Cover Image: The Fall of Whit Rivera

The Fall of Whit Rivera

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Member Reviews

Crystal Maldonado's "The Fall of Whit Rivera" is a poignant and relatable exploration of identity, friendship, and the complexities of growing up in today's world. Set against the backdrop of a small New England town, this novel captivates from the very first page and leaves a lasting impression.

The story follows the endearing protagonist, Whit Rivera, as she navigates the ups and downs of high school life, grappling with issues of race, class, and self-discovery. As Whit's world begins to unravel, she finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about herself and the people around her, leading to a journey of growth and empowerment that is both inspiring and heartfelt.

What sets "The Fall of Whit Rivera" apart is its authentic portrayal of teenage life. Maldonado has a keen ear for dialogue and a gift for capturing the nuances of adolescence, from the awkwardness of first crushes to the complexity of family dynamics. Through Whit's eyes, readers are transported back to their own high school days, experiencing all the joy, heartache, and uncertainty that comes with growing up.

The characters in "The Fall of Whit Rivera" are beautifully drawn and utterly believable. From Whit's fiercely loyal best friend to the charming boy who captures her heart, each character feels like someone you could meet in real life, adding depth and richness to the story. Whit herself is a protagonist worth rooting for, with her wit, resilience, and unapologetic sense of self.

At its core, "The Fall of Whit Rivera" is a story about finding your voice and learning to embrace your true identity. Maldonado handles this theme with sensitivity and grace, crafting a narrative that is both empowering and deeply moving. As Whit learns to stand up for herself and the people she loves, readers are reminded of the power of friendship, love, and self-acceptance.

Filled with humor, heart, and a healthy dose of teenage angst, "The Fall of Whit Rivera" is a must-read for anyone who has ever felt like they didn't quite fit in. Crystal Maldonado has crafted a gem of a novel that will resonate with readers of all ages, leaving them with a renewed sense of hope and possibility. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary YA fiction and stories that celebrate the beauty of being true to yourself.

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It's rare to find a YA Romance reader who, when introduced to the 'Gilmore Girls' doesn't fall in love with the show. It's rare to find a YA Romance book character who, when listing their positive attributes, lists a sibling with autism. It's rare to find a YA Romance that includes the main characters history all the way to middle school to the present. It's rare to find a YA Romance that deals so well with family drama and health issues while moving the story forward. This IS a rare and incredible YA Romance that should land in every YA collection.

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Crystal Maldonado's "The Fall of Whit Rivera" is a poignant and relatable exploration of identity, friendship, and the complexities of growing up in today's world. Set against the backdrop of a small New England town, this novel captivates from the very first page and leaves a lasting impression.

The story follows the endearing protagonist, Whit Rivera, as she navigates the ups and downs of high school life, grappling with issues of race, class, and self-discovery. As Whit's world begins to unravel, she finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about herself and the people around her, leading to a journey of growth and empowerment that is both inspiring and heartfelt.

What sets "The Fall of Whit Rivera" apart is its authentic portrayal of teenage life. Maldonado has a keen ear for dialogue and a gift for capturing the nuances of adolescence, from the awkwardness of first crushes to the complexity of family dynamics. Through Whit's eyes, readers are transported back to their own high school days, experiencing all the joy, heartache, and uncertainty that comes with growing up.

The characters in "The Fall of Whit Rivera" are beautifully drawn and utterly believable. From Whit's fiercely loyal best friend to the charming boy who captures her heart, each character feels like someone you could meet in real life, adding depth and richness to the story. Whit herself is a protagonist worth rooting for, with her wit, resilience, and unapologetic sense of self.

At its core, "The Fall of Whit Rivera" is a story about finding your voice and learning to embrace your true identity. Maldonado handles this theme with sensitivity and grace, crafting a narrative that is both empowering and deeply moving. As Whit learns to stand up for herself and the people she loves, readers are reminded of the power of friendship, love, and self-acceptance.

Filled with humor, heart, and a healthy dose of teenage angst, "The Fall of Whit Rivera" is a must-read for anyone who has ever felt like they didn't quite fit in. Crystal Maldonado has crafted a gem of a novel that will resonate with readers of all ages, leaving them with a renewed sense of hope and possibility. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary YA fiction and stories that celebrate the beauty of being true to yourself.

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I will absolutely be adding Crystal Maldonado to my auto-buy authors from now on. I loved Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and after requesting and reading The Fall of Whit Rivera, it's clear that this author makes pure magic in her books.

She has this gift of making you feel like you are actually in the character's shoes and for me, it just transports me back to being a teenager myself. And the PCOS & fat rep in this book?? This was such a heart-warming and important read and I loved it so much.

