Feel Me Fall by James Morris – A Review
Rating – 4/5
When James Morris approached me to review this book and categorized it as YA, I could not fathom the complexities lying hidden in the guileless appearance of this novel. Although categorized as YA, it can stand its ground with any book of the adult genre. Feel Me Fall boasts not only of a great plot but an ingenuity in presentation and complex characterizations of the protagonists and other characters. Morris’s writing is also excellent and the narration itself has suppleness to it. This novel can easily be added to my top five findings of this year and I will be adding other works of James Morris to my TBR list.
Emily Duran is chronicling her tale as the sole survivor of a plane crash that had left her and her friends stranded in the wilderness of the Amazon forest. The group consists of Derek, Emily, Ryan, Vivian, Nico and Molly, an unlikely group who would never have been together unless for this tragedy. Ryan, although physically challenged, is an accomplished athlete and a high school bully who torments Derek on a daily basis due to his pock marked appearance. Emily, a studious and poetic girl is best friends with Vivian and is madly in love with her English teacher who was also with her on the plane. Vivian and Nico are a couple but not everything is not hunky-dory between them. Molly, one of the meanest girls in high school, is a loner without any friends. As the wilderness deepens and with each passing day the possibility of rescue looks distant, all the rules of a civilized society are overthrown. The days are filled with tension with undercurrents of betrayal, vengeance, secrets and lies. How did Emily become the sole survivor and what happened to the rest of the group? Read to find out.
The entire novel is narrated from the point of view of Emily who is asked to pen down her experiences as a way to alleviate her stress as she is suffering from PTSD. The novel follows three timelines – the present timeline after the crash, the past detailing their struggle for survival and also detailing their high school life. All these three timelines add great value to the story. The anecdotes of the high school life clearly emphasizes the dynamics between each character before the crash and this clearly contrasts with the “survival-of-the-fittest” attitude that the author paints in the days spent in the jungle. The present timeline is centered on Emily’s introspection of herself and an improved understanding between her and her mother. This is also the timeline where Emily sorts out the events that happened after the crash and comes to terms with her “sole survivor” status.
James Morris has beautifully penned the novel with vivid descriptions and imagery as if the events unfold right in front of our eyes. Each chapter ends with a minor cliffhanger forcing us to read more. His statements are very enigmatic which makes us dig deeper to understand the actual truth of the events that conspired. The portrayal of the struggles of city-bred teenagers in the humid and insect infested wilderness is very realistic and the transition of their nature from care-free teenagers to brooding, skeptical and plotting human beings are gradual but inevitable as more and more unpleasant secrets are revealed about each other throughout the pages. The menagerie of characters trapped here are very unique yet at heart stay true to the portrayal of teenagers. The novel has great depth which elevates this from a pure tale of survival to a study of the intricate psychology of humans left to fend for themselves in a lawless society.
Overall, an excellent book in terms of plot, writing, presentation and characters. This is not just the story of survival but a gripping tale of suspense. The book is not just for YA fans but can be read by anyone who likes a story with great twists. I would recommend this book to all my readers.
About the Author
James Morris is a former television writer who now works in digital media. When not writing, you can find him scoping out the latest sushi spot, watching ‘House Hunters Renovation’, or trying new recipes in the kitchen. He lives with his wife and dog in Los Angeles. You can visit him at http://jamesmorriswriter.com/ or tweet him at @JMorrisWriter