REVIEW: A Step Towards Falling

by Cammie McGovern

Pages: 364 (paperback)
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
ISBN: 9781447280217
Received From: Macmillan Children's Books (My Kinda Book)


Sometimes one mistake can change everything.

Emily doesn’t know why she froze. Or why Lucas did too. They could have helped Belinda, but they didn't.
Sometimes people can surprise you.
Emily thought she knew Lucas. And she thought she understood Belinda. But maybe she judged them both too quickly.
Sometimes good can come from bad.
Emily and Lucas’s punishment is community service with people with disabilities. People like Belinda. Soon they feel like maybe they're starting to make a difference. But can they do anything to help the one person they hurt the most?


I honestly didn't know what to expect when this book came through the post. I have heard of Cammie McGovern's Amy & Matthew before but I have never read anything by her and I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed A Step Towards Falling.

The story is told through two point of views, the first is Emily and the majority of the book is from her perspective and the second is Belinda, who's story is just as paramount to the novel as Emily's. The book starts with an event, a football (american) game to be exact, where Belinda is attacked. Emily and a character called Luke both witness the attack but do nothing to stop it from happening which leads to Emily and Luke having to help out at a local centre for people with learning disabilities. Throughout the book you follow Emily, Luke and Belinda as they come to terms with that happened at the game and see how they learn to live with the consequences of that one night.

The thing I liked about this book the most was that Emily didn't spend the whole book asking why this was happening to her? Instead she is completely aware that she messed up and it is how she deals with the guilt in an environment that is completely alien to her. Having to 'volunteer' with disabled people when Belinda, the girl she let get attacked, also has learning difficulties proves harder than she thought to begin with.

When it comes to Belinda's sections I found it really interesting because McGovern used a style of writing that was almost childlike. The innocence of the character's personality was completely endearing and there were parts where she asked why she had been attacked? Why had it happened to her? She doesn't understand why and almost blames herself at one point and it kind of broke my heart a little.

Of course it isn't a YA novel without a little love story! Emily and Belinda both have a couple of love interests throughout the book, admittedly a little predictable at times as far as Emily's love life goes, but that doesn't take away from the story. Actually if anything it adds to it because the author gives the reader what they want.

Overall A Step Towards Falling is a novel with all the fundamental traits of a YA classic in the making.

  • Love story - check! 
  • Relatable characters - check! 
  • Diversity - check! 
  • And the most important part of a YA novel, a strong moral lesson at its centre - check!!!

This is a story about not judging a book by its cover and knowing that everyone makes mistakes, it is what you do after that makes or breaks a persons character. It's a heartbreaking and heartwarming story that I would whole heartedly recommend to anyone.


  1. The story has diversity & relatable characters with a touch of cute romance! You have sold me! <3

    1. Seriously go for it! One of my favorite books at the moment by far, hope you enjoy xxx