What to Read Wednesday – Where We Fell by Amber L. Johnson

This week’s recommendation is Where We Fell, by Amber L. Johnson.

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Oliver Bishop is having a seriously bad day. With one diagnosis, his life suddenly has an expiration date. Confused about the numbness he has to the idea of it, he unwittingly puts himself directly in the sights of a girl that just may give him a reason to fight – and to live. 

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.

What I thought pink

Seventeen; an age when you have everything to look forward to – college, girls, and a summer of post-graduation relaxation. But not Oliver Bishop. After falling over during track, he discovers a lump in his leg, and his normal, teenage life is transformed into a blur of hospital appointments, treatments and panicking parents.

Then, one day, he walks into a local diner and is served by Hannah Hartwell, a local girl who has just finished her freshman year at college. The daughter of an oncologist and cancer survivor, she knows something is wrong, and so begins a beautiful and tender relationship with the two of them, as they come to terms with Oliver’s cancer diagnosis.

Heartbreaking at times, hopeful at others, this novella is so beautifully and whimsically written that I had to read it in one sitting. Johnson’s characterizations were perfectly formed and they made me feel I was part of the book. Even smaller characters, such as his Environmental Science teacher, are deftly carved with few words; his short-sleeve, button-down shirt and pleated khakis bringing him to life like an actor has just stepped into his clothes.

Where We Fell is a love story as well as a tale of survival, as we see the burgeoning relationship between Oliver and Hannah. And though their path isn’t smooth – it isn’t just Oliver’s diagnosis, but his reactions that make the road bumpy – it is emotional and enjoyable and pulls your heart strings in a perfect way. I particularly enjoyed reading about Oliver’s relationship with his parents, the way they were so supportive yet understanding, knowing their son was facing the fight of his life at a time when he should be fleeing the nest.

This was a little slice of perfection, wrapped with beautiful words and interesting characters. I loved everything about it, and have no hesitation in awarding five, perfect stars.

NB: This book will be published on 28th October.

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