Title: We All Fall Down by Natalie D. Richards
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: C
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A new romantic thriller—with a dash of horror—from the author of One Was Lost and Six Months Later
Theo’s always been impulsive. But telling Paige how he feels? He’s obsessed over that decision. And it’s time. Tonight. At the party on the riverbank, under the old walking bridge, site of so many tales of love and death.
Paige has had a crush on Theo since they first met, but she knows her feelings are one-sided. She’s trying to move on, to flirt. A party at the river is just what she needs. Except a fight breaks out, and when Paige tries to intervene—Theo’s fist lands in her face.
All Theo and Paige want to do is forget that fateful night. But strange events keep drawing them back to the bridge. Someone, something is determined to make them remember…and pay for what they each did.
We All Fall Down by Natalie D. Richards is a suspenseful young adult novel with a few supernatural elements.
Theo Quinn and Paige Vinton-Young are best friends who rely heavily on each other to help deal with their respective mental health issues. Theo is struggling with a fairly severe problem with ADHD and he has gone through a host of medications to try to help manage his disorder. Paige has been plagued with rather intense anxiety from a young age. Just as Paige is ready to move on from her unrequited crush for Theo, he realizes he has feelings for her. Attending a party together one night, Theo jealously lashes out at the guy she is interested in and when Paige attempts to stop him, things go horribly wrong. Six months later, they are estranged but when both of them begin experiencing eerie occurrences that are connected to that fateful night, will Paige and Theo reunite in order to discover the truth about what is happening to them?
Paige’s parents are extremely overprotective and due to their strong influence over her after the events with Theo, she cannot trust her instincts about him. Trying to respect their wishes, she has cut Theo completely out of her life. When she begins finding objects associated with the night things went so drastically wrong between them, Paige wants to give Theo the benefit of the doubt, but she is having difficulty deciding whether to trust Theo or listen to her parents.
Theo is spending the summer with his uncle Denny who understands all too well some of the problems his nephew is going through. Theo is committed to adhering to his new medication regimen and when he begins experiencing unexplained phenomena, he cannot figure out whether it is side effects from the meds or something more sinister. He accidentally runs into Paige one day which sets the stage for a possible reunion, but Paige’s trust issues remain a source of conflict between them.
We All Fall Down by Natalie D. Richards is a rather slow moving novel with likable characters that seem defined by their respective mental health issues. The storyline is initially intriguing but it becomes a little repetitive as Theo tries to make sense of what is happening to him. Paige’s parents’ interference in her life is also extremely exasperating due to their lack of faith in her ability to manage her anxiety and day to day life. The supernatural element falls a little flat as does the explanation for Paige’s discoveries. The conclusion is a little rushed but all of the loose ends are nicely tied up.