Book Review: Falls Boys by Penelope Douglas

And so you might be thinking… Why is there a book review of Falls Boys when you didn’t even enjoy the Fall Away series? Well, because I enjoy hurting myself, I guess… Jokes aside, this novel wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Falls Boys by Penelope Douglas has potential, but the series needs to become its own thing.

(Review contains major spoilers.)

Falls Boys by Penelope Douglas

Falls Boys official cover art
Falls Boys official cover art

My rating: ★★★ (3/5)

Summary: Aro Marquez messes up the night she fights back against her mother’s boyfriend. It doesn’t help that she’s not following the orders the gang that raised her is giving her. As her actions drag in Hawke Trent, Aro is forced into hiding, and she might just have to accept Trent’s help.

Genre: Contemporary romance

Audience: New Adult

Themes/potential trigger warnings: explicit sex, family abuse, drugs

Feels like an ABC show

Falls Boys left me with the same impression a spin-off would. Interesting at first, but disappointing. Aro Marquez reminded me of another heroine from Pen Doug’s books, Liv. Hispanic, kind of rude, but deeply attached to her family. She was not original in any sense. The rest of the cast was just… a bunch of kids the guys from the Fall Away series had.

The thing is, those kids have no personality. Aside from the fact that Hawke is thankfully not a man-whore, unlike almost all the guys from the original series, I don’t even remember who his cousins are. Why are they relevant? Why are they always involved? And why are there random characters from Credence in this book?

The chemistry between Hawke and Aro is lacking. They reminded me of Banks and Kai from the Devil’s Night series, except the virgin is male this time.

A series plot that has yet to make sense

If you ask me what the story is about, honestly, I’m not sure. Hawke and Aro must settle things with a gang, a police officer, all the while avoiding getting Aro in a mess that would cost her her family. We’re back with the unrealistic heroism of people who just turned 18.

To add to that, Falls Boys borrows plot from the Devil’s Night series and its weird traditions and legends. It’s a bit as if Pen Doug ran out of ideas, so she creates a crossover between all the books they’ve written.

Overall, an okay book if you haven’t read the rest of the author’s work. But if you have, this is just a trip down memory lane…