Book: No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown
Publisher: Harper Teen
Date Published: December 9th, 2014
Date Started: January 28th, 2015
Date Finished: January 30th, 2015
Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.
When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.
Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.
Heres the thing about reputations. They have the power to make life uneasy for you. But you can also let them not affect you as well.
Amber is from the south, and every stereotype you can throw at her has been used towards her. Her sister is married to a guy that sells drugs, her father is cheating on her mother, and everyone thinks Amber will fall down that same path. But Amber loves to sing and it might be her one chance to take her places. An audition finally comes her way to take her to a school of performing arts where she can pursue music full time. Her best friend’s brother, Will, helps her out but they may be falling for each other. And then something happens in her family that might just change the future and her family.
What I loved about this book was the fact that Amber was not ashamed of where she was from and who her family is. She loves her family, even if her sister makes some bad choices and her father isn’t faithful. What I found a bit strange though, was when a someone moves to their small town and makes small town jokes and basically insults every female living there, Amber didn’t really argue that much with him about it. I figure this is because she’s so used to it, that she just tends to brush it off. But when this same person goes and starts spreading rumors about her and her reputation, she does nothing to stop him either. I figured she would have been hurt. I think I would have liked to see her deal with this problem other than brushing it off, at least acknowledge that it hurt. Maybe the author was trying to get the point across that rumors don’t really matter? I’m not sure.
This book has a great connection to music. Amber knows its her passion and she really shows it. I love that its the reason why her and Will become so close, because he loves music just as well. Amber made a bad choice with the right intentions, and it kind of screwed some things up for her. I loved that she was able to deal with it. She was okay with the consequences. But what I loved the most was her mother’s transformation. Her mother isn’t perfect and she’s being cheated on by her husband. I loved that in the end she became a stronger person. She started doing things for herself. I loved the mother more than I love Amber I think.
This wasn’t my favorite contemporary book, but it was a great journey. If you love music, singing, or a great realistic story, this is the book for you.