By: Christine Zolendz
I have read all of Christine Zolendz’s books and as usual Here’s to Falling was just as intense, captivating and enthralling. I always end up being so immersed in her books that I end up feeling like the book is a movie set and I am an extra; watching the main attraction.
With Here’s to Falling I felt the journey of the characters as if it was a journey of my own. There are not enough words in the English dictionary to explain how I felt whilst reading this book. It is the first book in a very long time to hit my emotions so hard and have my heart bleeding whilst reading.
I laughed, I cried and I cried and I cried again and then I managed to smile when I found the rainbow at the end of the storm. I eventually felt and at peace with the book, however I couldn’t and still cannot shake the strong sentiment that I felt throughout.
I also wanted to acknowledge there were so many angles in which this review could have been written but I decided to follow my heart and write on what aspects impacted me most.
This book focuses on three best friends Charlotte (Charlie), Joey and Jase. It is written with the main characters reminiscing about the past, whilst attempting to live in the future. The story begins with Charlie living in the present as a twenty four year old, who is a successful business owner/tattoo artist. We follow her as she walks through life; lifelessly.
My memories have a heavy, tangible weight to them. I’ve felt their burden for so long; they have become almost bearable to carry. They don’t pull me under any longer.
Not to say that they don’t still hurt
Or give me joy…
They have just become what’s made me stronger
They are what have made me…
Through her memories we learn of the dynamics of their friendship and each of their experiences through life. We are witnesses to the true understanding of honest, non-judgemental and unconditional love between friends. Zolendz uses Charlie to describe her childhood perfectly; her persona triumphs in her ability to captivate the reader from past to present.
Charlie shares the details of her life explicitly, we know she has parents that are not attentive to her and she depends on Joey and Jase as much as they depend on her. She struggles with the difficulties in becoming a woman and surprisingly to her is in love with her best friend Jase. Joey lives pleasantly with his mum but gets bullied relentlessly at school; he is the buffer between Charlie and Jase’s crazy filled love story. He loves them, even when they hate each other. And Jase is their fierce protector. He loves both his friends dearly, they are everything to him; especially Charlie – he loves her in every way.
‘Something strong and unlike anything I’d ever felt passed between the three of us
then, something that whispered our love and our friendship; in a thousand little words
that never needed to be spoken.’
This is a story of three kindred spirits, who tackle the journey of life together, dealing with difficult family, the trials of adolescence, and the heartache of first loves and the devastation of loss. Their experiences, observations and decisions leading up to adulthood will change their futures dramatically. The paths they take are never what was expected and its nothing but empty and lonely.
‘Forever is too long of a time. A part of you dies when you lose someone you love.
Life is messy, it’s never fair and it’s never pretty. And I will always ask God why, why,
As we return back to the future and Charlie’s present life we are very much aware of a significant distance between all friends – each having their own reasons and secrets as to why. But as Charlie’s past and present collides, will she allow herself to feel all the things she has been avoiding and will she admit that she finally deserves to feel the same unconditional and non-judgemental love from the people of her past.
I still love you.
I love you.
I love you like we were never apart.