Continuing on from The Year I Became Isabella Anders is the novel The Year of Falling in Love. Finding yourself and falling in love? It’s a big year for Isa, who has the lust-of-her-life Kyler crushing on her. While she searches for answers about who her mother is and where she could be, Kai and Isa become so inseparable that Kyler becomes jealous. To make matters worse, Isa’s parents plan to send her to a reform school after she’s just started to fit in where she is.
Plagued with mistakes, this novel has “first draft” written all over it. It’s as if Sorensen finished it, went “great, that’s that,” and published it without giving it a second look. One minute Isabella is eating a cookie, but after a couple of lines she’s finishing her toast.
If you hate typos, please — this isn’t worth the hassle.
Isa is bland, to put it nicely. Her confidence, her spontaneity and courage, most of it feels lost since the first book. It’s disheartening to see a character make such a huge turn around, so quickly losing what made them great. Perhaps that’s the one slice of realism that Sorensen injected into the book. Isa takes a leap forward, and then a few of steps back.
Meanwhile, Kai has lost his fire, and whatever else it was that drew me towards liking him in the first place. He’s now an eighteen year old bad boy in a lot of trouble. It feels like such a distant memory, where I thought he was actually nice… I wonder how often I’ve thought that about men in real life too, eh?
While it’s classed as YA, this is more of a pre-teen novel. The entire book reads like a twelve year olds fantasy — not one, but two sweet guys swooning over Isabella, with their cheesy lines and far from realistic actions. There’s Kai, the guy who won’t be upfront about liking her. Instead of opting for honesty, he casually shows her more affection than is normal for a friend. It’s all very innocent, full of handholding and hugs. In the meantime, Kyler makes a move on Isa. Of course, Kai warns her to stay away from him (and visa versa). Very subtle, lads.
It’s the sort of friendship-turning-into-a-relationship romance that a young teen would dream of. So sweet, so cushy, so very unbelievable. Maybe I just live in a sad, hate-filled world, but this book in no way accurately portrays love.
One positive to note — Sorensen continues to challenge ageist notions within The Year of Falling in Love. Grandma Stephy is her usual cool self, breaking almost every stereotype of grandmothers going. Her cookies make a return, but she’s as generous and kind-hearted as ever.
If I had have known that this ended on a ‘cliffhanger’ and had an upcoming follow-up, I wouldn’t have bothered. It’s left me in frustration. All I want are answers, and I wouldn’t mind reading the next books Wikipedia page in order to get them instead.
The Year of Falling in Love is unfortunately available on Amazon, if you’d like to give it a chance.
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