In the Bookcase


Book Review: Fallen Leaves

Fallen Leaves by Tessa Emily Hall (4 star review)

Fallen Leaves

written by Tessa Emily Hall

380 pages // published in 2018 // Christian YA


Selena Taylor thought her only worry this fall was starting her junior year at a new arts school in North Carolina, miles away from home. But when she finds out her mom could graduate from rehab sooner than expected—even worse, she could work for her former nothing-but-trouble boss—Selena's determined to create a new life for them. Back in her childhood Kentucky hometown.

Step one? Track down her dad and brother that she hasn't seen in eight years. Her anxiety is put to the test, though, when she unveils a truth that could threaten her dreams. Add to that an art competition that pushes her outside of her comfort zone and a girl who seems determined to come between Selena and her hopeful boyfriend.

Soon Selena must decide whether or not to continue her search for her dad and brother. But is there any hope that the ruins of her broken family could be resurrected? And how could God possibly have a purpose in the midst of these changing seasons?

My Review

4 Star Rating

What I love? It's a solid story, that upholds excellent Christian values. I have been super excited to catch the sequel to Purple Moon... and now Fallen Leaves is here!

The reader can take in a sweeping story about the healing power of art... overcoming temptations... brokenness transformed... achieving goals... finding truth... trusting in Jesus Christ and His timing... and navigating the messes of life with grace...

“God wouldn't have brought you all this way and then leave you to fend for yourself. Whatever the outcome, He's with you.”

The story touches a lot of topics which makes it feel quite cozy and relatable (like the coffeehouse hangout, certain songs and artists mentioned, TV shows, and other elements too). It feels modern, trendy, and identifiable to today's teen readers.

Plus, the characters... they fly off the page with color. They have realistic lives and problems. Even the backstories on them are so detailed and true to life. I ecstatic to meet up with Selena in this sequel, and some of other amazing people in this book... it's definitely worth it to read these two books! (Plus, did you know there's a little short story featuring Selena too?)

“God will never fail us. And when things don't go according to our plans, it's not because He's forgotten about us it's because He is a far better Author than we could ever be.”

Cons? (No spoiler here...) but... a certain plot twist left me hoping for a better conclusion – the facts just didn't arrange themselves neatly and logically in the plot, like I wanted. (This particular thing wasn't explained well enough, nor the character's motives behind their action, leaving me disgruntled.)

Note to the discerning reader & parents: There are some mature topics mentioned in the story. Such as divorce, family problems, cheating, pregnancy, jealousy, lying, smoking, anxiety... issues that many teens face either in themselves or in their families. It gives the reader a glimpse of the real world, but with tact. Had this story not been a Christian book, I wouldn't have felt safe to dive right into a story with those elements in it. Fallen Leaves though covered those topics gracefully.

Perfect for teens and young adults (but let's not limit the age group – any adults could enjoy it too).

Tessa Emily Hall's books remind me of Nicole O'Dell's series called Diamond Estates; there are some similarities, for sure. (So if you're a fan of one author, you might try the other.)

Add to Goodreads

Buy the book!

paperback // e-book

P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

0 written notes {Post a Comment}:

Post a Comment