No Place to Fall
by Jaye Robin Brown
Publisher - Harper TEEN
Release Date - December 9th 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
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.
Well...I really don't know how to write this review... even though I have too. I really hate writing somewhat negative reviews, they make me sad, (haha). No Place to Fall was unfortunately nothing special and there really wasn't a whole lot to say about it. (Even though this review, is a little longer anticipated.)
No Place to Fall had no concrete plotline. It was all over the place and any hope of a delivering a new path of the story was diminished when together they didn't really follow through. Basically, Amber begins as a person hoping to discover the world and sing along with it. She wants to have an ambition of using her voice, which from what I gathered in the story she has a raw and emotional tone to her voice, which I love. But the idea at the start of the novel is compared to her going to a hiking retreat not short from where she lives, seeing people from other places, with some 'homemade special' brownies and drinking. So this really doesn't encourage me from the beginning...
Once she returns to high school, she finds out about an opportunity to develop her ambition, to sing it to audition to the North Carolina School of the Arts. This if anything was the main part of the story that was plot-driven, but for me, it wasn't developed enough. Her family played a lot to discourage the idea of applying. Her sister, Whitney married to a low-life, Sammy, into drugs and whom both have a child of their own. If I'm honest the plus out of her family's relationship was her nephew, Coby who so adorable and cute. The other thing that annoyed me but in funny way was the characters dialog/linguistics of the novel, for example, when Amber uses, "Mamma and Daddy" which really didn't work together, and the words "y'all". In the context of the novel, it really didn't flow properly, it broke it up a lot. I don't have anything against those saying by the way, it just didn't work for the novel and the personalities of the characters.
Her best friend, Devon, who is awesome, by the way. He gave me some hope, being gay isn't a bad thing, and if I'm honest, having a gay best friend are some of the most honest people and I enjoy reading that sort of relationship in novels. Devon, having his own 'drama' let Amber deal with his older brother, Will, who she has had a crush since, well...forever. This pretty much continued the whole, where is this going scenario? After school one day, they shared some feeling and basically had sex. For me this was unrealistic, it was forced and it took me until the next chapter to actually twig what happened, it was like it suddenly stopped there. Amber and Will's relationship, however wasn't necessarily smooth ride, but eventually (towards the end I might add) that it picked up and if anything redeemed something within the story.
Whilst, I was hoping for her musical talents and ambitions to shine through and take charge of No Place to Fall, to really highlight her place in her future and in her life. It was frustrating and hoped so much for it to get better. The only redeeming qualities within the were Will and Coby, both of whom distracted Amber from her drama into more of a positive place. As far as a debut novel from Brown, I'm unsure as to how her other novels will fare but that doesn't mean I wouldn't consider reading her other either.
Rating - an undecided 2.5/3