Review: Falling by T.J. Newman

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. 

Falling publishes July 6, 2021.

T.J. Newman’s book journey is pretty much every aspiring author’s dream. After dozens of agent rejections, she gets signed by one that goes on to get her a seven figure book deal. As if that isn’t astonishing enough, she then sells the movie rights to the book in another seven figure deal. With that kind of hype, I had some pretty big expectations when I started reading Falling.

The story was incredibly fast paced. We mostly follow the POVs of the pilot, Bill, a flight attendant, Jo, the pilot’s kidnapped wife, Carrie, and an FBI agent, Theo – who also happens to be the nephew of the flight attendant, along with several others that are impacted by the terrorist threat. I thought the transitions between perspectives were well done and really helped move the story along. There are also several flashback scenes interspersed throughout the story that I wasn’t quite as impressed with, but some were definitely necessary.

I thought the characters were likable and easy to root for. While this wasn’t really a character-driven story, I did feel like I got to know and understand them. While I liked them, I didn’t always find them very realistic. With a couple of minor character exceptions, it was like they were all their very best, level-headed, most courageous selves. I think we would all like to think that we would respond well in a crisis, but I think it’s highly unlikely that there wouldn’t be at least a few cracks. Also, while on the subject of characters, I want to say that having one of the flight attendants nicknamed Big Daddy and constantly referring to him as just Daddy made me cringe every single time I read it.

With how much money this story sold for, I was expecting there to be a really fresh take on who the villains would be. I was waiting for some big conspiracy plot to emerge. I was a little disappointed that it ended up just being terrorists that hate America. And the twist on the “back-up” plan on board the plane was my very first guess.

Overall, I did enjoy Falling, but did I find it worthy of that jaw dropping deal? Not really. It was fast paced and entertaining, but even so, it took me almost a week to read it (which is several days longer than a book of this size normally takes me). I thought the plot was pretty formulaic and there wasn’t really anything fresh brought to the table. However, I do think it will make a great movie that I will definitely plan on watching.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

Reviewing the Unreviewed: April 2021

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

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Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson. Read April 3-5. 2.5 Stars.

This book was bonkers. The writing had that addictive quality I expect from Swanson, which I’m giving the extra half star for, but the story itself was like a campy Lifetime movie. I had some theories about what would happen that I thought couldn’t be right because it was too crazy, but then it went down an even crazier path. You definitely have to suspend your grip on reality to enjoy this, which I wasn’t entirely able to do.

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All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata. Read April 5-7. 4 Stars. 

I loved this! Such a sweet, slow-burn romance. I might have some issues with Zapata’s writing sometimes, but she definitely knows how to write a romantic hero that will make my cold, black heart have some feelings.

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When He Was Wicked (Bridgertons #6) by Julia Quinn. Read April 8-10. 3.5 Stars. 

Another enjoyable book in the Bridgertons series, but not one of my favorites. I wish there was a little more of the Bridgertons present, but I did like both Francesca and Michael.

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Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne. Read April 16-18. 3.5 Stars.

The first several chapters were a bit of a chore to get through, but I was eventually able to get into the story. I didn’t like that the main character, Ruthie, keeps being referred to as old at 25, mostly by her 22 year-old assistant, Melanie. I didn’t really like Melanie at all. She’s supposed to be funny and supportive, but I found her a little grating. I also thought the two elderly ladies hiring young men to exploit and humiliate was a little tone deaf in today’s environment. There also wasn’t really much of a plot. But, despite all that, I did enjoy watching Ruthie and Teddy fall in love. There were several cute moments and I liked how they helped each other grow. If you’re looking for another The Hating Game, you’re not going to find it here, but it was definitely a solid effort from Thorne and I’ll try whatever she writes next.

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The Beach by R.S. Grey. Read April 25. 2.5 Stars. 

This was very short and didn’t have much of a plot. The characters are from Doctor Dearest (which wasn’t my favorite R.S. Grey book) and the story is basically the female lead internal monologuing about her crush on the guy, them hooking up a lot, and then deciding it’s not just an island fling. I would have liked a little more banter and romance thrown in to round out the story a bit.

*****DNF*****

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The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. DNF @ 47%. I saw so many glowing reviews of this book and was very excited to read it, but it just didn’t work for me. The beginning was so slow and felt like a chore to get through. I found myself really annoyed about how often this super amazing plot is mentioned, without actually finding out what it is. I also guessed right away who the internet “troll” who accuses the main character of plagiarism was. I stopped reading properly at around 47%, but then skimmed through towards the end so I could see if my prediction was correct. It was. And that plot that kept being mentioned as revolutionary? VERY disappointing. Honestly, I thought it sounded similar to an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer…

*****Books with Future Reviews Scheduled*****

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The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren – 3 Stars

Falling by T.J. Newman – 3.5 Stars

Shutter by Melissa Larsen – 1 Star

WWW Wednesday: April 21, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What did you recently finish reading?

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Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne. This started off really slow, but I ultimately enjoyed it. Not as good as The Hating Game, but way better than 99 Percent Mine.

What are you currently reading?

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Falling by T.J. Newman. This debut book has already made the author millions of dollars, so I have really high expectations for it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m kind of in a mood, so I’m not sure what will catch my interest next.

What are you reading?