I’m flying through books these days, and I’m pretty much loving every minute of it. Next on my list was this charming little book, which was an ARC I got way back in 2017 (I’M SO SORRY, PUBLISHERS. I’M WORKING ON IT). And I was… sadly disappointed in it. It had so much potential! But anyway, I’ll get into it.
In Falling for You, Grace Clark is a high-powered advertising director at some firm in Boston, but her personal life is a mess. After she found out her fiance was cheating on her, her sister died unexpectedly, and she’s been alone by choice ever since, fearing getting close to anyone. Her family decides to spend Thankgiving at a resort in New Hampshire to get them away from the memories in Boston, and it’s there that she meets Luke.
Luke Arnold isn’t running away anymore – he’s done with that. And when he sees Grace across the room at a resort in New Hampshire over Thanksgiving weekend, he knows it’s love at first sight. And after a steamy fling, he’s ready to commit. But Grace… isn’t. And he’s not sure he can convince her to take a chance on him, even though he feels that he was meant to be with her in his very bones.
3 Things I Loved
- Grace’s closeness to Mia. If there’s one thing I related to more than anything else in this book, it was Grace’s memories and closeness to her sister, Mia. Books like this always make me realize how much I love my sister and how lost I’d be without her; I can only imagine what a mess I’d be if I had lost my sister right before a major holiday. So that aspect of the book really stuck with me.
- Luke. What a great love interest. He’s kind and patient and willing to give and give. Honestly, I think he deserves someone better than Grace, but I’ll get into some of that in a little bit.
- Grace’s parents. So cute and loving! I think more books need parents as side characters. It’s not a super common thing in romances, at least not ones that I’ve read!
Oooooookay, here we go.
In terms of problematic content, the big one that stood out to me (aside from the absence of LGBTQ+ characters and people of color) was the way mental health was portrayed. I truly think the author was trying to do something good here by including Grace’s therapist as a character and discussing the fact that she took medication to control the depression and despair she’s felt since her sister died. However… it was problematic AT BEST. Every time Grace discusses the fact that she takes medication, it’s always about how ashamed she is and how she “should” be able to go on with life without the help of drugs. And the meetings we see with her therapist are just Grace dismissing everything the therapist is saying. It’s… not a great look. Therapy is a beautiful thing, and it really helps people who are actually open about it and try. Same with meds – they’re not a bad thing, they’re just a thing. So, while I believe that intentions were good, this book did a lot more harm than anything else when it comes to the mental health stigma. A huge NO THANKS stamp from me.
And then, in terms of simple dislikes, there’s Grace herself. She’s whiny and stubborn and annoying… which are all things I’ve loved about protagonists when done right. But this wasn’t done right. She’s just… a boring, blah character that I didn’t want to root for at all.
Then there’s the dialogue. Unrealistic at best, cringe-worthy at worst. I’m an advocate of authors speaking the dialogue out loud. Does that line sound weird? Yeah, because no one in their right mind would ever say that! *facepalm*
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
Have I liked a book yet this year? Is 2020 the year when my reviews become harsh, at best? Maybe! We’ll see! This is one that I truly didn’t like. Aside from Grace and the dialogue issues, the mental health problems were enough to make me almost put the book down. So anyway, I’m giving Falling for You an ORANGE rating. Pass.
Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Sorry I’m so late. And too honest.