Ellen is a high school junior with mild cerebral palsy, who has been working hard to walk without a cane. Her one true passion is photography, and she plans to win the scholarship to the Western Ontario Arts School summer program. Ellen's best friend is Patrick, who has just made it onto the school football team. They have been friends since grade seven, when they both started high school as outcasts. Cam, the school's star quarterback, has had a crush on Ellen since grade eight. Turns out Ellen has a long-standing crush on him, too. Only they have never spoken. Now Cam has joined the photography class and is trying to come up with a way to finally talk to Ellen. Then fate intervenes in the form of Irish girl Laura London. But how will Ellen react when she's forced to work on a major photography assignment with Cam and Laura when she's so used to working on her own?
The story is told from the alternating viewpoints of Ellen and Cam, with cute asides from Ellen in her parts. I enjoyed the style of writing, however, the narrative is very slow and repetitive and there was a bit too much explaining going on. In addition, the relationship between Ellen and Cam is frustrating, to say the least. They both like each other, but are afraid of saying anything. Even as they seem to be getting closer, neither of them is willing to admit their feelings to the other. The climactic scene towards the end of the book is very unrealistic and over-the-top, as are the reactions of Cam's parents. Irish girl Laura provides comic relief, but her character is a bit of a stereotype. When Ellen and Cam finally do get together, their relationship is very sweet, and I did enjoy those parts.
This story is full of teenage angst, bullying, domestic violence, family dramas, abusive parents, and physical pain. These aspects are balanced out by a sweet first love and great friendships.
Be warned, this book ends with no resolution, and the story concludes in How I Fly
I received this book in return for an honest review.
Full blog post: http://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2015/02/how-i-fall-and-how-i-fly-by-anne-eliot.html