Series: Rise and Fall #1
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre(s): Contemporary New Adult
Two years after her best friend was involved in a car accident that caused a traumatic brain injury, Lottie Anders is ready to start her freshman year of college. Ready to move on. Ready to start forgetting the night that ripped her life apart.
Her plans come to a screeching halt when not one, but both brothers responsible for the accident end up back in her life again.
Zack is cruel, selfish and constantly rubbing what happened to her friend in Lottie's face.
Zan is different. He listens to her awkward ramblings. He loves "To Kill a Mockingbird" as much as she does, and his dark eyes are irresistible. His words are few and far between, but when he does speak, she can't help but listen.
The trouble is, Zan was the driver in the accident, and now Lottie's discovered he lied to her about what happened that night. Now she must decide if trusting him again will lead to real forgiveness or deeper heartache.
*This is a New Adult Contemporary Romance and is not suitable for readers under 16 due to language and scenes of sensuality*
The opening chapter introduced us to four of the characters: best friends, Lottie and Lexie, and brothers, Zack and Zan. It closed with Zan driving off with his brother and Lexie - the car accident that irrevocably changed their lives was left unexplained at that point.
The story continued as Lottie and her twin, Will, arrived at college. Will's best friend, Simon, was his roommate, and a girl named Katie, was introduced as Lottie's roommate. Coincidentally, through literary kismet, Zack and Zan were attending the same college, and further, Katie was Zack's girlfriend and Zan's dorm room was next door to Will and Simon's. That made for a number of instances of crossed paths, which, in turn, made for plenty of conflicts. It was obvious that Lottie detested Zack and Zan for disabling her friend. Will and Simon were very protective of Lottie, hence they hated the brothers by proxy. Zack? Well, he was an all-around nasty piece of work. Then, there was Zan who ended up being nothing like Lottie expected. He was quiet, polite, thoughtful, had had a crush on Charlotte for years, and kept saying he was sorry — for everything!
The sibling relationships in Deeper We Fall were concise examples of a consummate/unsound dichotomy. While Lottie and Will were nothing but loving and supportive (complete with lots of lighthearted teasing) of each other, Zan and Zack had a contemptuous relationship, one in which Zan attempted to prevent Zack from wrongdoings and, in some instances, took care of the disastrous results when he was too late.
Looking at all of the highlighting I did, it's obvious I thought a large portion of the book was quite notable. There were a number of pop culture references I loved: music, books, and movies. Lottie and Zan shared a lovely appreciation for literature and were able to quote from their favorite books. I delighted in Lottie and Zan's metaphorical descriptions, Simon's keen sense of humor, and the establishing of new relationships, both friendly and romantic. There were several situations featuring underage drinking and one instance, I believe, where characters smoked a joint. So, even though there was much to admire about most of the characters, they did exhibit lapses in judgment.
I can recall one instance where Zan's inner dialogue came across as sociopathic, but for the most part, I thought of him as just extremely shy. He knew his issues and limitations, but he dealt with them with the help of his social worker with whom he had a beneficial relationship.
My least favorite character, besides Zack, was Katie. I felt she was a pampered princess with boyfriend codependency issues. However, following a violent incident and with support from her new friends, I saw the possibility of a more sensible young woman going forward.
Lottie held on to her anger against Zan for awhile even after he consistently exhibited endearing qualities. I like to think of him as one of those "silent types" rather than as a creepy stalker. Once Lottie got past her "mad," opened the lines of communication, and stopped denying her feelings for him, their romance bloomed. That lead to the predictably lovely ending of this first book in the trilogy/series. Katie and Stryker's story continues in the next book, Faster We Burn, which is set to be published later in the year.
"Lexie went from a girl who loved horses and strawberry ice cream to a girl who had to learn how to walk again. A girl who couldn't remember my name."
"He was already using her up, like a tube of toothpaste that would soon be squeezed dry."
~ Zan, referring to his brother
"'You know you can't lie to me, Lottie. My twindar is strong.' He tapped his forehead. Any moment he was going to start quoting Yoda. 'Avoid confrontation, we should,' he said. I pretended to punch his stomach, and he clamped my neck under his arm and messed my hair up. I went limp until he let me go. 'Annoying, you are,' I said as I tried to fix my hair."
~Lottie and Will
"Charlotte didn't just shake my world. She created an earthquake that had irrevocably changed the landscape of my life."
"I forced my eyes back on the page. Forced them to stop tasting her name over and over in my mind, like a piece of delicious candy I didn't want to dissolve."
"'What do you want from me? Haven't you taken enough already.' He turned around slowly, and his face fractured for a second. I was so used to him being so expressionless, it startled me.
"'I can't take anything you don't give me. Stop giving me power over your life,' he said before turning and walking toward the stairs before I could say anything else."
~ Lottie and Zan