Fall by Kristen Callihan. I usually add a short description here. I am speechless this time. I fell.
A few days ago I discovered Kristen Callihan. This resulted in me devouring her work. In a span of two or three days I’ve read the first two books in her VIP series: Idol and Managed. And now I have finished Fall. I fell in love. Not only with some of the characters, but with Callihan’s writing. So seamless, natural, realistic, emotional, strong… need I continue? Or are you hooked already? Because I was hooked before I even managed to finish the first chapter of the first book I read by this marvelous woman.
At first, before I starter reading the VIP series, I was doubtful. I didn’t know if I would like it since I often don’t enjoy reading about famous people. I was very wrong. I enjoyed this so thoroughly I caught myself blushing. And every book was better than the one before. When I read about Gabriel and Sophie in Managed I thought: This is it. She can’t make anything better. Wrong!
Even though I was a big fan of the two previous books and was immersed in the main storylines somehow the character of Jax always stole my attention, tickled my imagination from the start. He was so charming and genuinely funny. So, naturally, when I realized that the third book in the series was about him I fainted.
„There’s something too self-possessed about him, as if he’s actively trying not to be noticed. Good luck with that. The guy has a luster that has nothing to do with looks but is closer to sheer magnetism. It’s so strong that he seems vaguely familiar, which is just ridiculous. If I’d met him before, I’d remember his brand of hotness.“
Now, you must be thinking that taking into account my enormous expectations of this book I must have been disappointed by it. Wrong! So very wrong.
Following the pattern from Callihan’s previous books, she started strong. There was no poetic first chapter in which we slowly get to know our protagonists, as there is in many books within the romance genre. I love how she quickly builds the plot and develops the characters at the same time. It is very natural. The way Callihan tells a story is so descriptive and life-like that I feel like I’m watching a movie. The scenes happening before my eyes.
The story grips you, pulls you in and enchants you. I read this book very fast. It was like a drug, I simply couldn’t stop.
Now. The plot. It was like a roller-coaster. At moments it was so incredibly forceful and filled with adrenaline that as I read I felt my heart beating faster. And then there were moments of darkness which made me feel claustrophobic. Callihan couldn’t have chosen a better way to create an ambiance for this story. This illustrated perfectly Jax’s mood swings. I personally liked that Jax’s suicide attempt wasn’t included in this book because I found it interesting to read about a survivor.
“The future is a dark, nebulous place that I’ve never wanted to contemplate. Mostly because when I think of it, I see myself alone, irrelevant, and adrift. I tell myself I don’t mind being alone.”
About the way he coped with things, his relationship with his friends and eventually Stella. I especially liked the interaction between Killian and Jax where they finally sat down and talked about what happened. I won’t leave any spoilers simply because I want you to read this book. I’ll just tease you.
Stella is such an enjoyable female protagonist. (As are all the other women in Callihan’s novels, unlike in many other romance novels where they are often annoying and needy.) She is funny, impulsive, strong-minded, often self-conscious and loving. However, beside all that she is afraid. Afraid of commitment and afraid of being herself with someone else.
Much like Jax. They are both afraid. Not broken, not tainted. Afraid.
Part of the reason I love Callihan’s writing style so much is her undeniable sense of humour. Unlike many other writers who try very hard to come off funny or witty, Callihan just slides jokes in without batting an eye. I love it.
„The elevator doors open, and we step into the space. I should have taken the next car. The space is too small, and John Blackwood takes up too much space with his enormous ego.“
Furthermore, Callihan once more used some of my favourite tropes but twisted them a little to make them so much better. We have the emotional unavailability, fear of commitment, the just-you-call-me-by-that-name…
I feel like I’ve said enough by now. Haven’t I? Well, you simply must read it because I won’t stop talking about it.
I’ve seen that the next book will be coming out, but not when. You can expect I’ll be talking about it as soon as it comes out. By then, you have time to read the first three books in the VIP series!