Title: The Effects of Falling
Author: Mariah Dietz
Series: The Weight of Rain, #2
Release Date: August 2, 2016
I have loved my best friend for eleven years.
Eleven years of celebrations.
Eleven years of victories and losses.
Eleven years of inside jokes and shared smiles.
Eleven years of helping him raise his daughter as a single father.
He smiles at me and my world brightens.
He ignores me and I forget how to function.
He holds my hand and takes more of my heart.
He leaves and time stops.
We have both lost too much, but am I willing to risk the effects of falling again?
Mariah Dietz delivers a heartfelt friends-to-lovers romance with The Effects of Falling. After having met Kash and Summer in The Weight of Rain, I was excited to read their story and Mariah Dietz certainly delivers an emotional rollercoaster with this one. The Effects of Falling is a different kind of romance. Since Kash and Summer are more like family than friends, their relationship is fairly firmly planted, leaving them to work through their personal issues in order to accept each other as something more. This makes Kash and Summer’s story less action/event driven and more of an emotional journey. It reads more slowly, focused on the couple’s individual inner conflicts as well as their intense shared chemistry and undeniable connection. Mariah Dietz skillfully brings this tale to life through her elegant prose, enchanting imagery, and entertaining dialogue. The Effects of Falling is sweet, sassy, and satisfying. Kash and Summer will leave your heart feeling full!
“Sometimes, I think we give our pasts and futures way too much credit. There’s so much that we fear becoming and failing at, forgetting and moving on from, that we fail to remember the time we have currently to either change the things we wish to or simply make the very best of what we have.”
Summer is a complicated heroine. Caught between protecting her heart and friendship with Kash and giving into her long held feelings for him, she’s definitely all over the place. Admittedly, there were times when I wanted to smack Summer, finding it difficult to accept that she wouldn’t take what Kash was offering her – what she seemed to want. However, as the story progressed, Mariah Dietz grew this character into the strong-willed and stubborn personality one would expect from a BMX rider and her reasoning became clearer. Mariah unraveled Summer, making it apparent that her seemingly hot and cold behavior was just her way of figuring out what kind of relationship she really wanted and what kind of partner she deserved. While I didn’t have the instant connection with Summer that I’ve had with some of this author’s other characters, I did enjoy figuring her out and watching her grow into someone confident enough to recognize their worth and strong enough to ask for the kind of love they deserve.
“This morning, I wonder how many things I’ve done simply because of Kash. Have I lost myself? Is that an effect of loving someone?”
My heart truly goes out to Kash. He’s been through a lot in his life and the loss he’s suffered has left him closed-off completely. While I absolutely adored seeing him with Mercedes, his emotions remained a mystery in regards to most everyone else. There were so many times when I just wanted to shake him for allowing things with Summer to have gotten where they did, but deep down I understood his need to lock up his heart, as much as it pained me to see. I would have liked to see a bit more development in terms of this character. While Summer began to question her identity and her relationship with Kash and took steps to push the boundaries of both, Kash didn’t really seem to grow much until the end of the book. Although, Mariah Dietz did utilize smaller gestures on Kash’s part to demonstrate his affection for Summer. I will say once Kash got his act together he was pretty freaking swoon worthy!
“If you’re asking me to be brave enough to stay, I need you to be strong enough to try.”
The pacing of this book is unhurried, a slow burn that takes its time defining the dynamic between Summer and Kash and establishing their history before enough tension builds to really move the story forward. Both characters are hesitant and Mariah Dietz isn’t afraid to allow them to waver. Kash and Summer had a lot to lose and while the push and pull was oftentimes frustrating and not everyone will see it as necessary, it was incredibly genuine. Mariah Dietz serves up plenty of feels with this one and as always, she throws in just enough humor and heat to balance out the angst. Of course, one of the best parts of this story was seeing more of King, Lo, Parker, Mercedes, and the rest of the gang. They definitely make the story more entertaining! The Effects of Falling is full of heart and Mariah Dietz delivers a satisfying journey of love, friendship, and self-discovery that will make you feel, think, and love right alongside Kash and Summer.
I knew that the moment I started reading Mariah Dietz, I would be addicted to her writing and would have to own every single novel she wrote. There is something real and palpable to the words that she puts on the page that leaves readers feeling a slew of emotions. Through the journey that she takes readers on from beginning to end, The Effects of Falling is no exception to that.
“Truth be told, I know Kashton Knight loves me. He just isn’t ready to admit it…maybe not even to himself.”
Kash and Summer have a real, gritty, but absolutely beautiful friendship. They’ve been best friends for so long, so when any aspect is brought to the next level, there are of course bound to be problems. I really appreciated seeing the inner turmoil and thought process for Summer throughout The Effects of Falling. While I did have trouble connecting to her at times, it helped to make the book one about her growth and acceptance of her past. She had to learn to let go, and in the process ended up learning a lot about herself. As for Kash – that boy is one big ball of frustration, but I’m full of nothing but love for him! I think it’s really difficult to understand what was going through his head, as the entire book is from Summer’s point of view. However, I wanted him to get his stuff together and be the one to make the big grand gesture. I wanted him to pull Summer out of her own world and fight. There were times I literally grunted out loud because I couldn’t reach through the book and just slap some sense into him. There were moments he made my heart melt though, and those certainly made up for every time I wanted to wring his neck.
“Falling in love isn’t about losing who you are, it’s about finding the best version of yourself.”
I will say that you do not need to read this book after The Weight of Rain, but I did feel like I had a better understanding of the characters’ personalities because of the previous exposure. Also, how fun is it to read about a girl ruling in a predominantly male-led sport!? Fan-freaking-tastic! I thought that the beginning of the book was a little bit slower paced than I am used to from this author; yet, the emotional punch that I’ve come to expect was still present. Mariah Dietz has a way with her words that always leaves me coming back for more. Her storytelling and character development are consistently done in such a superb way. This book definitely had a different feel from her previous releases, but I’m happy to see Dietz expanding and growing. I may have just finished, but I’m already anxious to see what she’ll do next!
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Don’t miss the first book in the series:
The Weight of Rain (Weight of Rain #1)
Mariah Dietz lives in Eastern Washington with her husband and two sons that are the axis of her crazy and wonderful world.
Mariah grew up in a tiny town outside of Portland, Oregon, where she spent the majority of her time immersed in the pages of books that she both read and created.
She has a love for all things that include her sons, good coffee, books, travel, and dark chocolate. She also has a deep passion for the stories she writes, and hopes readers enjoy the journeys she takes them on, as much as she loves creating them.