Review: When It All Falls Down by Tanya Chris

Maybe Charlie should have waited until he graduated high school before coming out, because since that revelation there’s been a growing distance between him and his friends. Charlie’s tough, though. He doesn’t mind eating lunch alone or watching his former gang interact with their new best buddy. What he does mind is seeing Drew Lavoitt suffer the same fate.
Drew didn’t come out. As far as he, or anyone else knows, he’s straight. What Drew did is accidentally hit and kill a little girl. Now the boy who was voted Most Popular, and who Charlie has maybe had a crush on since eighth grade, faces financial ruin, expulsion, and the fear that if he’s not everything, he’s not enough.
Popularity, wealth, acclaim—these things are easily lost. In each other’s arms, Drew and Charlie find something that can’t be taken from them. Together the two build a foundation on which they can re-create their lives.

My Kindle notes say: Great story, happy vibe, positive vibe, and I think this sums up the book nicely. It seems from the blurb that this could be a real drama driven book, with teen angst all over the place - but it wasn't. Whilst some of the events in this story were sad and some difficult to deal with, the story as a whole was positive. It showed how people, in this case teens, cope and deal with circumstances beyond their control. 

The character of Charlie was interesting to me. Often we see how bad coming out is for teens, in this book though, Charlie, for the most part, actually expected a worse reaction from people than what he got. I know that this is far, far from the experience of many people coming out. It gives me hope though, that the future of GBLTQ people is better than that of the past. My first reaction was to think that such positivity was unrealistic - then I thought about all the prom proposal videos that circle each year featuring GBLTQ youth and I realised that things are getting better. 

Younger generations, for a good part, don't discriminate. They stand behind their peers and celebrate the diversity of their generation. (Too) slowly things are changing for the better. Or at least they have been, but this is a book review, not a political statement. My point is, that Charlie expected negativity when he came out. He actually read it in places that it wasn't, in his group of friends, with his father... His expectations were of the worst, and it didn't turn out that way. I really hope that this is the case for the very near future.

Drew, I felt incredibly sorry for. He'd accidentally killed a 6 year old, through no fault of his own. An unpreventable accident - how devastating this must be. I've driven for 22 years and I've yet to enjoy it for exactly that reason, the fear of the damage a car can do in a moment of time. I can't imagine the enormous pressure and guilt (that most useless of emotions) Drew is under. He is coming to terms with it, so is his family and the people where they live. My heart ached for him.Then Charlie - brave and strong and hating seeing Drew on his own - spoke to Drew and changed the course of both their lives. 

A really great story, I would recommend this to romance lovers and YA fans.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
For more information see Goodreads.

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