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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 18 March 2012
So I am an avid reader of Sophie McKenzie, being 15 now I guess I'm getting a little old to be reading them but I still enjoy her previous books, which I found more action packed than this one.

Sophie McKenzie's previous books have always been amazing for me, mainly because of the action in them mixed with everything else like a little romance, this however was lacking the action; I felt. The romance was there; definitely. The action however, was not. Being me, I like my books with something always happening, with a twist to the plot for example. This book however, I thought was very predictable and I guessed what would happen from the beginning.

The book was of course superbly written as usual, I felt a connection with the characters and just the general way McKenzie describes settings and characters is as brilliant as ever. I just felt it was missing something; mainly like I said, action. The story felt slow to me and the same thing seemed to happen over and over again.

I am unclear on her target audience. I am 15 and I felt the book was aimed at my kind of age maybe 13-16, for me however it was an easy read but I understood everything River was going through because she is my age. I would recommend this to girls aged 13-16 who want a little bit of light reading; a book that doesn't need much thought but one that is a good read overall.

In the future I think I will stick to Mckenzie's more action-packed series!

Don't let me put you off however, it is as always one of her books that you can't put down and I finished it in a few hours and would not stop reading it, defiantly a great book for those who like a story full of romance, but not one for those who like adventure; you decide.
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on 19 March 2012
Falling Fast in the first book in a new contemporary series by one of Britain's favourite YA authors. I have read a few books by Sophie McKenzie and I know that I am always guaranteed a really good read. The book is a lovely contemporary romance based around the Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet.
River, the main female character is looking for love. Romantic love, just like she has seen in the movies. What she gets is reality love; falling for the dark, brooding Flynn who arrives with a whole host of problems. River finds it difficult to deal with her relationship with Flynn; he keeps everything hidden, so River never knows where she stands with him. It is interesting to watch as she tries to interpret his feelings throughout the story. River is very innocent throughout the book, which does get a little annoying, but as the romance progresses, you discover her maturing a little.
This book talks a lot about sex, which surprised me quite a bit. Although I do think it is good that the author didn't shy away from the subject. Kids of a similar age do tend to have sex on the brain, and Sophie deals with realistically. I felt this book was giving young girls an underlying message, letting them know that it is fine to say no to sex. If they are not ready, they shouldn't feel pushed into it.
I liked Flynn, even though he was headstrong and moody and probably isn't everyone choice. He had this whole Heathcliff vibe about him. He reminded me of a boy I used to know when I was the same age as River. To be honest, I almost felt Sophie must have known him too, because it felt like she was writing about him; his life almost mirrored Flynn's.
I really liked the Romeo and Juliet connections within the story. How the romance between Flynn and River developed at a similar pace. They both come from different religious backgrounds yet this doesn't really affect their relationship.
This is quite a fast pace book which depicts teenagers as they really are. It shows that love never runs smooth and how every relationship has difficulties. I really did enjoy this book and I look forward to the next one in the series.
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on 5 November 2013
First i want to point out this review is the daughter of who it says its by, not my dad, hahah.I don't really know what to say that will fully express my love for Sophie Mckenzies books, I'm a 16 year old girl and even though i'm all about the make up, beauty and fashion and socializing with my friends, i have a rather worrying obsession with reading, when i was younger i wasn't really interested in reading and thought it was seriously 'geeky' but then my dad brought me home a book that was recommended by some of the teenage girls he worked with at a school hostel. It was Girl Missing, and from then on which was years ago i have been utterly and completely obsessed with all her books, she's amazing! One problem i did find when reading all of her books was a few of them had the same kind of plot even though the characters and a few things were different, a few of them had the same sort of storyline, which after reading them all about 100 times, cos without a doubt no matter how alike they all are they're all still amazing stories, i started to feel a bit disappointed, i don't think anyone can disagree that everyone loves a book they can relate to and saying that a lot of her books featured storylines that aren't likely to happen to your everyday person, so i was hoping one day i'd find one i could relate to, and i have. This book was just amazing, i bought them from a highstreet store and wasn't sure if i'd enjoy them, but before i knew it i was dragged into the lives of the characters and wouldn't tear my eyes of the book for 1 second to eat or sleep! You have to read this book, its without a doubt my favourite series and when you get dragged into it, which im sure you will, keep in mind that the next and i think its the last book of the series only comes out in January so try to read as slow as possible because personally i'm finding it hard to come to terms with the fact i have to wait so long to go back into the lives of River and Flynn. Sophie Mckenzies writing is so relatable and amazingly satisfying to read and if you haven't read any of her books, go buy them now because they're all equally breathtaking. If you're reading this series remember to read it in the write order too cos i don't know what i would have done if i'd read them all randomly. The 'missing' series' is all amazing too so check them out! Right i'm going to stop now but seriously you're missing out if you don't read at least one of Sophie Mckenzies books, and i could probably guarantee that if you just read 1, you're more than likely to read the rest.
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River is a born romantic and she wants nothing more than to fall in love with a boy and have him love her back. She meets Flynn when she auditions for a school play but with him playing Romeo to her best friend's Juliet things aren't going to be easy for them.

