Review: The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin




Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.


My reaction when I finished the book:


This book was just so frustrating! That sucks because I love romance novels with a touch of angst in it.

My reasons why I didn’t like this book:

  • The book is entirely focused on the romance and not on the overall development of the characters and the other stories that make this book.
  • Harper was completely un-relatable and wouldn’t stop rambling about the romance. And the details as to why she became a total skank are not clearly explained – they’re just put into a box and labelled ‘because-Harper-is-really-selfish’.
  • This book sounded too much like The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen. That book had a good balance of the angst though.
  • Harper absolutely doesn’t change at the end of the book. I mean, what is the need of creating a flawed character if she doesn’t show even an ounce of inclination to improve.
  • Does a beautiful HEA ending change any of the actual issues of the book?! Harper’s mother has breast cancer and this bitch goes about partying under the pretense that she is selfish. And the book ends with a HEA where Declan and Harper get together. The cancer? God knows.
  • A lot of pages could’ve been save if Harper and Declan sat and talked it out. But, no. Instead they have a screaming fest, lots of staring and glaring and miscommunications. Nearly all their conversations end with “Leave it” or “Just forget it”.

Then, slowly, he turns back to me. And I can see it. Suspicion. In the way the corners of his mouth turn down and his jaw works. His eyes skim over me, and all I can do is hope that my hair isn’t too frazzled and that Kyle’s cologne didn’t rub off on me. Declan’s eyes lock tightly on mine as though he’s reading me. Deciding something.

I don’t pass his test.

Declan huffs out a breath and his smile dims to nothing. He swallows and shakes his head and then he’s backtracking, moving down the stairs faster than I can keep up.

“Declan, wait! Where are you going?”

I catch his sleeve when he gets to the door. He spins around. I shake my head, searching desperately for the words that will make him understand.

The words don’t come.

He steps away. “You haven’t changed at all, have you?”

I step closer and he matches me, backing up again.

“I have,” I say in a small voice.

His hand tugs through his hair. “Just look at yourself, Harper.”

My head is still swimming. I try to stand straighter, to stop swaying. “It’s just . . . I didn’t think you were coming.”

It’s the absolute worst thing to say. Declan grits his teeth and rocks onto his heels.

“Right. Real sorry to interfere with your plans.”




That was how every conversation goes. There’s staring, lack of words and more misunderstanding. Gah, it was bad.

I gave the book a two star for Cory, Gwen and Mackenzie. They were awesome characters, but sadly not the protagonists.


Have you read this one? Any thoughts about angsty-YA romance novels?






2 thoughts on “Review: The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

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