Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Blog Tour Stop and Giveaway: If I Fall by Anna Cruise

If I Fall by Anna Cruise on Goodreads

Meg Calloway is at the edge.

Reeling from her parents' sudden divorce, fifteen-year old Meg has never felt more alone. Her father is about to marry a woman she can't stand and her mother's only companion is an endless supply of alcohol. When Aidan Westwood, an older boy at school, shows interest in her, she grabs on and doesn't let go, thinking he's exactly what she needs to help stem her loneliness and despair. She quickly learns that Aidan lives a darker, more dangerous life than she does and the more isolated she feels from her family, the more willing she is to step into Aidan's world.

As Meg drifts further from her friends, she tries to find comfort with a boy who is opening her eyes up to new things, none of them good. Will she listen to those around her who are warning her that she's headed down a path of self-destruction?

Or will she fall too far...too fast...too deep?

I'd highly recommend that all teenage girls read this gritty portrayal of the dark sides of growing up. This is not a traditional YA love story. Look, we all love our fictional bad boys, but it's important that there are also stories out there that can show a bad boy for what he can be... a true loser. This isn't a story filled with romantic walks on the beach, while reforming the bad boy to be good enough for the good girl. This story is a dark, disturbing tale that moves in the opposite direction. Ms. Cruise describes just how easily the good girl can be brought down, and how difficult it is to rise against.

I'd fallen. Fallen hard. But not so far that I couldn't pick myself up.

Fifteen year old Meg Calloway's life has just been turned upside down. Her father's left the family for a younger woman. Her mother, in turn, has found solace only at the bottom of a bottle, falling into a depression so consuming that she can barely leave the house, let alone be any sort of mother to Meg.

After a night out with friends, Meg's not ready to return to the desolate place she once called home.

My thoughts drifted to what I knew waited for me at home. I thrived to think of something else but I couldn't. The memories sucked me back in. I couldn't go back there, to that suffocating place that reeked of misery, that threatened to swallowed me whole.

Instead, she strolls down the beach until she comes across a group of seniors from her high school. Amongst them is Aidan, a charming, attractive, charismatic older boy who's instantly taken by Meg. Aidan quickly becomes an easy escape from Meg's less than desirable home life. Unfortunately, sweet, charming Aidan is the very definition of a wolf in sheep's clothing. As he leads Meg down a dark rabbit hole of drugs, alcohol, and sex, she begins to lose not only her friends, but herself.

You're never smiling. It would be one thing if you looked happy when you are with him. But every time I see you? You don't look very happy.

Despite her friends warnings and concern, Meg can't help being pulled further into Aidan's world of lies and deceit. Those close to her no longer recognize her as they attempt to make her see Aidan for who he really is, but she's resistant to their efforts.

I think I just wanted some attention. I was tired of being alone and feeling hurt all the time. And, with him, I didn't hurt anymore.

How far will she have to fall before it's late, and who, if anyone, will be there to catch her?

If I Fall was a very compelling story that showcases the effects that divorce can have on young teenagers, and highlights the dark path of peer pressure that they can easily fall into by means of escape. Ms. Cruise wrote a chilling portrayal on how easily young, impressionable teen girls can fall in with the wrong crowd when it seems as if everyone else in your life has give up on you. At the same time, it's also a story about strength, and overcoming the loss and loneliness that life can bestow upon us. It's a story about not giving up on those close to you, no matter how damaged they may become. This is a story about falling...and finding a way to stand back up.


“All I'm saying is I think you deserve better,” Case said. “From my point of view, anyway. You deserve better.”
I threw my head back on the sofa and laughed. It was a harsh laugh with no mirth. “Most of the time, I don't think I deserve better.”
“Everyone deserves better.”
“Not me.” I didn't look at him. “No one else would want me. I've royally fucked up. Everything. There isn't anything better out there. Anything or anyone.”
“Yeah, there is.”
“Oh, really?” I brought my eyes back to him. “And where exactly would I find better?”
It was quiet for a moment. Then he said,“Well, you might start with me.”
My eyes widened. “With you?”
His cheeks flushed just a bit. “You don't have to sound so surprised.”
I immediately felt bad. “That's not what I meant. Sorry.”
He laughed. “It's fine. I'm kidding. About you being surprised. Not about being better.”
“Well how would I know you were better?” I said. “It's not like you've ever asked me out.”
He thought about this for a minute. “So if I asked you out, you'd go?”
I honestly had no idea where the conversation was headed. He was confusing me like crazy and I wasn't sure what to say to him. I thought maybe he was just screwing around with me.
“Yeah, I would,” I said, calling his bluff.
“What about Aidan?” he asked.
“What about him?” I said, shrugging. “You just pointed out all the reasons I shouldn't be with him. Maybe you're right and I've just been too dumb to see it.”
I didn't know if I believed what I was saying but it felt like the truth was on the wall, some message that everyone had deciphered but me. And I was going to try my hardest to translate it, however I could.
He stared at me for a long time. I didn't say anything, just stared into those eyes that were always friendly, always honest.

