Five Ways to Fall Out of Love
Author: Emily Martin
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
This whip-smart rom-com explores the risks and rewards of letting love in, for fans of Jennifer E. Smith, Julie Buxbaum, and Sandhya Menon.
How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…
Aubrey Cash learned the hard way not to rely on love. After all, Webster Casey, the new boy next door she’d been falling for all summer, stood her up at homecoming in front of everyone with no explanation. Proving her theory that love never lasts seems easy when she’s faced with parents whose marriage is falling apart and a best friend who thinks every boy she dates is “the one.” But when sparks fly with a boy who turns out to be Webster’s cousin, and then Webster himself becomes her lab partner for the rest of senior year, Aubrey finds her theory—and her commitment to stay single—put to the test.
As she navigates the breakdown of her family, the consequences her cynicism has on her relationship with her best friend, and her own confusing but undeniable feelings for Webster, Aubrey has to ask herself: What really happened the night Webster stood her up? And if there are five ways to fall out of love…could there perhaps be even more ways to fall back in?
I have been waiting for another book from Emily Martin since I fell in love with The Year We Fell Apart. I was so excited to read Five Ways to Fall Out of Love when I downloaded it. I put off reading it for a bit because YA contemporaries just hadn’t been hitting the right note with me. I’m happy to report that Five Ways to Fall Out of Love got me back into the swing of reading them.
Emily Martin’s writing was as engaging as I remember it being. I was immediately pulled into Aubrey’s life. She seemed like a normal teenage girl. She wasn’t the “special snowflake” we see sometimes in YA fiction. Aubrey had real life insecurities navigating high school friends, cliques, and boys. She also had family problems that I believe many teenagers will be able to relate to. There was a lot of hurt she had to deal with in all of that. I liked how Martin portrayed it all.
As for the romance… Well, it had its love triangle moments. You might have guessed that from the blurb. Aubrey used to like Webster, now she likes his cousin Holland. Being with Holland led to being around Webster more than normal and drug up old feelings. Normally, I’m not a fan of love triangles. I didn’t mind this one because it didn’t always feel like one, and there wasn’t any overlap between Aubrey being with either of the guys (no cheating). What I didn’t like was that Webster and Holland were cousins. That did bug me. At least they weren’t brothers, I guess.
A little more about the guys since I won’t be giving away how things go down or end up. Webster was not my favorite guy. I knew, from reading countless romances, that his rudeness had to be related to something Aubrey was unaware of. I could tell her cared for her and liked her despite his actions. That being said, he made some poor decisions that drove me nuts. Holland was a great guy from the start. He’s a character you can’t help but like because he’s just so dang decent. He treated Aubrey well, better than Webster. Holland had some flaws of his own in relation to Aubrey.
Oh! One of my favorite things was the friendship aspect of the book. Aubrey had to navigate both a long-term and a new-found friendship. I really loved how everything went down in terms of both and what Aubrey learned from them.
Another thing I should mention is that this book is about seniors in high school. It is on the mature side of things when it comes to the YA genre. There is some sexual content, alcohol, and partying.
It’s hard to talk about some of my feelings about this book without giving things away. It was well written, but I think some readers are going to have a problem with Aubrey’s decisions and maybe even the ending. I kind of wanted it to either go a different direction than it did or for an epilogue. I vacillated between 3.5 and 4 stars as a rating, and ended up going with 4 because it was so well written, held my attention, and had me genuinely rooting for Aubrey to find her way through her senior year of high school.