Title: Defiance Falls
Author: Ali Dean
Release date: September 19, 2019
Synopsis: All I wanted was a little trouble. Okay, so maybe choosing Cruz Donovan’s 18th birthday party wasn’t the way to go about it. Three years ago, I fell for him. I thought he fell for me too. But when he broke it off, he took my heart and, as if that wasn’t enough, he took my best friends too.
They aren’t the same boys I knew before high school started. They’ve got all kinds of secrets they’re keeping from me. If I want back in, I’ve got to be ready to play their game. I might be a killer soccer player, but I’m not real eager to join a team when they won’t tell me who the opponent is, how to score a goal, or what rules I’m supposed to be following.
I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time, a pawn in games I don’t understand. Maybe I never should have gone looking for trouble in the first place. Is it too late to change my mind?
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book to review but all thoughts are my own
Spoiler Free Review
I thought this was going to be like Ali Dean’s other books where the main focus was a sport. I was wrong. This was not like any of Dean’s other books and I can’t decide if its a good thing or a bad thing. Out of the other books by Dean that I have read, this one has sadly been my least favorite.
Hazel. Hazel is a senior in high school and is an amazing soccer player. She focuses her life around soccer and school until her senior year. She’s decided that she is going to live a little this last year of high school. As a character I didn’t really connect with Hazel. I felt that this had to do with character development. I thought the development of her character was kind of shallow, it really didn’t go past her loving soccer. I also felt that in the book when it came to Hazel sort of like realizing her flaws I felt there was no I guess evidence that made me see that that was a problem in the first place which I feel is due to a lack of character development. Like I couldn’t even see that that was a flaw that the character had because the author didn’t develop it into the character, it was more of the author telling us.
Cruz. I didn’t care for him. Cruz is a possessive person and I wasn’t a fan of it. He kept calling Hazel his and I was just not a fan of that. Cruz had no character development and was very one dimensional. I don’t really know anything about him or his character except that he is sort of possessive. I couldn’t care less what happened to him. He was also bossy toward Hazel and often telling her to do things without explanation which bothered me. Like I understand he wants to keep her safe but for goodness sake she isn’t some helpless girl, she is more than capable than handling herself in my opinion.
I think Dean’s writing has improved in this book. I think compared to her other books it has improved and that was nice to see because I am a fan of her and to see her improve is nice. However, I still feel like her writing is more of a tell not show. Involving the main character I felt a lot of things were more of a this is how I feel than showing us readers how she feels.
This was a uh interesting plot aha. I’m not quite sure what to make of it if I’m being honest. It seemed to me to be a messy plot. I really wasn’t exactly sure what was going on and it felt like everything was happening so fast once it picked it. Everything that happened just felt very back to back and I don’t think the fast pace worked for this book. The relationship in this book is instal-love so if your not a fan of that I wouldn’t read this. I don’t dislike instal-love except I wasn’t a fan of it in this book. Like the plot, the relationship seemed to be moving at a fast pace and I don’t think it suited the book and the relationship. The plot seemed a bit messy and it was hard to keep up. So many things were being introduced but not delved upon so I didn’t know if the information or person was important or not and nothing was really made clear. Even at the end when the main character was told everything, it still didn’t seem clear to me. The cliffhanger for this book was good and I think for the cliffhanger alone I will read the next book.
Not my favorite book of Ali Dean. I didn’t love the main characters or the plot. I don’t think if the cliffhanger was as good as it was that I would continue the series. I really hope the next book has a better plot and character development and depth that lets me care for their characters because I do want to care for them.