Review | How to Keep Rolling After A Fall – Karole Cozzo

book-review

How to Keep Rolling After A Fall by Karole Cozzo

272 pages
Published: August 2, 2015 by Swoon Reads
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Romance

Summary:

After a cyber bullying incident turns her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl that everyone deserves a second chance.

The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That’s all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl’s suicide. Now Nikki’s been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can’t look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates – almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it’s like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance… and everyone deserves to be loved.

Review:

I was introduced to Karole Cozzo through Netgalley when I read her first book… and I LOVED it! I even went out afterwards to buy it. I was so excited for her next book and immediately bought this when it came out. It took me longer to actually get to it (TBR lists that never end!) BUT I finally did and boy do I regret waiting. I love Cozzo’s writing style and how it elicits so much emotions. I don’t really have anything in common with Nikki, nothing at all really. However, I was able to connect with her. I felt what she felt and understood her. Her situation is tricky because she is caught in the cyber bullying incident. She isn’t directly responsible for it but she didn’t stop it either. However, as you read on, you can tell she really did felt remorse. The outcome of her taking the fall for the cyber bullying was incredibly hard and how she is treated by both her family and her “best friends” was truly heartbreaking.

Enter Pax – who is everything that I would want in a guy. He’s the total opposite of me and of Nikki. He’s very uplifting and positive. He’s charming and funny (wait guys, I’m funny too, so not the TOTAL opposite of me haha). Anyway, he is going through his own challenges and because of some bad choices, he was paralyzed. I like how he has come to terms with what happened but that he also still struggles, especially when it comes to Nikki. I love the way their relationship was weaved together. They definitely bring each other up. At first, it only felt like Pax was helping Nikki out but then you see the synergistic (big fancy word I learned in nutrition lol) effect of their relationship. Basically, they work together to produce a greater effect.

What I love about this book was all the struggles they went through – aye does that make me sound like a sadistic reader? Let me explain. I love their challenges because you get to see how they worked to overcome it. I liked that there wasn’t this simple solution and that it just wasn’t done overnight. They worked hard for it. I mean, it also added the drama, which HELLOOOO! Bring out the tissues! I also liked that it dealt with cyber bullying. I feel like that form of bullying is increasing nowadays with the technology and even though it kind of was like PSA, it didn’t feel like one. There are dangers to cyber bullying and ignoring it or letting it happen doesn’t help the victim. Well, that’s my PSA of that day.

ARC Review: How to Say I Love You Out Loud

How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Korale Cozzo
Publish Date: August 04, 2015 by Swoon Reads
240 pages 
Source/Edition: Copy provided by publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, eBook (Kindle)
Summary provided by Goodreads: 

Words are strong. Love is stronger.

When Jordyn Michaelson’s autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she’s determined not to let anyone know they’re related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can’t shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again.

Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels—and the truth about her family—before he slips away forever?

My Review: 

5stars

gifMaybe I was really lacking in sleep (because I was), but for the life of me, I couldn’t stop crying while reading this book and there’s so many factors as to why. How to Say I Love You Out Loud is Karole’s debut novel and it did not disappoint. It was a really short read but it left me wanting so much more. I didn’t want it to end — even if I was crying my eyes out. I highlighted so many quotes and I’d love to share them all with you but then you’d have a huge chunk of the book. Let’s start with the writing! It was simple and beautiful. It was easy to read and easy to get into the groove. I was able to pick it up right away and I couldn’t put it down after. I really liked that the voice of the book really matched the age of the main character.

You remember getting noticed in the wrong way more than you remember getting noticed in the right way, you start just wanting to blend in. You start not wanting to be noticed at all.

I really liked the concept and plot of the book. The funny thing is that I picked up this book not fully knowing that it was on autism — I picked it for the title and the cover! I have yet to read a book with these themes and I’m glad this was my first. This book is pretty heavy. We have our main character who is internally struggling with herself because she loves her younger brother who has autism but at the same time she is so embarrassed by him that she lies about his existence to the people closest to her. In doing so, she alienates herself from her best friends Alex and Erin. After finding out how she feels about her brother, I thought I would despise Jordyn because how could you feel that way towards your younger brother who doesn’t know any better. However, I was surprised to see that she was easy to relate to. I actually really like her and her character development was very inspiring — it’s actually my favorite part of the book. Go figure!

It’s really hard to say the words I love you when you know you’ll likely never hear them back.

Another stellar thing about this book is that the romance takes more of a backseat in the story. It’s still very important and it’s still there but it balances out real well with Jordyn’s issue with her brother. The three different kinds of love displayed in this book were very well-written. I love the romance with Alex, it wasn’t exactly instant and it really built up a lot of anticipation. Alex, oh Alex. I am in love with you. He was absolutely perfect. He reminded me of the guy I’m like madly in love with right now — really guys, they were carbon copies of each other! My guy even works with kids with autism and special disabilities, and studying it at college. (That’s right, you’re welcome to swoon haha) If you want to know about the guy I like, read this book because he’s got the biggest heart I know and would do anything for his kids just like Alex. Do you know how crazy I’m going knowing that I have a real-life actual fictional character within my reach?!? — ha, okay, let’s move on.

To a large capacity, my brother lacks the power of effective speech. I’ve wasted mine. He can’t speak up; I simply choose not to. We both need a voice and it’s high time I put mine to use, since I can.

Final Thoughts: I really am in love with this book. It has affected me so greatly. I cried because of how much I relate to Jordyn and always being in the background and never risking anything. I loved it because it reminded me of this kid I liked and just how freaking awesome he is. It was a beautiful, powerful, and impactful book. You need it in your TBR. How to Say I Love You Out Loud will be published Tuesday, August 04, 2015. Be sure to pre-order a copy of it on Amazon or pick up a copy when it is released.

xoxo