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Vibes? Like a cozy autumn afternoon. This book felt like a warm hug, however, there are certain times in the story when the pacing falls flat and slow. Some of the redeeming factors were I enjoyed Whit's character, the representation of friendships, family, queer characters, and PCOS, and the way the author handled the story wholly.

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy of this title.

I really loved this story.

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I didn’t massively know what to expect when going into this one, and whilst it’s no longer autumn, this was still the perfect cosy, fast-paced read I needed and I had so much fun!

I’ve never read a Crystal Maldonado book before, and I’d seen some buzz around for her other two books so I was intrigued when I saw she had this new release!
I just knew this would be the perfect cute story to break apart my dark romance and fantasy books. What I didn’t expect was some fantastic representation from the author with Puerto Rican rep, PCOS from the main character and also LGBTQ rep. This was so refreshing to see because I can’t say I’ve ever read a book about a main character with this illness. Although I do wish we saw some more of her daily struggles with this.
The writing style was good. It was easy to flow through.
I loved the characters! Zay in particular, he was so so sweet and kind and ugh, I’d have probably liked him growing up but I now feel like dark romance books have ruined men for me when it comes to YA stories LOL

Definitely will check out some more from this author in the future!

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I feel like this book isn't unlike a puppy: it's cute and sometimes you need to pet one. I'm not a big YA contemporary reader but I'm glad I requested it because it was soooo sweet and enjoyable. The MC had PCOS which is great to portray in a YA novel. The romance was adorable and fun, I rooted for them a lot. And she was a Gilmore girls fan so what else do you want me to add?

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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this eARC of The Fall of Whit Rivera.
This is your perfect cosy autumn read.
Whit is obsessed with fall and her whole life is centred around fall. It was at their school's Fall Fest when her abuelo and her abuela fell in love. The rest is history. So it's no surprise that in this year she wants to organize the festivity that means so much to her. And nearly everything goes according to her plans. If there wouldn't be Isiah...
I liked this autumn-centred book. It's really fun to read. It's a great hommage to fall and.

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A sweet teen romance!!

I definitely think this is the best book of the series 🧡

This book was vibrant! Kind and diverse characters that love all the colorful things about fall.

My favorite thing about it was that she talks about periods and tampons in a casual way. Whit has PCOS which is definitely something that hits home for so many girls and women.

Definitely recommend for my YA loving peeps!

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A delightful read that'll have you craving Fall all year round! i loved the PCOS and Latinx rep, and Whitney's dynamics with her family and friends were so fun and refreshing!

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This book was really fun!! I really enjoyed it and I would definitely read more from this author again!

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Crystal Maldonado is back with another book about a plus-sized queer girl of color, and I'm going to lap it up as always!

This is a book I wish existed when I was 16 and had just been diagnosed with PCOS. I struggled and still struggle with something that afflicts so many women but is rarely talked about. So much of what Whit goes through, I completely relate to, and it warmed my inner-child so much to read about it.

The Fall of Whit Rivera is sweet and doesn't have too much conflict. It feels like a little slice-of-life, and I easily devoured it. I'm going to read everything Maldonado puts out and I'm also going to squeal about the covers every time.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review!

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. I’ve been feeling very guilty that it is taking me so long to get through books. Life has gotten very busy - my apologies to the publisher.

This was a charming YA novel with uplifting messages re body positivity, and light-shining on PCOS. I loved the diverse cast and awareness raising. There was so much packed into the novel - reflecting on terminology used for prom royals, inclusion vs paternalism of students with special needs, and the impact a serious condition can have on your life.

I thought maybe there could have been more build up of Whit and her romantic interest (a little tension) but that was my only big concern.

In short: an important YA novel about the challenges living with PCOS, but learning to love yourself anyway. Would suit secondary school students.

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The Fall of Whit Rivera by Crystal Maldonado is easily one of my favorite books this year and one of my most recent five star reads. I knew this would be a book that would stay with me for a long time the moment I opened it and read it’s dedication and started crying. I have never felt more seen that when I’m reading a Crystal Maldonado book and she’s done it again with Whit Rivera. I thought the way Whit’s struggles with her PCOS diagnosis & how it was represented in the book was really well done, it was real and something I know a lot of people will be see themselves in. One of my favorite parts of the book was the way we followed Whit on her journey and saw her learn to ask for help and advocate for herself, this is something that I felt deeply and I think it helped me see that it’s okay to ask for help. There was just such great care taken in the way Crystal wrote everything and as always, I am in awe and just grateful for this book. Also, the romance in the book filled my heart with joy and I overall just loved seeing the different kinds of love shown in the book too. Because love isn’t just about finding a partner, love is all around us in the people that we love and the ones who love us back. See, I’m getting emotional now. I just love this book so much. Books like this one are the kind that I wish had been around when I was young but I’m thankful every day that they exist now for all the youth of today but also for people like myself and friends, they are healing us all one page at a time.
If you take any book recommendation from me, let it be this book. It’s a must read this fall season and I’m so honored that I got to read it early. I also highly recommend the audiobook if that’s your thing!

