Skip to main content

A Step Toward Falling


A Step Toward Falling

Cammie McGovern’s new book, A STEP TOWARD FALLING, showcases both the positive and negative effects that can come from losing your nerve under pressure. This novel follows McGovern’s recent popular young adult book, SAY WHAT YOU WILL, and aims to inspire a sense of hope in individuals, showing that happiness can be found even in times of pain, loneliness and tragedy.

As an avid science fiction and fantasy fan, I don’t often branch out into feel-good teenage narratives. However, this book seemed a bit different from the others I had checked out; along with telling a story, it educated me about world problems, social equality and the importance of human connection.

A STEP TOWARD FALLING is organized chronologically, although numerous flashbacks are needed to help give the story context. Set in an average high school, the viewpoint revolves between two of the students, Emily and Belinda.

Along with telling a story, it educated me about world problems, social equality and the importance of human connection.

Belinda, a mentally disabled 21-year-old, is suddenly attacked one night. Emily, as well as an athlete named Lucas, find themselves unexpectedly in a position to help, but freeze in the moment and remain mute bystanders. Full of shame and regret, both Lucas and Emily are sentenced to dozens of hours of service, helping mentally challenged young adults at a nearby community center. After first viewing their assignment as a punishment, their feelings towards the volunteer work changes as they get to know the people, and each other, more intimately.

Readers will fall more in love the characters the more they read. Throughout the story, they’ll see the small ways that each character changes and develops as they help their peers and learn to love other people. However, the book does become a bit slow and repetitive in certain sections, with occasional large gaps where nothing significant happens. However, A STEP TOWARDS FALLING generally keeps a moderate pace with enough suspense to keep readers turning pages.

I would recommend this book to anybody with an affinity for narrative books and romantic novels. It’s not a sappy teen story, though; A STEP TOWARDS FALLING also gives insight into what it’s like to live with a disability and how to cope with challenges. In conclusion, it’s a good book with an even better message.

Reviewed by Levi V., Teen Board member on November 3, 2015

A Step Toward Falling
by Cammie McGovern

  • Publication Date: December 20, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction, Friendship, Human Rights
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0062271148
  • ISBN-13: 9780062271143