The Year They Fell

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

A compelling story that was hard to put down. Loved these characters & how the author handled their complicated stories with humor and humanity.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks Net Galley for the preview!

I love love loved this book! I was hooked with all of the characters and the story lines.  I loved how the author made each experience so unique.  I also loved the different narrators and switching point of view.  I was happy with the ending and could not put the book down.  I will certainly be reading more by David Kreizman in the future!!
Was this review helpful?
Archie, Dayana, Harrison, Jack, and Josie were best friends in nursery school, but by high school they grew apart. When their parents die in a plane crash will it bring them closer or further apart? The crash forces each kid to examine the things which separated them over the years. Each chapter alternates between the points of views of the five “Sunnies,” named for the nursery school they attended where readers see how each are coping with the tragedy. The novel is at its best when it focuses on the grief each teen is going through. While coping with their grief, each teen is forced to deal with things from their pasts that they rather not deal with it. Readers feel each teen’s grief although the book could get very dramatic at times. Yet some of the dramatic moments of the novel will keep teens reading and prevents the book from becoming too depressing. Each character starts out as a particular type but as the novel moves on the characters become more interesting and become something more than a stereotype. This book is recommended for those looking for serious realistic YA fiction that doesn’t get too bogged down by its own seriousness.
Was this review helpful?
The Year They Fell by David Kreizman caught my attention from the start. I enjoy reading young adult fiction and usually I lean more towards feel good novels when I do, but The Year They Fell sounded like it was going to be dramatic and intense and I couldn’t wait to read it. Lucky for me Kreizman delivered.

This story is not a feel good story. It’s the polar opposite in a way. Not to say it’s going to make you feel terrible, but Kreizman touches on subjects that I feel a lot of other authors don’t or avoid. This novel talked about the death of a parent, kids becoming orphans in the prime of their teen years when they are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be. He touches on sexual assualt, drugs, sports and their pressure to be great and the injuries that can ruin lives. It talks about anger issues and depression and anxiety. All these subjects that are taboo in books because they don’t typically attract readers made this book so incredible. I feel like there are teens everywhere that could relate to at least one of these characters that Kreizman created.

My only problem with the book is at times the situation seemed slightly unbelievable. Even though some were 18, I feel like it was too easy for the to push the adults out of the way. Once their parents died, they basically had no rules and no supervision. And someone all the bills continued to get paid even though we never hear about how they suddenly learned about mortgages and such. I know they are wealthy, at least some, but it just seemed odd that the adults would leave so easily after being told by teenagers to go. Otherwise, as a whole, the book was great.

I’m not sure I have a favorite character because each one brought so much to the table. They created this perfect little dysfunctional family that in an odd way helped them all become stronger and more function in their own lives. The story flows smoothly even though it jumps between characters.

I think anyone can enjoy this book that loves hard hitting stories about loss and trauma, but also about fighting your way back to the surface (direct reference to the story). Pick it up and hopefully you love it as much as I did.
Was this review helpful?
They bonded in pre-school, but over the years, the "Sunnies" slowly, but surely, grew apart. However, their parents remained friends and vacationed together each year. It was that yearly vacation, that would forever change the lives of these five teens, and also, lead them back to one another. 

I was reading this on emoji day, and when prompted to describe my current read using only emojis, I replied as follows: 🛩️😭😭😭😭😭

I shed quite a few tears while reading the first part of this book. To have so many interconnected people simultaneously suffer such a huge loss, tears were inevitable. But, I got to spend a year with these characters, and though the undercurrent of pain and loss was always there, they also experienced a lot of growth, happiness, and hope. 

Each character had something they needed to come to terms with in addition to the loss of their parents. 

• Archie was the adopted black son of white parents, who was trying to decide if he should seek out his biological mother. 

• Harrison lived his whole life according to his mother's exceedingly high standards, and was now left adrift without her guidance. 

• Josie had reinvented herself after she was sexually abused, but her abuser's reappearance had her shaken. 

• Jack was always made to feel as though he was never good enough, and he struggled with the guilt that he was unable to protect his sister. 

• Dayana saw herself as an outsider, and being the only one, whose parents survived, reinforced those feelings. 

But, it was together, that they worked through their past and present. It was together, that they recognized their strength. It was together, that they celebrated their hopeful futures. I mourned all the years they lost with one another, but I loved seeing these characters reconnect. They were so much stronger together than apart, and I was glad they finally realized that. 

The tears I shed in the beginning of this book were due to the profound sadness I felt for these teens, but those tears at the end, they were happy tears. The ending was filled with so much hope and joy, and I deemed it a payoff worthy of all my tears.
Was this review helpful?
When the plane taking their parents to Anguilla for vacation suddenly drops out of the sky, leaving no survivors, Jack, Josie, Archie, Harrison, and Dayana must rediscover their preschool friendship to manage their grief. At a glance this book appears to have a lot going on, but on closer inspection you find that it is quite simply about the struggles and hardships teenagers face. They deal with a lot, they go through a lot, bad things happen to them, and David Kreizman allows us to see this through the characters in The Year They Fell.

