation and exactly what K.C. was supposed to stay away from in high school. But he never forgot her. She was the one girl who wouldn’t give him the time of day and the only one to ever say no. Fate has brought K.C. back into his life—except what he thought was a great twist of luck turns out to be too close for comfort. As the bond between them grows, he discovers that convincing K.C. to get out from her mother’s shadow is hard, but revealing the darkest parts of his soul is nearly impossible.…

Well friends, Penelope Douglas has done it again. My emotions are officially on the fritz after reading this book. Ever since I finished Rival, I wanted Jax's story and man, did I get it. This is such a volatile, explosive, passionate book that seriously left me reeling due to the rollercoaster ride I endured while reading. This is not an easy, light read. It's dark, painful, and there were times I feared for my own sanity. There is this incredibly powerful, INTENSE push and pull dynamic between K.C. and Jax. There were times when I couldn't stand these characters. And then there were times I wanted to hug the crap out of them for having had to endure so much they shouldn't have had to in their lives.
This was not an easy book to read. I don't like seeing character's feelings hurt because of venomous words spouted by others with the intent to harm. That always rubs me the wrong way, and it's even worse when it's the love interest doing it. I understand Jax says the things he does to K.C. as a means of pushing her to be her true self, but it's still hard to swallow.
Douglas has this amazing ability to write this way and STILL make me root for the MCs to be together. That's really saying something. It's addictive and that's what keeps us so enthralled with what we're reading. Like Fallon and Madoc in Rival, Jax and K.C. definitely have their share of flaws. They make mistakes. They drive each other crazy. They don't communicate and make assumptions. They shut down and shut each other out. What can you expect from two deeply flawed, damaged characters? They both have to find their own way and oddly enough, they help one another do so. They challenge one another and make the other want to be better.
I still haven't read Bully (I KNOW, I KNOW), so I'm not sure what K.C. was like then, but judging by how guilty she feels about messing up her friendship with Tate, I don't think she was particularly well-liked. K.C. is struggling with her identity. She doesn't know who she is. She's always been made to feel that she has to act a certain way because of her parents. It's all about projecting the right image. Wear the right clothes. Associate with the right kind of people. It is a sad fact that K.C. doesn't know who she is. She can be spunky, wild, and free and that is the girl that Jax wants. He gets angry when she hides herself and refers to her as gutless and hopeless. His method might not be the most delicate, but it proves effective. She doesn't want to be that way. She wants to feel that recklessness she feels when she's with him. Jax is also ridiculously attractive, so it's no surprise she's battling her feelings for him. My heart broke for K.C. because of how she grew up. I can't imagine growing up in the type of environment she did, never feeling she really measured up to the expectation her parents demanded of her.
Jax's past is a dark one and very hard to read about. I'm thankful Douglas doesn't go into too much detail and instead gives enough that you can infer what happened without being shown explicitly. His past plays a huge role in the type of guy he is today and he will never let himself be put in a position of vulnerability ever again. He has wanted K.C. for some time and now that she's finally broken up with her douche of an ex, he wants to make her his. Jax has a lot of insecurities that he keeps buried, but they are there and we see them emerge when he doesn't feel worthy enough of K.C. or when he pushes her away to keep from getting hurt.
This book did give me pause to wonder: are these two actually in love with another? There's not a ton of romancing going on. It's more primal and aggressive than it is sweet and tender. Then again, maybe they are indeed in love and expressing it the only way they know how. Their upbringings haven't been the most ideal and they were never shown the kind of love they deserved. There is one scene that made me tear up because one of our characters finally sees how much they are loved by the people in their life and it was just such a beautiful moment to witness.
We do get to see Fallon, Madoc, Tate, and Jared in this book, which I loved. My heart ached at Tate and Jared's side storyline, as they still have more story to tell. The excerpt from Aflame nearly broke me, even knowing that it had to happen in order for them to truly be happy.
Overall, I did enjoy Falling Away. I love being sucked into these books and love having this love/hate relationship with the characters. Life is messy. It's not perfect. People fuck up. A lot. Relationships aren't always pretty and easy. Douglas shows us that and while it makes my emotions go crazy, I'm always left craving more.

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  1. GAHHH you are klilling me! I am dying to get started on this series.I love a well done love/hate relationship so I know this series is going to be a hit for me. Why can't I just read all day long? lol Great review!

  2. You have to read Bully! OHMYGAWD! I was nervous about picking it up, but in the end I'm so happy I did! I loved that book. So I cannot wait to read this one! I'm with you and Teresa, I do love a good love/hate relationship with characters. Like you said, life is mess and no on or life is perfect! That's why I think I enjoy her books, they feel real because the characters make mistakes. :)

    Lovely review! Hopefully I can get to this one soon!


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