Fraya is gone, but Jess is determined to discover how Fraya ended up dead at the bottom of a cliff. However, everyone just wants Jess to stop asking questions. After all, Fraya is dead and nothing will bring her back. Despite the obstacles, Jess is determined to follow the leads and find out if Fraya’s death was a suicide, like some believed, or if there was something more sinister at play.
How to Fall is an action-packed story that will have the reader on the edge of their seat to find out what will happen next. As Jess tries to unravel the secrets to Fraya’s death, she meets Ryan and Will. Both boys hate each other, and both want Jess as their own. This budding love triangle is expertly weaved into the story without taking over the mystery of Fraya.
Teens will relate to Jess because she is a likable character who isn’t afraid of the popular mean girls or being an outcast. Jess’s confidence in herself is refreshing in a character. Even though Jess is sure of herself, she doesn’t come across as smug. The romance and language are teen-appropriate and, although there is profanity, it is used sporadically. How to Fall is an enjoyable book that shows how bullying can quickly spiral out of control.
- Jess is going out with a boy, so she can find out what he knows about her cousin’s death. Her friend tells her to wear “Skanky jeans” so the boy talks to her.
- Someone started gossiping about Jess’s cousin Freya and telling people she was a “slut.”
- At the end of the story, a boy kisses Jess. “I had spent days imagining what it would be like to kiss him, but I hadn’t even come close. He kissed me like it was the start of something, or the end, and I couldn’t work out which it was, but I didn’t want to ask.”
- Someone tells Jess that a boy likes “dirty girls.”
- Jess goes to a party with a boy and he kisses her. “He pressed his body against mine, and with the kiosk behind me I had nowhere to go, but I didn’t have enough air to complain.”
- A policeman gives Jess a ride home. Before she can get out of the car, he grabs her arm. “Slowly, deliberately, he stroked my wrist with his thumb, trialing it across the veins where the blood ran close to the surface. . .” He then wipes off her smeared lipstick. “Before I could stop him he drew his thumb along my lower lip, staring into my eyes the whole time.”
- Natasha is upset that Jess has been spending time with Natasha’s ex-boyfriend. They argue and Natasha grabs Jess. “Before I could move, Natasha shot out a hand and grabbed a handful of my hair.” Natasha then tries to throw her over a cliff, but is stopped.
- A character retells a story about when he and a friend were being bullied. Eventually, his friend was attacked and broke an arm.
- A group of girls was bullying Freya. One day at school, “a whole group of girls cornered Freya and held her down so Natasha could cut off her ponytail.”
- The story begins with Fraya running and falling off a cliff. As the story unfolds, the reader discovers that Fraya had been bullied, which eventually lead to her death.
- Someone tries to kill Jess by throwing her off a cliff.
Drugs and Alcohol
- A character retells a story about a boy that was “smoking dope.”
- Jess and another girl were arguing. The other girl tells Jess, “Don’t think you can do better than me at being a bitch.” Several times throughout the book someone is called a bitch.
- Jess’s friend surprises her. Jess says, “God, Will, you scared the crap out of me.”
- Someone tells Jess, “Don’t tell anyone, but I am shit-scared of heights.”