Book Review: 'No Place to Fall'
Jaye Robin Brown. HarperTeen, 368 pp. $17.99
Amber Vaughn is stuck in her small Appalachian town, and she wants out. Her sister secured her fate several years ago when she got pregnant and married the deadbeat father of her baby. But Amber's fate is still open, and her voice may be her ticket out.
Jaye Robin Brown's novel, "No Place to Fall" had the potential to be a really good novel. Amber is the "good girl" on the surface who likes to go out and have a good time, but she's smart enough to make sure (as best as she can) that her darker side stays hidden from the people that know her and see her every day. She has the opportunity to audition for a prestigious music school in the city, and she has the capability to succeed in that environment.
But, in my opinion, this book fell short. I didn't get the impression that anything actually happened, that Amber's life looked any different at the end of the book than it did at the beginning. In fact, the only character that showed any change at all were secondary characters, people put into the story to support the main character's change.
I was intrigued while reading this novel -- the voice was solid and I continued to turn the page to find out what would happen next -- but as the story progressed, the characters flattened. It's an okay teenage love story, but there are better ones out there. As a coming-of-age story -- which I imagine was Brown's idea for the book -- it was disappointing.