Falling Fast by Sophie McKenzie, published by Simon and Schuster on 1st March 2012
When River auditions for a part in an interschool performance of Romeo and Juliet, she finds herself smitten by Flynn, the boy playing Romeo. But Flynn comes from a damaged family—is he even capable of giving River what she wants? The path of true love never did run smooth . . .
Sophie McKenzie is one of my favourite British authors and I always look forward to her new books. 'Falling Fast' was a sweet contemporary romance and is the first in a new series. It features River who auditions for a part in a school production of Romeo and Juliet and the very cute Flynn who she meets and falls head over heels for.
What I love about Sophie McKenzie's books is that she can really write realistically about teenagers and their lives. It's like she totally gets inside their heads. River's emotions, her feelings towards Flynn, her desire to find love and not just to have a shallow crush like all her friends is laid bare on the page. McKenzie describes things as a teenager would experience them - the uncertainty of not knowing how the boy you like feels about you, the first pangs of a new love and the torment of wondering whether or not he'll call.
There are also quite a few references to the characters in the book having sexual relationships which surprised me at the first because many of them seem quite young in their behaviour and outlook but I guess this constitutes an honest depiction of some teens.
Flynn has some really interesting character traits and comes across as having a tough exterior but being very caring and kind underneath his bravado. I thought that he had a lovely relationship with his mother and sisters and had obviously got used to being the man of the house even though it meant he continually had to worry about affording things that other teenagers normally took for granted. I think River brought out the best in him and made dealing with a difficult home life slightly easier. I am worried that there's trouble in store for him in the future but I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next to his relationship with River. They make a very cute and sweet couple. Ahhh, young love!