“Life isn’t fair. Not all the time. So we grab each good moment that we can and hold on tight.”
**I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review**
Falling Fast by Tina Wainscott was amazing! I really, really loved Mia and Raleigh’s story. It was a beautiful second chance story, with a lot of love, forgiveness, and redemption. Mia and Raleigh first met when she was 17 and he was 19. They fell hard and fast for each other- the typical summer romance. However, instead of ending with a tearful goodbye and promises of phone calls, Mia and Raleigh’s summer was cut short in a fiery accident that left both of them scarred, both outwardly and inwardly. Now, 7 years later, Mia returns to bury her late grandmother, and the sparks fly once more.
“Don’t. Don’t do that whole ‘poor Mia who fought cancer, so delicate and frail’ bullshit. Okay?”
Mia really stood out to me as a New Adult character. Her never-ending strength and resilience was truly admirable. This is a girl who has fought cancer since the age of 8, and was then horrifically burned and disfigured in an accident at 17. She was then ripped away from the love of her life by overbearing parents, and never really had a chance to be truly independent. Despite all this, she remains kind, forgiving, and optimistic. She never mopes around or feels sorry for herself, and that’s what I really loved about this character. She is fiercely loyal to Raleigh, and truly understands the value of relationships and family over career/job/money.
“Here they were again. Him, the town drunk’s son trying to make something of himself.”
I think the only mistake the author made in this book was repeatedly having Raleigh referred to as the “bad boy” because he is literally the exact opposite. Sure, he’s a mechanic that grew up in a trailer park with the town drunk as a father, but he never displays the true characteristics of a “bad boy”. He is not bitter and angry about what life has thrown at him, instead he accepts that life is unfair and works hard every single day to try to make his life better. He works so hard to make something of himself, and I think that’s admirable. He doesn’t give off the dangerous vibes that a “bad boy” would. He cares for his half-brother and stepmom after his worthless father leaves, which shows tremendous character. Raleigh is the guy every girl dreams of marrying, which is probably why Mia fights so hard for him. She knows he’s worth saving. The chemistry between the two of them is incredible, and they were one of those couples that were truly a pleasure to see interact on the pages. They knew when to tease each other, support each other, and defend each other. They fit together perfectly.
This book was a roller coaster of emotions. There was the pain that Raleigh carried, the guilt he felt for hurting Mia seven years ago, the burden he felt as a young man trying to make the best of his life. There was the contagious optimism and kindness Mia exhibited. There’s a major plot twist about 2/3 of the way through the book that completely shifts the whole story, but I thought it was really well done. You learn Raleigh has been through more than he ever let on, and Mia helps him through that. I definitely recommend this book, if nothing else, let Mia, and her family, teach you a lesson in forgiveness.