Falling Fast is the first book I've read by Sophie McKenzie and it won't be the last, it was an enjoyable read and one that is perfect for when you have a couple of hours to spare and want to fill it with a sweet romance with realistic teenage characters. River and Flynn could have been people I was friends with at school and I enjoyed watching them cope with the perils of falling in love for the first time.

River was a really sweet character, she believes in love and is looking for that perfect fairytale romance that probably a lot of young girls dream of (I know I did at that age!). She is very innocent and has a very positive way of looking at the world which is something I really liked about her. Flynn was a character I had mixed feelings about. He could be very caring and he was incredibly protective towards River and his sisters but he had a darker side that left me feeling uncomfortable. He has had a very difficult upbringing so I could understand where he was coming from but he has a huge chip on his shoulder and I hated it when he took his frustrations out on River. She had never been anything but sweet and loving towards him so I was annoyed with his attitude at times. I think I understand where the author is going with this though and I liked the fact that River called him on his bad behaviour rather than just sat back and took it but it did make it hard for me to love his character.

I think both River and Flynn have a lot of growing up to do, Flynn definitely needs to start working on his resentment and anger issues and I'm hoping that River will build on her own confidence and continue to stand up to him. I'm intrigued to see how things progress with both of them as the series continues. I think that this will be a good series to show teenagers that love isn't all hearts and flowers in the real world. People have issues and problems that can effect their relationships and it takes work to make a success of things. I think it could also show teenage girls that they shouldn't put up with guys who don't treat them right and that they should never, ever feel pressured into doing anything that they are uncomfortable with. Flynn straddles a thin line at the moment and I think he can easily tip either way - into a mature young man with his whole life ahead of him or towards becoming an abusive jerk just like his father was. I know which way I want to see him turn and I'm hoping we see him get there.
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I really had no idea what to expect when I went into this book. I had heard that some people liked it but aside from that, I had no expectations. I did, however, know that many really love the author, so I was a little disappointed in this book and how little I ended up enjoying it. While I only had few expectations, I did hope to enjoy it more than I did but instead found it to be a fairly irritating read containing characters I really struggled to sympathise with. While I liked the book enough to finish it and be fairly intrigued about the next book in the series, it isn’t one I’d be quick to recommend.

Probably the largest problem I had with this book was how naive it really was. I worry that as an older reader that I may be putting too high a standard on this book but I personally do not feel that this book is good for teenagers. It sends off some bad messages about life, friendships and love – or it did in my opinion anyway! For me, it had a very twilight-esque feel to the book in that it gives out bad reading vibes through really annoying characters. While there was a little clarification at the end, I just don’t feel like it was enough. I can see how these kinds of books should be good, but this one just didn’t really work in the way I would have liked it to. However, how it ends has definitely left me curious enough to want to continue and see where the story will go from here.

River was a character I both liked and disliked. There were times when I could understand where she was coming from, and then there were times when I really just couldn’t stand her or the actions she was taking. This is mostly down to the naievity of her personality. She wanted a Romeo and Juliet kind of love and that infuriated me because just… why? Romeo and Juliet died because they were both naive and acted on stupid impulses. Then she was quick to fall in love and she just struggled to show me that she had any redeeming qualities at all. Then you have Flynn who was someone I really disliked. Not once did I stop and change my mind about him. I can understand why he is the way he is but he also doesn’t ever try and change and I really needed him to. I don’t think these two characters really fit together well and I just wish their relationship was explored more. In want of seeing this happen is the only reason I am wanting to read the next book in the series.

There was something addictive about this book. Despite all of the previous problems with it that I’ve mentioned, I still couldn’t put the book down. It was intense, intriguing and I did really want to know how it was going to end. It is because of this that I have decided to give this book three stars instead of two, as, although I had issues I did still find this book interesting. It is easy to see why Sophie is a well-loved author and I am definitely going to read more of her work in the future. I just hope she manages to use this talent of hers to create books with compelling plots and characters as well as words. I also feel my judgement of this book stems from personal issues and feel that I would have thoroughly enjoyed this book if I had been able to put these aside, simply because the style was really easy to get used to and has a way of really drawing the reader in.

This book was not the right book for me. I found it lacking in many places and I just failed at truly enjoying it. However, it did have a lot of potential and I can see that it may be really liked by other people. The main characters were hard to appreciate and the plot felt a little simple but because the style is so addictive, it is possible to look past these things. If you’re looking for an easy read that won’t take you long but will keep you entertained for a short while then you should consider trying this book. It may not have been perfect for me but that doesn’t mean it’s not the right book for you. And who knows, maybe you’ll end up completely loving everything I disliked about it. But you’ll only discover that if you read it yourself!
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on 20 August 2014
For me, this was one of those 'meh' kind of books. You know - you finish reading it and you're like, 'meh, that was alright - didn't love it, didn't hate it.' And you don't really have much to say about it. 'Alright' is pretty much the word I'd use to describe Falling Fast. At best it was a fairly cute, light romance that might be enjoyable if you were just looking for a quick, easy read. I mean, I didn't hate the story - I just didn't particularly like it.

