Fall Out by C.G. Moore
Published by: UCLan Publishing
Released: 18th June 2020
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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I am Cal Adams – what does that mean?
Sixteen years old.
For Cal, coming out is explosive, but that is nothing compared to the fallout from his family, friends and foes. When events in Cal’s life reach critical, he is shaken to his core. Can he rely on his loved ones to help avoid meltdown?
Trigger warnings: Homophobia, sexual assault, physical assault, bullying, self harm, mental health, death.
When sixteen-year-old Cal comes out to his family and friends, he doesn’t expect the results to be quite as eruptive as they turn out. However, the fall out from his coming out is nothing compared to events in Cal’s life taking critical turns. As his life pushes him to breaking point, can he rely on the love of his family and friends or is it too late for him to be saved?
Fall Out was a book that I was instantly drawn to, as soon as I found out about it. I am really into reading LGBTQ+ stories featuring teens and their journey to self-discovery, and I knew this was what Fall Out was going to give me. Now, let me tell you it took me down a very dark tunnel but I emerged into the light and wouldn’t have had it any other way. This is a book that will both shock you and also give you hope.
As stated, Fall Out is a book that tackles some pretty dark themes and if I’m honest I wasn’t expecting them to be as gritty as they were. It does tackle the whole side to coming out that some LGBTQ+ YA doesn’t and shows you how things can be flipped just like that, when someone comes out as it did for Cal. This happens in the very opening chapter, believe it or not, and it did set the tone for the rest of the story. Although I was gobsmacked, I also wanted to read on, because surely things would get better for Cal? Fall Out also tackles homophobia and bullying, and I think these were the scenes that I found most harrowing to read. They certainly didn’t shy away from these topics, that are still happening in real life, today, and that’s what made it so poignant for me. The issue of mental health was brought up as well within the book and as someone who is a huge advocate for mental health, I was very pleased with the way it was portrayed. It was handled with such care and sensitivity and nothing was glamorised at all. We all need to keep talking about mental health, especially in regards to it being placed in YA.
Fall Out was very much character-driven, and for someone who prefers a plot-driven story, I was slightly concerned that I wouldn’t engage with it as much. However, I was proven completely wrong and I did find myself drawn in by Cal and his personal journey. Honestly, I found myself rooting for him and praying that he had a happy ending. As a character, he was very raw and real and you could tell the author had spent a lot of time fleshing his character out. Cal had such a strong voice and from the moment I was introduced to him, I felt empathy for him. He’s also a very complex character and did get put through a lot throughout the book, but this all made him a stronger person. Also, I just want to mention his relationship with Peggy. This was very touching to see portrayed in YA. You don’t see many relationships form between a teen and an elderly person in YA, and it moved me. Peggy did help Cal in her own special way and their bond was one that was unbreakable.
Fall Out, was a gritty, realistic take on one teenagers road to self-discovery and learnin to love who he is. It’s an honest take on how it can be for someone coming out, and that there can be a light at the end of the tunnel, even in dark times. This is a book that every LGBTQ+ teen needs and should read.