Review: Headfirst Falling by Melissa Guinn

Falling in love. It doesn't seem to fit, like falling shouldn't be used in conjunction with love. We don't fall gracefully. In fact, there's nothing graceful about it. We crash into things—hit them hard, bounce around, give ourselves cuts, bruises or break bones… And it's never planned. It takes you by surprise. You lose control.

Charlie Day fell in love with Jackson Stiles a long time ago. But that was before he and her brother enlisted and went to Iraq. Before Jackson came back different. Before they told Charlie her brother would never come back at all.

A lot of things have changed since then. But when Jackson takes a job at the company where Charlie works, she discovers that one thing hasn't changed—the spark between them. She's not sure she can love this new Jackson, or forgive him for the part he played in her brother's death. It's too bad for Charlie that, with love, you don't always have a choice. 


Charlie is a girl who is dealing with a lot. Her life if kind of in a tumble since her brother died in Iraq and the man she loves, her brothers best friend, comes back alive. Charlie wants to be with Jackson but he feels he's too messed up for her. He thinks that he doesn't deserve her and won't let her in. Charlie is stubborn though and keeps pursuing him. She also consumes waaay to much alcohol to try to cope with her nightmares.

Jackson finally decides that he can't stay away from Charlie any longer and they begin a relationship. Charlie is still dealing with her anger and sadness and though they go strong Charlie has underlying issues with Jackson being alive and Adam being dead.

The story really focuses on Charlie which was a complete turnaround from what I thought would happen. From the blurb I thought for sure that the issues would be Jackson having PTSD but that was not the case at all. Charlie was dealing with some incredibly bad emotional turmoil and some of the events in the book, having to do with a former co-worker, just made it worse. Then there was stuff with Charlie's dad that was happening and it just really became too much for the girl. 

I really liked Jackson for the most part. Yes, he had his issues from being in Iraq but he was dealing with them well – at least I thought he was. Charlie was a girl who loved her family and didn't deal well with emotional upset. On the outside it seemed like she had her shit together but she really didn't. When it came down to it she didn't want to deal with things at all and just wanted to check out.

The story was incredibly dark and I wish I would have gotten a bit more heads up on that from the blurb. I had no idea how angsty this would be and frankly it was almost a bit too much for me. I know that there are people out there who love the angst present and just have the hits just keep on comin but I don't think I'm one of them. I believe that if it had been Charlie dealing with Adam's death I could have dealt but there was just that much too much for me to truly enjoy it. I did think that the writing was good and I enjoyed that part of it (see first paragraph of blurb for example) so that was a bonus. 

Overall a good story but too dark and angry for me.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Melissa Guinn

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