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February 07, 2016

Review: The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

The Year We Fell ApartTitle: The Year We Fell Apart
Author: Emily Martin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Publication date: January 26, 2016
Genre(s): Young adult, Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Pages: 320

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.

I have not read an addicting contemporary in so long. The Year We Fell Apart reminded me of why contemporary books are my choice of addiction. I could not put the book down and ended up reading it in one sitting. This is coming from my current state of reading maybe one or two books a month lately. I wanted more more more from this book and when it ended I couldn't stop thinking about it. 

The plot line is on I highly enjoy. Our main protagonist, Harper has a childhood best friend, Declan. However the book starts almost a year later after they have become estranged.. but we don't know what happened. Declan has come back for the summer vacation and Harper's emotions become all over the place. Not only that, but Harper is currently trying to deal with the news of her mother's cancer. I found that so heart wrenching. She really didn't know how to deal with it and wanted to talk about it to Declan since he lost his mother years ago.. but she couldn't because of this huge elephant in the room that the readers don't know about. The book kept on alluding to Harper making some decisions she regrets and that hints to the reason why her and Declan are no longer friends (or something more?). I loved how the author kept us in the dark. It really upped the tension factor as well as the need to continue reading to find out what really happened. 

I think Emily painted a very realistic story. Harper and Declan end up having to hang out due to their mutual childhood friend (no love triangle though!) as well as new friends come in, slight misunderstands happen (though funny and never really lasting for long). I enjoyed the summer, leisure feel, along with the mix of anguish and emotional turmoil Harper is going through. The secondary characters were all fantastic too. I love that just as much as the romance, Emily focused on the old and new found friendships and what you really lose once you step out of the friendship zone to the relationship zone. 

The build up to the last couple of scenes in the book were done so well that my heart was literally beating fast reading those last several pages. I couldn't read fast enough but at the same time I had to backtrack and reread because my emotions were everywhere. I literally would read two pages, then go back and reread those two pages because I was in a state of total "mind blown". Martin seriously knows how to hook you in and not let you go until the book ends (and not even then apparently). I can't wait to see more of Emily Martin's contemporaries. She's honestly on my to watch list from now on. If her sophomore contemporary is close to how good The Year We Fell Apart was.. then she's going to graduate to favourite contemporary authors and the auto-buy and read list. The Year We Fell Apart has become the first (and so far only) book on my "2016 favourites list". 


  1. I'm really glad you loved this one, Juhina! I was really looking forward to reading it, but I was frustrated by Harper. I did think Declan was okay and I liked the friends in the book!
    It's an awesome feeling when you find an auto-buy author. :)
    Lovely review!

  2. Yes! I totally agree with so much you're saying here about this book. I loved it too, and read it in one sitting! My favorite part was how realistic it was, and how Harper's flaws didn't define her, or make her any less of a person. I really liked Declan, too. :)

  3. I am so happy you loved this! I have an e-copy of this and I've been looking forward to reading it for so long! Great review :)