Aanna's Favorite Soundtracks
Can you share your playlist of favorite songs from movie soundtracks with us?

I’m not much of a movie buff, but these songs managed to stay with me after I saw the movies.

Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins from Top Gun.
Has there ever been a more recognizable, awesome song? Just from those first couple of notes, I’m totally fired up and ready to climb into the cockpit of an F-16 and go to Top Gun School! And make out with Maverick.

You’re The Best Around - Joe Esposito from Karate Kid.
I’ve always believed that Daniel beat all of the Cobra Kais because of this song. Like, he heard the song in the arena and just got himself ready to kick some Billy Zabka butt.

If You Leave - OMD from Pretty in Pink.
I loved OMD even before they wrote this awesome song, but I loved them even more after it showed up in this movie.

Blaze of Glory - Bon Jovi from Young Guns II.
Young Guns and Young Guns II were movies that you didn’t realize were really good until years later. Modern Westerns for teenage girls. And this Bon Jovi girl was the perfect anthem.

I Want You To Want Me - Letters to Cleo from 10 Things I Hate About You.
One of my all-time favorite movies - if you haven’t seen it, go get it RIGHT NOW - and this is such a great version of the Cheap Trick classic.

Let’s Go Crazy - Prince from Purple Rain.
I watched Purple Rain with my parents. Yeah, that was a bit awkward. Regardless, that experience didn’t ruin this fantastic song for me. 

Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles from Less Than Zero.
This is a very un-Bangles sounding song from one of those movies that epitomizes the 80s. Robert Downey Jr. was essentially playing himself in the movie based on Bret Easton Ellis’ book and the entire soundtrack was awesome.

Pretty in Pink - Psychedelic Furs from Pretty in Pink.
Yeah, I know. I already mentioned Pretty in Pink. I actually thought about just listing every song on the soundtrack -- it was that good. But the actual theme song to the movie was nearly as good as the OMD song.

When She Loved Me - Sarah McLachlin from Toy Story 2.
And this is why I always pause before giving away any of my kids’ stuffed animals. Stop making me cry, sad song!

I See The Light - Mandy Moore from Tangled.
Mr. Cruise might’ve put this on one of the many mix CDs he’s made for me. 

Now I need some popcorn and an Icee...and chocolate. I can’t watch movies without chocolate. 

Book Playlist
Can you share your playlist you listened to while writing ‘If I Fall’? 

I don’t listen to a ton of music when I write, mostly because I find it distracting. I mean, the radio is always on in the background, but I’m the kind of person who will start singing along the minute a song comes on that I like. And, um, that isn’t conducive to getting a lot of writing done.

But there were a lot of songs I thought about, a lot of songs I listened to when I was wrapped up in the plot and the characters. These are the ones that immediately come to mind.

Nobody's Home – Avril Lavigne

This song pretty much sums up Meg's life. She wants to go home—but nobody's there. Nobody she can connect with, anyway, and certainly no one who can help her navigate everything that's going on in her life.

Le Pony – Italian Japanese

This is an obscure, brilliant band from Southern California. Listen beyond the instrumental opening and you'll hear a sweetly haunting song about saying “your last goodbye”—just like Meg did when her father drives away in the opening scene.

Free Falling – Tom Petty

One of my most favorite songs in the Universe. The first four words of the song pretty much sum up Meg: “She's a good girl...” and these words, “And I'm a bad boy 'cuz I don't even miss her...” have Aidan written all over them.

Wanted -- Hunter Hayes

I can totally see Case singing this song to Meg. He wants to make her feel loved, make her feel wanted, even when she doesn’t think she deserves him. 

Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars

I'm not a big Bruno Mars fan, but this song—for me, anyway—speaks exactly to how Case feels about Meg. He's not trying to change her, he's not trying to make her into someone she's not and he's not trying to make her feel bad about who she's become. He doesn't care about any of that. He likes her for who she is, flaws and all. Just the way she is.

About the Author
Anna Cruise has been writing -- and drooling over boys -- since middle school. Lots of years have passed but some things never change...Her books include the best-seller IT WAS YOU (New Adult), IF I FALL (Mature YA) and MAVERICK (New Adult). Additional titles releasing in 2013 will include a follow-up to Abby and West's story from IT WAS YOU. Anna loves to hear from readers and authors. Email her at You can also like her Facebook page, find her on Twitter @AnnaCruiseBooks or friend her on Goodreads.

Amazon Author Page- 

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