I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.
Emma – When Clare and I realised that we were reading The Shock Of The Fall at the same time, it made perfect sense for us to combine our thoughts and post our review on both blogs.
Clare – I have to admit I was a little disappointed with The Shock of the Fall because it just didn’t live up to all the expectations. From the positive reviews and also its Costa Book Award I was very excited, but after reading I’m just not sure how I felt. Part of me was thinking ‘I feel so emotional right now’ and others were saying ‘really? Is this it?’
Emma – For me, I kind of agree with Clare. When we were in Waterstones together, I picked up the book, read the blurb and then said “well we know Simon dies, what’s the point of reading it?” Oh my, how wrong I was. I must apologise to Nathan because despite the blurb giving a tiny bit of the plot away, I was completely in love with his debut.
Clare – The novel is written in the form of a diary where you learn about Matthew and his life living with a mental illness; he shares all his inner thoughts and feelings. This was a nice way to express the issue and I felt it gave you a connection and understanding.
Emma – But also, I felt as if Matthew held quite a lot of information back at times. There were parts of the narrative which I had to reread to make sure I was reading it correctly, but now that I’ve finished the book, I’m starting to believe that Nathan withheld Matthew’s information on purpose.
Clare – Mental illness is a topic that is close to my heart and I know firsthand the struggles and feelings you have when trying to piece your life back together. I felt sorry for Matthew because all his problems stemmed from his brother’s death and maybe he would have coped ever so slightly if his brother was there to keep ‘normality’. Personally, I felt that Matthew did try his best to live a normal teenage life, but certain things along the way hindered how you would deal with things: his brother’s death, his mother’s illness and even his friend Jacob moving out of their shared flat.
Emma – At first, I was clueless to the aspect of Mental Health and as someone who suffers from MH, I found this to be quite shocking. However, it just goes to prove that Mental Health isn’t as easily spotted as someone with a mono brow. I found the plot to overall, be an incredibly beautiful read. If you have read The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Forgive Me Leonard Peacock and The Silver Linings Playbook, then you MUST read this.
Clare – The Shock of the Fall was the type of read where you expect lots to happen and nothing does. I did find it beautifully written and you did feel like you were sat in the same room as Matthew as he told you his story. I like novels like that because it feels real and when you’re living in fantasy you want things to be just that, real. I am probably one of the minority that feels this way about the book so I’d say give it a go and see how you feel. Many of my friends and fellow bloggers have loved it.
You can find Clare on Twitter: @ABookandTea or have a nosy on her blog: http://abookandtea.wordpress.com/