This week will see the release of a new YA book that I was lucky enough to read in advance. The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe is a sequel to The Way We Fall, and in my opinion it’s an even better book than the first.
The Way We Fall is about a girl living in a small island community (in Canada — yay) that’s hit by a pandemic. First, people start displaying strange symptoms. Then they start dying. And when things get really bad, the mainland cuts them off, leaving them to pull together…or tear each other apart in the struggle to survive.
Despite the above summary, it’s not a thriller, but a quiet story about family, community, and making choices to protect loved ones…and finding reasons to keep going and keep hoping, no matter how bleak the world looks.
(Spoilers for book one follow, of necessity, though I’ll keep them as mild as possible…)
In the sequel, Crewe explores the same themes in a new setting. Her heroine, Kaelyn, must leave the island to seek help for the community, but finds the mainland in disarray as well. She and her small band must stick together if they are to carry out their mission. But they don’t all agree on their aims, let alone the best way to accomplish them.
I loved the poignancy of the story. Kaelyn faces the same questions over and over. What is the moral thing to do? Does morality even make any sense in a world gone mad? How best to keep her loved ones safe? What happens when easing her mind, saving her loved ones, and saving the community are put at odds?
To be fair, I have to tell you that many of these questions aren’t answered yet. This is book two in a trilogy — and I can’t wait for book three.