Review // A Step Towards Falling by Cammie McGovern

Title // A Step Towards Falling
Author // Cammie McGovern
Pages // 304 pages
Publisher // PanMacmillan
Series // None
Release Date // August 2016
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

In A Step Towards Falling, Cammie McGovern tells a poignant, compelling story of not judging people on appearances and knowing how to fix the things you’ve broken.

Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing – until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.

Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a centre for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they’re starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?

b o r d e rEssential young adult fiction that parent, teen, teacher and librarian should be rushing out to purchase, Cammie McGovern has produced a real gem of a story and captured the struggles of life with a disability. Her fluid writing skills and her consistent characters help make ‘A Step Towards Falling‘ a winning novel, and one of the best this year has produced.

Previously released in America not even a year ago, ‘A Step Towards Falling‘ has been on my hit-list for a while. And then came the amazing time that I was offered a free copy in exchange for reading and honest reviewing. (Disclaimer alert: all opinions in this story are my own and have not been influenced by secondary factors.) Let’s start out somewhere simple – the characters. Obviously it is a writers aim to make the reader, AKA us, fall in love with the characters. What I adored about this story was the fact that the novel places no emphasis on liking the characters, and (from my viewpoint) highlights their flaws the minute you begin to read. Cammie McGovern places all the cards down on the table and shares their un-heroic moments from the get-go and this is to be admired. As a result of this, you truly understand the guilt and grief that arises from their actions, and it gives you a feel of their desire to make amends. The pure depth and dimension this provides is something some YA writers can only dream of accomplishing.

As young adult fiction progresses, the mental health issue broadens. What I adored about ‘A Step Towards Falling‘ was the highlighting of living life with a disability – something that society is quick to label you negatively for. Cammie McGovern excellently executed the life of Belinda and her struggles of trying to act ‘normal’. I do not say normal lightly, because how exactly can we define normal? As a subjective word, the book highlights how the meaning changes depending on the individual’s thoughts and feelings.The unconventionality of this story makes it a really precious gem in the YA market and helps keep the originality to a plus. As well as this, the tone of the novel highlights the serious attitude yet never makes the novel boring. The reader is engaged at all times, which can be a challenge when dealing with issues that are in mainstream lit. Lastly, I adored the pacing of the story as well. Sometimes, I read books that have me checking the percentage bar at the bottom of my kindle app. While I couldn’t do that with my paperback copy of the story, I also found it a lot easier to get into the story than I can with some stories.

Concluding this brilliant book will be short but sweet (hopefully). Cammie McGovern deserves so much publicity for this story, and I would love to see it featured on Goodreads and other book websites. The moral of the story is inspiring and will apply to anyone no matter the age. Issues discussed in the story are incredibly relevant and will help our developing society to move forward. A Step Towards Falling was a compelling tale of disability and redemption – gaining a fabulous five out of five.

5 stars


Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.

Charlotte @ Charlotte Reads 26 says “I would recommend if you want to read a cute read that’s different to the norm.”

Chaoticbookshelf @ Nerd Lexicon saysA Step Toward Falling is definitely a book that you want to pick up.

Jasmine @ Jasmine Pearl Reads says “Words can’t exactly describe how GREAT this book was.”

b o r d e r

Usually a book goes through several cover changes in its lifetime. Most variation depends on the publishing location. A Step Towards Falling is available in the following cover formats.


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