Review of How Not to Fall


When you read a lot and really try to avoid “did-not-finish” (DNF) outcomes, you depend a great deal on a book’s synopsis and genre listing. For instance, for review purposes, there are certain genres that I don’t want to read and review, and erotica is one of them. Why? Well, it’s not that I have an issue with erotica; I don’t. I feel about book genres the same way I do about music genres: I will always find something I like in any genre. But how do you really review erotica knowing that it’s purpose is to titillate, or, should I say, how do I review it?

There was a plot and that led to lots o’ sex and er….a smattering of gratuitous dialogue followed by lots o’ sex, very analytically described this time, and then they went for a walk because three times they moaned that they had to get out of the apartment and then they came back and had more sex…er…lots o’ sex.

So, you see, I avoid taking on erotica and depend fully on a book’s description, which leads me to How Not to Fall by Emily Foster.

The novel’s synopsis describes a seemingly quirky new adult romance between brilliant and socially awkward, Annie, and her lab supervisor and post doc, Charles. The genre is categorized as: romance/new adult. I’m pretty sure that what I read should have been: erotica/new adult. So maybe you can understand my quandary as I try to provide a review.

Let me try this:

You should read this book if you loved Fifty Shades of Grey, but would like your female protagonist to be verbally immature. (Yes, I had issues with a character who drops f-bombs in front of her supervisor and calls the man she’s having sex with–during sex: “dude.” Note: I have no personal problems with the f-bomb; I think I even forgot to mention its existence in my review of Break Up Club –my bad. But I work in an academic setting and while the f-bomb flourishes peer-to-peer, a student saying it to a professor in everyday conversation would not score many points for the student.)

You should read this book if you hated the subjugation of women in Fifty Shades of Grey, but still appreciate good BSDM? (Shrug.)

You should read this book if you love to read erotica and know that’s what you’re getting with a bit of a story attached.

You should read this book if you want to read a smidgen about rock wall climbing.

You should avoid this book if none of the “shoulds” interest you.

You should avoid this book if inconsistencies in characterization at all matter to you and, unfortunately, to mention a huge and particular one means spoiler.

You should avoid this book if you really want to read a book with a well-thought-out plot. If you are interested in the “taboo”-nature of student/teacher, check out recently published Waking Olivia instead, which is sexy and well-written and is a better representative of the genre.

I had one “lol” moment near the beginning during Annie’s first rock climbing experience and that gave me false hope for the remainder of the novel.

So do my reservations in recommending this book to you come from my disappointment that it was masquerading as a quirky love story? Much of it does, I own up to that. Yep, I would love to read the book I thought the synopsis was describing, if anyone cares to write it. Oh, and please, make it quirky and fun. Please? And some heat is always nice, but let’s have the plot and characterization be just as important. Please?

Heat scale: 5 out of 5.

How Not to Fall will be published on June 28, 2016. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From AmazonHow Not to Fall (The Belhaven Series)


rating: butterflybutterfly (2 butterflies out of 5)


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