Monday, November 9, 2020

REVIEW: How Not to Fall by Emily Foster


It's been a while since I've read a novel that reminds be about how much fun it is to read New Adult fiction. How Not to Fall had so many great elements:

  • the whole rush of being in college and stressed and young 
  • a smart and funny and talented heroine (I absolutely LOVED her confidence)
  • a smart and funny and infuriating hero (I loved him and then I wanted so much to hate him)
  • their sex-mance--because it was romance through sex and sex through romance
  • the intensity of the last part of the book
There were many, many things to enjoy about all of the things I've listed but primarily, I think, I enjoyed reading this novel because I enjoyed falling in love with Annie falling in love. I loved how wonderfully open and confident she was; it's not that she wasn't afraid of the outcomes of things, it was that she was either confident in her ability to be successful in whatever she tried and/or she was unwilling to live with the regret of not trying for what she wanted and I just feel like there's so much wisdom in her approach (and one I hope I'm giving to my daughters). I also appreciated that Foster didn't make Annie absolutely perfect, she was by no means perfect, but in her less than stellar moments, her honesty and her struggles were so real and open. Anyway, I'm rambling but my first sentence stands--Annie's exploration of her "thing" with Charles was funny and fun and sweet and naive and vulnerable and compelling. I really liked the way Emily Foster approached it, even if I had my doubts that Annie and Charles had even close to reasonable expectations for how things would end...I mean it's a romance so naturally there has to be a conflict of some sort, right?

I don't want to ruin this review with a deep dive into Charles, or Charles and Annie together, because I feel like I'd go in a hundred different directions and I'd end up in the same place which is basically this: As much as I liked him, I also found him frustrating. As much as I appreciated where he was coming from, I was perplexed. As much as I adored his adoration of Annie, I wanted to open his eyes and heart and brain even wider so that he could really see more than what he saw. Basically, I had a complicated and conflicted reaction to Charles. What I didn't have a complicated and conflicted reaction to was the sexual education he gave to Annie. Damn. We should all have experiences like this. Sex positive, consensual, sensual, and powerful. I don't think I've had nearly the experiences Annie has had and I don't mind saying that I'm jealous. I'm absolutely jealous of a fictional character's sexual awakening. 

I probably should've mentioned earlier that this ends in a cliffhanger of sorts, or maybe it's more accurate to say that it ends with an ending that will leave you wanting. I happen to like the ending but I know it's not for everyone and luckily there is a second book for those who want to know what happens next for Annie and Charles. Strangely, I haven't decided if I want to know; there's a large part of me that wants to leave them where they are or imagine my own ending for them but because I'm a curious cat, I'll probably capitulate and read it.  


In her witty and breathtakingly sexy novel, Emily Foster introduces a story of lust, friendship, and other unpredictable experiments. . .

Data, research, scientific formulae--Annabelle Coffey is completely at ease with all of them. Men, not so much. But that's all going to change after she asks Dr. Charles Douglas, the postdoctoral fellow in her lab, to have sex with her. Charles is not only beautiful, he is also adorably awkward, British, brilliant, and nice. What are the odds he'd turn her down?

Very high, as it happens. Something to do with that whole student/teacher/ethics thing. But in a few weeks, Annie will graduate. As soon as she does, the unlikely friendship that's developing between them can turn physical--just until Annie leaves for graduate school. Yet nothing could have prepared either Annie or Charles for chemistry like this, or for what happens when a simple exercise in mutual pleasure turns into something as exhilarating and infernally complicated as love.

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