Review: Fear of Falling by S.L. Jennings

My Thoughts

Honest and moving in a way that leaves you feeling completely vulnerable. Sadness. Shock. Anger. Heartbreak. Love. Hope. And most of all, courage. I felt these emotions deeply as I experienced this story.

5stars

Synopsis

fear of falling coverI can’t remember the last time I felt completely safe. Security seemed more like a luxury to me, reserved for those who were fortunate enough to have picture perfect childhoods. For those who didn’t bear the ugly scars that keep me bound in constant, debilitating fear. I’ve run from that fear my entire life. But when I met him, for once, I couldn’t run anymore.

He scared the hell out of me in a way that excited every fiber of my being. It wasn’t the tattoos or the piercings. It wasn’t the warmth that seemed to radiate from his frame and blanket me whenever he was near. It was just…him. The scary beautiful man that threatened to alter 23 years of routine and rituals, and make me face my crippling fear.

My name is Kami and I am constantly afraid. And the thing that scares me the most is the very thing I want.

“Don’t worry,” he smiled, pulling me into the hard warmth of his chest. “I’ve got you. I’ll always catch you when you fall.”

And just like that, Blaine had staked his claim on the untouched part of me that no living soul had ever moved. He had captured every fear, every reservation, and crushed them in the palm of his inked hand.

My Review

“Love is cruel and unforgiving. It beats you. Tortures you. Smashes your face into a mirror and tells you that you’re disgusting and ugly. That no one else will want you. Love whips you with a belt until giant, red welts are left on every inch of your body, leaving you too sore to even sit for days… Love rapes your mother right in front of you while she weeps… It touches you in ways and in places that it should never, ever touch you… It kills you, cripples you. It leaves you damaged beyond repair.”

This book brought me so much sadness. It tore me open to read about what Kami went through . . . what Dom, Angel and Blaine went through. This is the kind of story that breaks your heart, makes you search your soul, and then slowly starts to put the pieces back together. It’s moving, honest and painfully raw. But it’s also hopeful. To me, however, more than anything this story is about courage. The courage to face your fears, the courage to want more than the hand you’ve been dealt, the courage to love . . . to fall and trust that someone loves you enough to catch you.

“Love. It was the thing that bound us and tore us apart. It was our disease and the remedy for our shattered hearts.”

This is a powerful story. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s brutally honest. Kami’s story is one that’s filled with unspeakably horrifying memories, with betrayal and disappointment enveloped by a thick layer of fear. She thinks she is unlovable and permanently scarred… that her past has broken her irreparably. She’s built protective walls around her heart, showing the world a facade of who she really is. She doesn’t let anyone else in other than her roommates, whom together comprise an unconventional, but necessary family.

“It would always be the three of us–the rejected, the abused, and the damaged.”

Each has their own tragic past with which to bear. They understand each other . . . they need each other to make it day to day. So when she meets Blaine Jacobs, she’s surprised at the way not only her body responds to him, but at the natural but unexpected pull she feels towards him. Tattooed and pierced but with deep and kind brown eyes, he seems intrigued by her, almost as if he sees right to the real Kami . . . the one she keeps hidden from the world. The more times she spends with Blaine, the more she realizes his goodness. She feels safe.

“Blaine Jacobs was a walking contradiction. On the outside, he looked dangerous. Exciting. Mysterious. But what I had learned about him told me a different story. He was kind, gentle, and protective. He was expressive to a fault. He smiled often, and he had the same corny sense of  humor as me. Blaine may have looked scary-beautiful on the outside, but it didn’t compare to the beauty of his soul.”

Blaine has also had a difficult upbringing and battles his own guilt and pain. But somehow, Kami gets to him and he’s determined to help her find happiness. Blaine is absolutely amazing. So kind and supportive and willing to do whatever it takes to be with Kami.

“Kami’s demons had somehow become mine without me knowing them. And I swore on my life that I would fight every one of them. I would fight for her.”

Blaine helps Kami to believe that she is strong . . . that she is worth it. He encourages her to be herself, to open up and to let love in. It’s poignant to read about the slow, but beautiful way they fall in love.

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The more they are together, however, the more the cracks begin to show. Kami isn’t ready to push her issues onto Blaine. So she becomes determined to push him away for his own good. How could someone that is so broken be lovable and show love in return?

“This. Is. Me. My situation isn’t fucked up. I’m fucked up. Completely, irrevocably, fucked up to my core.”

My heart really hurt for Kami. Her fear was paralyzing. Her anger at her fear debilitating. I wanted desperately for her to be happy with Blaine. The way the story continues to unfold is not explosive, it’s comprised of small steps . . . often times one step forward and two steps back . . . but to me, this was what was so honest and realistic. The type of pain she shoulders and the abuse she’s been subjected to doesn’t just get fixed. The cracks fuse together over time, with unwavering patience and the most stubborn type of love. I also really felt Blaine’s heartache and desperation. He didn’t know what to do or how to help the person he loved. He just showed her at every moment how much he cared for her, how he would protect her always. That was such a selfless thing in my eyes. He put his own pain and pride aside and prioritized Kami’s well being.

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So much more happens, big and small, that you have to experience by reading this story. It’s filled with emotion and it evoked a great deal of feeling in me as I read. The story is told in alternating POVs between Blaine and Kami, giving me the opportunity to connect with both characters, understanding their thoughts and feelings. There were parts were I felt petrified with fear, and times I felt almost crushed by sorrow and then times she was with Blaine that felt freeing and heartwarming. I mentioned early in my review that I thought this story was primarily about courage and I really think that for me, that was one of the big takeaways. It takes a great deal of courage to face real pain and to want to overcome it. It takes valor to open your heart and let someone else see all the ugliness you carry with you in hopes that they love you enough to stay. And it’s that tenacity that helps bring healing one moment at a time. I also thought the Epilogue was perfect. I felt so happy and full of joy, because there is a happy ending when you have hope and love.

A beautiful book, written skillfully and evoking a wide range of emotions. A well-deserved 5 stars!

“The moment our eyes locked, I knew my fate was sealed. I had fallen into forever. I would never be able to move on from this, from him. From that scary-beautiful man that I was hopelessly in love with. And fear bloomed into exhilaration. Anxiety morphed into sheer joy… He was my all. My everything. He was the only thing that could save me. He already had.”

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Comments

  1. Mary Williams says:

    I couldn’t agree more!!!! Definitely going to be on my favorite book list!!

  2. Thank you so much!!! <3 LOVED it!

  3. Will there be stories on angel and Dom?!

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