Published by HarperCollins on December 9, 2014
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Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.
When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.
Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.
First of all, guys, how adorable is that cover? I love it–and the story itself. no Place to Fall is one of those stories that sounds like they have a sort of typical girl-meets-guy plot, but there’s so much more to the story than that. It’s gorgeous with a country attitude that just feels different.
The setting, first of all. It’s rare when I bring up the town in a contemporary novel, but Brown does such a brilliant job with it that it’s hard not to mention it. Guys, it was so country. And I loved it. Granted, I’ve never actually heard anyone talk like that (Actually, there may have been a science teacher in my middle school who we all said was the epitome of Texas Girl. Maybe.) but it was just this little extra thing that added so much fun to the story! Dear God, did it need that fun.
There was so much happening in this story. Despite it’s beautiful cover, what happens on the inside is less then perfect. Our characters are, I suppose, the kinds of things you think of when you think of “white trash.” But that terms more than terrible when we get to understand the characters–almost all of them were fleshed out with all their imperfections and all their flaws. None of our characters were perfect. They were desperate, cruel, jealous, and spiteful at times, but I don’t fell like I could call any of them necessarily bad. (Okay, I lied. I could name at least two characters I hated to the core. You know what I mean though.) Even the ones I hated though, I sort of loved. They felt real to me, even with all their pent up anger and hatred and seriously screwed-upness. (I mean that in the best way, of course. Just because they weren’t pretty characters, didn’t mean they weren’t good ones.)
Amber was an amazing character, honestly. I know I already talked about characters, but holy crap I adored her. She was always searching for a way out, but never minded helping others out along the way. Her passion for music was just gorgeously written and it’s hard not to fall in love with all the things she loves. Her voice is sharp and hopeful and I really just adored her.
Speaking of people I adored–Will? Good Lord, I adored him. He was sweet and a bit broody and really just that moody musician we all love and know (singer…and banjo player. I kid you not, he’s amazing.) Their romance is a burning one, and while not necessarily slow, I can’t call it insta-love either. Their feelings are just there and I don’t think I could really imagine Amber with anyone else.
BTW Devon was awesome. So awesome. I adored him.
With a large and (mainly) lovable cast of characters, No Place to Fall is filled with giggles and heartbreak and hopeless endeavors meant for the hopeful. It’s a story about good people who make bad decisions–making it an undeniably relatable one. I definitely recommend it for contemporary lovers–especially those who love one with a country twang!