I hope you’ve all been well!
Today marks another big day for The Fallout! In celebration of the release, I’ve decided to place the book on sale for only $0.99 between August 1st and 7th! You can pick up a copy HERE if you’d like!!
But, between me and you, the book will go on sale just a *tiny* bit earlier at some point today, when Amazon approves the new price.
One of the things about this book is the pretty large cast of characters it features. I love books like these, and it’s inspired in the fashion of Liane Moriarty novels like Big Little Lies. However, I do recall that, as a reader, it was kind of confusing at first to get to know all of her characters. As such, I figured I’d use this post to give you a brief synopsis and introduce you to the cast! That way, if you do decide to pick up a copy during the sale, it’ll be a little easier for you to know who’s who 😉
The initial conflict of the book is a school shooting that rapidly unfolds in the first chapter. From there, however, the plot really really kicks off. There are two m/m romances that unfold, as well as a few m/f relationships. The overall focus is the way each teen handles the trauma, and not all of them manage to do it in constructive ways. Their friend groups get strained, and lives fall apart along the way, until it becomes too difficult to ignore the fact that choosing anything apart from love and kindness simply falls short. There is a bit of a political undercurrent, which was unavoidable, but the primary focus is the relationships between the characters. I wanted this book to feel very human and relatable.
Now, onto the characters!
Tristan is one of two main protagonists. He’s a pretty boy who used to be a football player before getting depressed and losing interest. His demeanor is very calm and logical, and he’s extremely loyal to the people he loves.
Noah Smith a.k.a. Smithie is the second protagonist, and he’s a complicated one. He’s an overweight teen with a handsome face and a terrible mean streak. He’s the school bully, and ultimately winds up being the one a lot of the others blame for provoking the shooting. It feels like the world is against him in the aftermath, and he struggles with some depression, loss, serious injuries, and worry that he’ll never be the person he really wants to be.
Ainsley is the shooter. He’s a really kindhearted, shy boy who endured a lot of family trauma and social exile. Throughout the story, a journal he’s left behind depicts the transformation from sweet and open to closed off and violent.
Everett is the third friend in Noah and Tristan’s friend group. He’s an easy going guy who is very casual about the things he does, including drug use. He’s kind and dreamy, and doesn’t typically worry about much. He carries a lot of survivor’s guilt after the shooting.
Lennon is a punk who lost her friend group in the shooting. She’s tiny, but fierce, and smarter than your average teen.
Bridget is Tristan’s girlfriend. She’s a popular girl, known for her beauty and social charisma. She’s not super confident in her relationship with Tristan, though, because he’s not shaping up to be the guy she’d always envisioned on her arm. Rather than focusing on her loved ones, Bridget gets drawn into the inevitable political spotlight.
Annabelle is Bridget’s best friend. She’s popular, but mostly because of her affiliation with Bridget. She’s quiet and observant. The shooting winds up making her feel fragile and small, and it’s exacerbated by the fact that her best friend is too distracted to care. Her depression is enveloping, and it takes everything she has not to break.
Ethan is the other ‘group’ leader, and serves as the novel’s main antagonist. He’s full of anger and resentment after the shooting, and he directs it toward Noah and Tristan. He’s half of the only outed gay couple at school, and he’s spent years with his boyfriend Troy, but once the violence has occurred, he starts questioning everything he’s ever known.
Troy is Ethan’s long time boyfriend. He’s got an anxiety disorder that kicks into overdrive once he’s been injured. While he struggles to keep his thoughts anchored to reality, he struggles with the fact that Ethan isn’t as committed to their relationship as he thought.
Irie is Ethan’s best friend, and he’s deep in the closet. He’s infatuated with Ethan, but has always repressed that desire out of respect for Troy. After the shooting, however, life feels far too fragile to let that love slip away from him. He’s soft, kind, insecure and friendly, but he also finds himself tempted to make moves he really knows he shouldn’t.
James is a part of Ethan’s friend group, and the only black senior in their rural Montana town. He’s a confident, smart, suave young man whose been carrying on an affair with Bridget behind Tristan’s back. He grapples with guilt over the choices he makes, especially when they reach a point of becoming hypocritical. While he struggles through his regrets, shame, and the trauma they’ve all endured, he finds himself drifting toward a trendy church on the outskirts of town. God makes sense to him in the wake of the violence, but whether or not church is a good fit is something he’ll have to learn over time.
And that’s the cast! This story is kind of unique in that it tackles very serious content while weaving in both straight and LGBTQ romances. I’m definitely having a time trying to figure out the target audience, but honestly…if people start reading it, I think they’ll find it’s a story for everyone. It’s very human. It’s very real. I think it will offer a bit of hope for us all.
Thank you for reading! I hope some of you will consider checking out the book, and if you’re really up for it, leaving me a review on Goodreads or Amazon would make me smile for just about forever!
Best wishes my friends!