Fall Line – Tudor Robins – Downhill Series #1 – Published 11 June 2015
Everything’s forward. Those are fifteen-year-old Chris Myers’ words for the year. The next gate, the next race, his spot on the district ski team; they’re all his for the taking. Except training is such hard work. And then there’s Jenna – the very opposite of hard work – gorgeous, curvy, and into partying. Into Chris. Instead of moving forward, Chris is sliding back. Slower times, worse results, and his best friend, Tilly, drifting away.
“The thing you want is right in front of you,” Tilly said. Now Chris just has to figure out what that thing is – and how to get it – before it’s too late.
I really liked this book. The snowy crisp world of skiing is the perfect backdrop for a best-friends falling in love love story. With a likeable and realistic male teen lead, great mix of sport and romance and friendship and family, this was a very enjoyable book.
Chris has everything going for him. The ski season is just about to begin and he knows this year could be big. But as he starts to feel more for his best-friend, Tilly, he becomes terrified that he stands to lose her if things don’t work out. Determined not to let that happen, he falls in with Jenna, the older step-sister of his friend Mike. But as things heat up with Jenna, her world of partying and drinking starts to take a heavy toll on his skiing, not to mention his friendship with Tilly (oh, and school). The question is, can he fix things before it all falls apart completely.
I really enjoyed Fall Line. Chris is a totally relatable teenage boy and, despite his choices the majority of the book, he was equally likeable. The sections where Chris is with Jenna are mostly glossed over or told in reflection which really helps the reader stay connected with him (and prevented me from wanting to shake some sense into him). You know where this book is going, but so does Chris. He can see his impending doom, but can’t seem to stop. Luckily, he’s a smart kid and pulls it together.
I liked every aspect of the skiing. Loved the anticipation of the first decent snow fall, the hard push of training, the nerves of races, the team’s comradery and Chris and Tilly’s love of the sport. It all made curling up under a blanket to read this book so very cozy. The sport dominates the storyline, but it thought that was perfect and fitting. Tilly and Chris’s friendship is solid. I loved how you could feel their friendship and see it in how they interacted (definitely not like some books where you are told, over and over again, that they are the best of friends, but are never shown it). As they progress (or don’t progress) to more than friends, the tension between them builds. You know what Chris wants and you know what Tilly wants, it’s just a matter of Chris getting it together. Will it happen, won’t it happen? But it’s not an agonising read and I never gave up on the characters or the story.
A sweet romance all wrapped up in the loveable and challenging sport of downhill skiing.
The author provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction
Themes: Romance. Sport – Skiing. Friendship.
Age guide: Ages 13 and up.
Advisory: Some coarse language, s***. Sexual references. Underage alcohol use and references.
Published: 11 June 2015.
Format: Paperback. 336 pages.