The book is told from the perspective of all five teenagers, switching narrator with each chapter. I have found that usually this writing technique is a love it or hate it situation, either it is absolutely perfect, or completely worthless. However, with this book I did not love the varying narrator style, but found it was absolutely essential to the story. With the constantly changing perspective, it felt very difficult to get to know the characters as well as you should in a book, especially when the character is going through as much as these five are. Without the changing perspective though, we wouldn't have gotten to know most of the characters at all. It would have been a very self centered story for whichever character was decided to be most important. Each character is dealing with a lot of personal problems (on top of losing their parents), and we needed to get into each of their heads to fully appreciate this story.

This is a typical young adult, contemporary fiction novel. It has a lot of drama, and goes over board in that area at the end. However, this book is one of the best I have seen to represent mental health struggles in teens. It doesn't give us the unhealthy perception that the right relationship will heal all, it shows the never ending struggle that comes with having a mental illness, like anxiety or addiction. It takes WORK, not a magical romantic interest, and I commend Kreizman for showing that work in The Year They Fell, not just for one character, but all of them (even a side character, Dayana's father, goes through the constant ups and downs of depression).

I also need to praise the way Kriezman show's a survivor of child sexual abuse. As a survivor myself, I never really felt like a saw myself in a book until I read Josie's story, and read about the way she feels about and deals with what happened to her (other survivors, please be warned that this part of the novel can be triggering). It is realistic in the most horrible, but necessary way. All in, this is a worthy addition to today's contemporary YA shelves.
Was this review helpful?
This is a powerful story if overcoming tragedy and finding connections in unlikely places. It has a similar vibe to The Breakfast Club and honestly shares the story of teens experiencing grief and trauma.
Was this review helpful?
This book was definitely an interesting book and worthwhile.  It was one that kept me reading. The circumstances of the book were rather unusual, but not so unusual as to seem "make believe." The characters grew and developed of the course of the story, which is something I like to see in YA books.  I would definitely recommend this to my students.
Was this review helpful?
From page one, my students will find themselves in the pages of Kreizman's "The Year They Fell." They will relate to the actions and thoughts of each of "sunnies." They will cheer and weep and learn that they too have enough in themselves to make life work. 
I look forward to sharing this title next year and hear what they have to say.
Was this review helpful?
Preschoolers become the best of friends, along with their parents. Preschoolers grow up and go through a multitude of dramas and changes along the way to becoming high schoolers. No longer friends, but not enemies either. Just casualties of life happening.
And then tragedy strikes. When a plane carrying all, actually almost all, of their parents crashes they find themselves thrown together to deal with the aftermath.
A good story, delves deeply into teenage emotions. Be prepared to suspend your disbelief for part of it, but overall enjoyable.
Was this review helpful?
The Year The Fell was an amazingly told story that had me hooked till the very end. My heart broke for all five of these teen and what they went through. I liked how the story was told through each of the five teens. I felt connected to each one of them. This book really makes you think how your life could change with one event
Was this review helpful?
Five friends who had a bond since toddler age drift apart and are suddenly brought back together by a tragedy. I enjoyed the close look at young adult anxieties and depression as well as the complexities of friendship.
Was this review helpful?
5 Unforgettable Stars!! 

5 friends inseparable as preschoolers, before high school and parties and football. Now seniors in high school, they are all strangers to each other. Tragedy strikes and their parents die in a plane crash- left alone, these 5 only have each other to relate to and lean on. 

Josie, Jack, Archie, Harrison, and Dayana AKA- the "Sunnies" have a lot to figure out since being out of each others lives for so long. They have to face what split them apart in the first place. Their answers may just be what they need to forge a new family. 

This book was so amazing. The depth of the characters was phenomenal. Each one was so unique and different from the other. We get to know them on a very personal level so much to the point, you actually feel like you know these characters in real life. The writing was a breath of fresh air and just so on point with the subject matter.

This is a book about friendship and love, its heartbreaking and funny all at the same time. The author did such a fantastic job bringing these characters to life. You will surely be able to relate to at least one of the characters in the book. You will get lost in the pages, laugh and cry but its all worth it!!

Overall I totally loved this one and really hope that someone picks it up and makes it into a movie. Its just so good I highly recommend it !!
Was this review helpful?
Funny how friendships change. Five friends from daycare who have drifted apart are brought back together when a plane carrying all of their parents crashes on a vacation to Anguilla. Overcoming this loss and rekindling friendships in the base of the story, but each character has additional challenges: head injury from sports, adopted and a different race from parents, obsessed with "The Plan" for achieving success, pill addiction and then the big one -- sexual abuse from a coach. Then there is teenage pregnancy. Then there is a potential government conspiracy. A deadbeat father. An affair between parents. What went from overcoming loss moves onto overcoming everything. It is a lot! Perhaps choose your issue and go deep on that - don't throw them all together. The story is told from multiple perspectives, which works well, but we don't ever get to fully know any of the characters and rely on others to fill in the details. It makes it hard to trust what's happening.
Was this review helpful?
This was a pretty good read. It kept me interested enough that I finished it fast. I also appreciated the portrayal of teenage anxiety, something a lot of adults don’t take time out to try to understand. But the drama kind of spiraled and it started to read like a One Tree Hill episode. I still enjoyed it but, it wasn’t the serious read I thought it would be.
Was this review helpful?
I was invested in this book and its amazing characters from the very first chapter. It reads like a really well-done soap opera, which made sense once I looked up the author’s background. It works as a YA, an NA, or even just plain as an adult read.
Was this review helpful?