The main characters of River and Flynn I found slightly irritating. I found their relationship a little irritating too. Flynn was prone to sudden, unpredictable mood swings, angry and rude. Whilst I do sometimes like the 'bad boy' type in books (take Alex from Perfect Chemistry for example), Flynn was just annoying. Granted, he had a difficult life, but still! As for River, she laid eyes on Flynn and practically fell head over heels in love with him then and there. And then when Flynn was being all moody and pushy she was still crazily in love with him. And she had a tendency to overreact sometimes. I know this was meant to be a story about true love and how 'the path of true love never runs smooth' blah blah blah, so it was meant to be a bumpy ride and probably an attempt at showing the gritty, realistic side of love but it didn't really feel very realistic to me.

Despite the fact that I love much of Sophie McKenzie's work, this was definitely not one of her best, and I for one did not fall in love with this particular love story.
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on 9 May 2012
The first book I read by Sophie McKenzie made me think she was an author to watch. However, whether it's because I've grown up, I don't find her books as good as they used to be. The plot for Falling Fast is very thin and wishy-washy, but the characters are certainly intriguing. Flynn is not your usual YA romantic boy, and it's refreshing to see a different insight into love - it's not always easy but if it's meant it'll work out. River sometimes is a bit irritating, constantly putting herself down and comparing herself to her friends, but what girl hasn't done that? Overall it is a good book, but would recommend it only to the younger readers of YA fiction.
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on 7 July 2013
River auditions for a female role in a local all boys' school production of Romeo and Juliet.

She has always dreamt of finding true love so she believes that she'll fit into Juliet's shoes perfectly. Then, she sees Flynn. He's playing Romeo and causes her to not only believe that she could be a good Juliet, but he makes her want it.

The only problem is that Emmi, River's best friend, is running for the same role.

You follow River as she falls head over heals for Flynn and tries to find out if he feels the same way.

I don't like Shakespeare nor do I like Romeo and Juliet. BUT I adored this novel! I actually picked it up after reading "Star-crossed Romeo and Juliet" by Rachel Wing as the two books sounded similar-ish (only in that novel, the teens cast as Romeo and Juliet are enemies). It's another fabulous romance novel!

Anyway, back to this book! The soul focus of this novel isn't actually on the play 'Romeo and Juliet'. That's just a... catalyst, if you like? The book is actually more so about the characters.

This novel isn't at all like I expected. When I first picked it up I thought it would literally be a retelling of Romeo and Juliet or a cat and mouse game - River chasing Flynn. It isn't at all like that. I thought the novel would be predictable and patronising but it is actually unique and mature. I laughed with River, I cringed for her and I understood her.

I like how Flynn has his flaws and how you have to debate with yourself whether or not his actions can be justified. How friendships and family relationships are put to the test under the pressure. The characters are all so real and their stories are heart-wrenching. This book is way more in depth than I thought it would be and has a few twists you won't see coming.

I read it in one sitting and recommend it to any romance/contemporary readers out there. :) I do recommend it for 15+ though as some of the topics covered (though handled lightly) might not be appreciated by younger readers.

I did enjoy this book though I have read better.

YA - romance - contemporary - **** 4 stars
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on 4 October 2012
Sophie McKenzie is an author that I've discovered fairly recently. In fact, I read several of her books within a short period of time - Girl, Missing, the first Medusa book and Falling Fast. All three of them are very short, quick books to read. They're all very interesting books to read and I've become quite excited to read more books by the same author.

I wasn't quite sure what to make of Falling Fast at first. It's a pretty straight forward love story between two teenagers, River and Flynn. And that seems very different from The Medusa Project or Sophie McKenzie's other books for teenagers. I really liked it. There are times when only a good contemporary love story will do the trick, and for me, Falling Fast came to me at the perfect timing. I spent my few hours with it and finished the book with a smile on my face.

I really loved two things about this book in particular. The first is the addition of Romeo and Juliet into the story. I'm a big fan of the play and certainly was at a similar age to River's, so for me, reading about the play brought back happy memories of me as a naive, lovesick teenager. The second thing I loved about this book is how River wants to be in love. She wants to be in this huge, over the top, cinematic type of love and instead she faces love in a more realistic setting. There's plenty of ups and downs with this type of love, as witnessed with her first foray into a relationship with Flynn, who is far from perfect. I shall be eagerly looking out for the sequel to read more of River and Flynn's relationship!
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on 12 March 2013
I love Sophie Mckenzies books, this was another one to add to the books I have read by her and yet again it was brilliant !! Would definitely recommend to teenagers 13+ as we are going through similar situations as River, Emmi and Grace.
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