Book Review: The Year They Fell by David Kreizman

The Year They Fell
David Kreizman

I was in the mood for a Young Adult book so I picked up The Year They Fell by David Kreizman at the library. It’s a teenage drama about five former friends whose lives suddenly change the day their parents head off to an island vacation. The plane crashes and there are no survivors.

Josie, Jack, Archie, Harrison and Dayana were great friends in preschool, but that was a long time ago. Now about to start senior year of high school, their lives are vastly different. Twins Josie and Jack hang with the fast crowd, but Archie, Harrison and Dayana are awkward outsiders to that world.

Josie and Jack may seem perfect, but they have their demons. Josie, queen of the social scene, has a terrible secret. Jack is a hulking football star with a violent temper. The others also struggle. Archie clings to his sketch pad and wonders how he fits into his adoptive white family. Harrison’s dad abandoned him and his mom and he suffers from major anxiety. Dayana’s parents aren’t getting along and she pops pills to cope. In addition, past dynamics from years ago interfere with their current relationships.

As the former friends awkwardly circle each other, Harrison launches an investigation. Soon the group must confront painful details about their parents’ lives. Harrison determines the crash might not be an accident and tries to convince the others with his extensive research.

I enjoyed this fast read, set in River Bank, New Jersey, a town I hadn’t heard of, but was surprised to find in a familiar part of the Jersey shore. In addition to the tragedy, the author packs a lot of major developments and problems into these high schoolers! Probably not realistic and that is my one gripe with the story. The high school setting and dialogue seemed true to life, but I hope no sample set of high schoolers has this many things to deal with.

In addition to suffering tragic loss, Kreizman introduces important themes into his story, including love, friendship, sexual identity, family relationships, fitting in, anxiety, sexual abuse, and drug addiction. While these are all important, I think the story would have been better if the author focused on fewer issues. As a result, the story reads more like a soap opera. Pretty interesting because Kreizman used to write for television soap operas and even spent time as a writer for the WWE. I laughed when I read that because those plots are really over the top!

Despite these comments, I’d still recommend The Year They Fell as an engaging story with modern themes and plenty of teen angst. I also love the cover and think the title is great because it makes potential readers wonder what the story will be.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

26 thoughts on “Book Review: The Year They Fell by David Kreizman

    1. Hi. I know isn’t that an interesting detail? My kids used to watch WWE and the plot lines were outrageous. I’m sure the writers were laughing their heads off. I did like the book even though it was a little too packed with teen drama. Plus, I’m hardly a teen 😉 Who knows? Maybe it’s realistic. Thanks for the visit!

      1. I hope it’s not too realistic, judging by the sound of it. But, like you, I’m hardly a teen.
        Sorta feel like I missed out on some good comedy not having watched WWE. 🙂

      2. Being the mother of boys, there isn’t a lot of drama in our house, so I’m probably not a good judge. I don’t miss the WWE, though – that was pretty extreme!

  1. I think teens would pick up a book with such an engaging cover. If it reflects on teen angst, so much the better. Thanks for going out of your comfort zone to showcase this book, Barbara!

    1. Hi Noelle – always good to start early – takes away the pressure. I’ll have to look and see what other YA books I’ve read – I don’t read a lot of them, but I have a few I’d recommend – stay tuned!

  2. The tragedy hit me hard at first, probably because of the country’s unrest right now. Maybe I’m on edge. 🙂 Anyway, Barbara, thanks for the great review, and even though the story may be over the top, it sounds like a good read. Have a good weekend!

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