What They Say
The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That's all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl's suicide. Now Nikki's been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can't look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates - almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it's like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance... and everyone deserves to be loved.
First up, let me say this: I didn't agree in the slightest about Nikki being blamed for the Taylor incident. It genuinely irritated me massively that Nikki was blamed because it was her party, her Facebook account, etc, but seriously? NOT ONE PERSON, INCLUDING HER PARENTS, HAD TIME FOR HER ACCOUNT OF THE NIGHT? She was just ostracised like that? BY EVERYONE? Hell no. That genuinely made me angry. What happened to Taylor was awful, absolutely terrible, but to blame it just on Nikki, for only Nikki to feel the repercussions really got my back up. That these other girls, who were supposed to be Nikki's friends (although with friends like them, who the hell needs enemies, am I right?) were so worried about their own backs, they would just let her sink like that? Yes, Nikki was in the wrong, but sheesh, I felt Nikki being ostracised was overly harsh, because all of the girls deserved the punishment.
While How To Keep Rolling After A Fall was swoon-worthy and delicious, courtesy of Pax, it was still hard to read at times, because Nikki's relationship with her parents is the worst. Wanna know what's worse than absent parents? Absent parents who are still there every day, but ignore you, or treat you like something on their shoe, and Nikki's parents and their actions, made me cringe. It's what made everything with Pax seem brighter, happier, because he didn't see the Nikki everybody else saw, he saw a girl who needed someone, who had no one, and he was that person. He really made the book sparkle, the way he took Nikki outside of herself, to let her forget for just a moment how terrible her real life had become (and while some will say she deserved it for what she did, I don't agree - she'd had her punishment, she was expelled, people need to be allowed a second chance, a second chance literally no one gave her, until Pax).
This book had literally all the emotions. And then some, because I swear to God, I thought Karole was going to kill Pax off. Seriously, anyone who has read The Fault In Our Stars, will understand where I'm coming from. There were like alarms going off all over in my head saying, "ABORT ABORT. PAX IS DYING!!!", I'm not even kidding. I just had the fear. I genuinely really enjoyed the book. Yes, it took my emotions on a roller-coaster I probably wasn't ready for, and I had some real insane fear Pax might be killed off, but apart from that, this book was delightful, well the Pax and Nikki scenes were, because boy did Nikki need a bright spot in her life, and Pax was shining brighter than the sun, and I loved it.