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This book was so cute I loved it! Whenever I really connect with one of the main characters I love the book even more and that was no different for this book. Whit was one of those characters who I could just really see myself in from her issues with letting people in when she needed help to her love for Gilmore Girls, fall, and just being a girlie girl. I loved her relationship with her family and how close she was to her grandma and sister as well as her relationships with her friends and Zay. Speaking of Zay...I LOVED HIM! He was such a perfect love interest and the way he treated Whit truly just warmed my heart. Overall I loved this book and highly recommend it to my YA romance fans!

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It’s not my favorite book of the year, but this fall-themed YA Romance definitely had some high notes. Particularly in addressing how scary and frustrating it can be to try to keep up appearances and live your “normal” life while dealing with chronic illness.

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This was an interesting YA romance. Whit and Zay had liked each other in middle school but after a misunderstanding, they hadn't even spoken to each other since. When Whit and Zay are pitted together to work on the Fall Fling, the school's Fall dance which has sentimental meaning to Whit since her grandparents' love story started at their Fall Fling, Whit and Zay get close but does that mean that they can overcome their past? It discusses important topics such as Latine identity, struggling with medical situations due to PCOS and chronic illness, and class.

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Things I liked:
The autumn vibes
Diversity of characters and their relationships and side stories
The way it covered topics of PCOS and sexuality

Things I didn’t like:
I felt no to less chemistry between the main characters and it really felt like FMC is all over the MMC because of how hot he is his butt and muscle and all which was an instant no for me
I felt the FMC was like of annoying to be honest I didn’t really liked her character

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Dare I say it, I think this is my favorite Maldonado book…. And yes I mean I liked it even more than Charlie Vega. This one has a relationship, a real chronic illness that I have, its body positive, and so much more. I loved this so much and wish I could read it for the first time all over again.

Ok so the main thing I liked about this book was the realness. I know it’s realistic fiction, but there’s so much representation and feeling in this, it hardly felt like it was a book character at all. Whit Riveria is me and I am her. That’s just how much I related to her. And yes I’m still saying this even with her being a teen. If I had this when I was a teen I think I would have handled my high school years differently. She really felt like someone I would sit down and talk to in real life. And like all her struggles and the way she was worried about certain things, it was uncanny being in her head because they were too close to some of the things that I felt as a teen as well.

As a reader, I said that this year I was going to focus more on reading books that have chronic or acute illness. I was hella excited to read this because this is one I can actually relate to. I have PCOS and was diagnosed with it like years ago. I only caught it because I was trying to get pregnant. I was already on birth control so it was really hard to catch. Yes our journey to finding it was there, but the symptoms, and the worries, and just all the things were so spot on. It was pretty powerful to read about someone else having this and seeing that it is normal. Now y’all know I just turned 35… Imagine reading this when you’re also a teen. I know they’d feel so empowered.

The romance was the cutest thing also. I knew Zay was a goner from the moment he appeared in the story. And he was! The pining! Ugh it was so cute. And the way she was trying to say she didn’t like him? I wanted to shake her lol It was so cute! Hearing what made them stop talking was so sad tho. I was glad they finally got it together. I hate miscommunication, so seeing them being upset over nothing was pretty sad. And like the whole peach thing? I have not laughed that hard in a long time.

The plot itself was fun too. It was more than just Zay and Whit falling for each other. This told the story of Whit learning more about herself and losing a terrible ex in the process. It’s about Whit learning about her illness and how to take care of herself and it. It’s about Whit and the way she is learning that her sister can do way more than she gives her credit for. It’s about Whit and the Fall festival and being as Fall-ish as it could be for her. This book had so much going on, but still somehow not enough. I wish there was more in this book. I was HOOKED.

I also tagged this for family diversity because Whit was raised by her grandmother after her mom abandoned her and her sister. Her grandmother was just as real as Whit. Maldonado HAD to have made these from real people. Because Lordt knows they were way too real. There’s also her autistic sister who Whit has to check herself about at one point. I got where she was coming from because (again) I related to this too. My sister has a disability and it took me a minute for me to realize that like Whit’s sister she has to make her own mistakes. Especially when I don’t know they’re mistakes. Seeing it in the written word like that was a real eye opener because it didn’t feel like that when we were growing up.

My favorite season is summer, but dammnit when there’s dates like apple picking, and Fall Festivals with promposals, hell yeah I’m going to fall for the fall anyway. As someone who lives in a place where we have a summer and a second summer, reading this was all the fall I needed.

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