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Reviewed by Amy Powers for Readers' Favorite
Rules of Falling by Leslie Tall Manning tells the story of a teenager's unique struggles and how her entire life is defined by the one thing she can't control. Erica is a high school senior, but she hasn't had a normal high school experience ever since her chronic fainting began during freshman year. Since then, her best friend, Lindsay, has always been by her side to catch her when she falls, which is always at the most inconvenient time. When Lindsay suddenly breaks up with her boyfriend, Adam, in order to pursue a married man, Erica finds herself in a precarious position, which could potentially tear apart their friendship. Not only does she disapprove of Lindsay's affair, but Erica might be falling for Adam. On top of that, there seems to be an arsonist in town, and Erica has her suspicions about who could be behind the fires.
My summary of Rules of Falling does not do it justice. Leslie Tall Manning has pieced together a web of events and characters with a perfectly elegant flow. What seems to be a modern coming-of-age tale, mixed with a slight bit of romance, quickly turns into a suspenseful mystery filled with betrayal and deceit. Seemingly minor details come back later on to play an important role in the overall plot, and I was amazed at how smoothly everything wove together by the end. Erica is easy to love and understand, even if we can't personally relate to her experiences. I especially loved seeing a leading character with a medical condition that is rarely, if ever, represented within pop culture. I highly recommend Rules of Falling to lovers of young adult fiction, and I look forward to reading more from Leslie Tall Manning.