Title: How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Length: 272 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
After a cyber bullying incident turns her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl that everyone deserves a second chance in this swoonworthy new novel from the author of How to Say I Love You Out Loud.
The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That’s all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl’s suicide. Now Nikki’s been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can’t look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates – almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it’s like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance… and everyone deserves to be loved.
How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo is a unique yet highly engaging young adult romance that deals with relevant social issues in a realistic manner.
Nicole “Nikki” Baylor’s life forever changed the second she took part in a cyber bullying incident the morning after a party at her home. With her reputation in tatters, she is struggling with her shame over the incident as she tries to repair her fractured relationship with her parents. Once a popular student with a bright future ahead of her, Nikki is starting her senior year at a new school where everyone keeps their distance from her. Fulfilling her community service at a local rehabilitation center, Nikki meets Matty “Pax” Paxton, a young man who is now confined to a wheelchair after car accident. Knowing how difficult it is to move past horrible decisions, Pax takes Nikki at face value and offers her friendship when she needs it most. With his relentless optimism and upbeat personality, Nikki cannot help but begin to feel better about herself, but when her feelings deepen into more than friendship, will Pax be willing to take a risk on love?
Initially, Nikki is a little self-pitying as she bemoans everything she has lost. She definitely feels remorse and shame for her actions, but she cannot help be a little bitter over her friends’ abandonment. She is also struggling to cope with the fallout from the incident in the present as well as the realization her hopes and dreams for the future may never materialize due to her lapse in judgment. There is much more to the cyber bullying incident than meets the eye and once the whole truth emerges, it is easy to feel empathy for what Nikki is going through. Nikki’s emotions always ring true as she owns up to her mistake and begins to take responsibility for what she did. Nikki is an easy person to relate to because when it comes down to it, everyone has done something they are not proud of.
Like Nikki, Pax had everything going for him before the car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. A popular jock whose entire future was riding on an athletic scholarship, he has such a bright outlook despite his disappointment that his life will turn out nothing like he originally planned. Realistic and honest to a fault, Pax’s enthusiasm and cheerfulness is catching as he accepts his limitations and embraces the positive rather than dwelling on the negative. Despite his self-confidence, he backs away from a romantic relationship with Nikki, but can she change his mind after Pax confesses his fears to her?
How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo is an uplifting young adult contemporary romance that offers a realistic portrayal of the effects of cyber bullying. Seeing the incident from the perspective of the bully is a refreshing change of pace and watching Nikki deal with the repercussions of her actions is quite sobering. The growth of her character is absolutely phenomenal as she finally begins to understand what motivated her participation in the incident and more importantly, she recognizes the lasting effects her bullying has on her victim. I highly recommend this well researched, engrossing novel to readers of all ages.