Standalone : Student/teacher forbidden romance
Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny
‘We had the power to save each other…yet we also had the ability to bring the other to their knees. When you have love as strong as ours, it can be amazing, powerful, life-changing. It can also be devastating, crippling, and destructive. It’s all in how you take care of it.’
One thing’s a definite; Leddy Harper sure can write a beautiful story. There were many parts of Axel and Bree’s journey that had us so compelled and caught up in the emotional heart tugging moments which were so vividly written. We love our student – teacher romances; the forbidden and secrecy element quite intriguing. After all, this is fiction not real life where perhaps we wouldn’t be as understanding.
‘I’d fallen for a man, only to realize it too late.’
Whilst we love Leddy Harper’s natural talent for writing we did sadly find Falling to Pieces very wordy and at times very slow and repetitive. A large part of this story was told to us rather than shown and we are readers who like to be shown a story to prevent that consequential barrier to rise between the pages and our emotions. At times we struggled to truly feel, connect and understand which impacted our overall enjoyment of Falling to Pieces. This saddens us immensely as we know that Leddy Harper is naturally capable of drawing out the intensity of emotions through her writing from us resulting in beating hearts and tears. Yes, there were moments where she did have us completely immersed but they were not consistent throughout.
‘I was the girl he couldn’t protect. And he was the guy I couldn’t touch.’
Bree hasn’t got it easy; what with a professionally powerful yet sporadically abusive Mum and no close connections to peers or family. She’s a Seventeen year old –almost- recluse who’s never formed any strong bonds. She knows not of love nor friendship.
“I want to be seen. I want to be loved. And it’s hard not to grow attached to the only person in my entire life giving me all that.”
For us, her behaviour and attitude came across as almost a purposeful intent to be a loner as we never ‘heard’ or got the impression of her trying to change this. Well until Axel. We found it very hard to connect to her; yes we sympathised and felt incredibly sorry for her but overall we found her moroseness, her sullenness and lack of oomph quite tedious and failed to fully believe in her or feel much generally for her.
“…if you allow every possible scenario to dictate what you do, then you’ll miss out on so much. Because when you factor in other people, the consequences are endless.”
Sadly, Aubrey was the main reason for why we struggled with fully loving Falling to Pieces. We never felt that she was truly happy or genuinely loving; rather she questioned absolutely everything and we were wondering who she was trying to convince in the end. For a girl going through hell any ray of sunshine would surely breathe a breath of fresh air into her?
“They say time heals. Great things come with time. I’ve never believed it until now.”
Axel is the new twenty-four year old substitute teacher. He’s compassionate and confident – gorgeous and affectionate. He immediately picks up on Bree’s situation and is there for her any way he can be trying to help and protect. The friendship that quickly forms turns into something much more thus crossing that dangerous line from merely student-teacher now involving intense feelings and hearts. We strangely felt incredibly sorry for Axel on the whole and at times wanted him to run for the hills. However, we ended up rooting for this all to work out!
‘I had to learn to live again. I had to learn to love again. And I had to do that alone.’
We loved the timeline of past and present, the fact that we got both POV’s as well as a twist we DID NOT see coming. A twist which we loved and had us tearing up, compulsively reading to see how it was all going to end and even how it came to be. We just wish we’d been allowed to experience more of the characters together in the beginning in order to silence doubts over the intensity of love and connection. Falling to Pieces was a story we did enjoy but just didn’t love –sadly- despite loving the beautiful writing of Leddy Harper.