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Presented by State Library Victoria

REVIEW: I Was Pretty Disappointed by 'The Girl Who Fell' by Violet Grace, Here's Why

Hello Lit Clubbers,

It has been a crazy few weeks for me. I’ve just finished my exams (woo hoo!), I’ve prioritised some new release books and in the process I may have neglected ‘The Girl Who Fell’ just a tiny bit. By that I mean that I started the book towards the end of October and now we’re here in mid/late November. All of that aside, we have a Lit Club book that is in urgent need of reviewing and I volunteered as tribute!



I’m an orphan. A hacker.
I grew up with nothing and no one.
But it turns out my whole life has been a lie.

All of a sudden, I’m a hero, a villain, a weapon, a puppet, and the last great hope. There’s only one person I can trust – but even he is not what he seems.

I am not the girl who fell. I am the one who got back up.
I am Chess Raven



I would like to begin by giving a shout out to two things: the pin that arrived with my copy of the book (it’s now on my blazer) and the awesome concept of this book. The main idea behind the book is so cool and empowering which made the actual execution of it sting a little more. I will admit that I almost did something that I never do and just not finish the book but I persevered.

What made this book so frustrating for me was Chess herself. I found her personality to be akin to flour before adding other ingredients and honestly just disinteresting. Also, the use of boring tropes added nothing to her character and just made me kind of mad (ie. I’m not like other girls, orphan, chosen one… you get the picture). The overuse of these frustrating stereotypes made some parts read more like a bad wattpad book than what was supposed to be the ultimate feminist fantasy.

Another thing that bothered me endlessly was how Chess handled things and an overall lack of character development. Now, if this was about me, the whole being thrown into a new and unfamiliar world would probably freak me out for a very long time. However, Chess was slightly too unbothered by the ordeal especially as we didn’t see any training on this new world. I do think that part of this was due to her extremely defensive nature and was likely a defence mechanism but as we didn’t see any character development we’ll never know for sure. It wouldn’t surprise me if this development came later in the series but I don’t intend on reading the other books.

This was one of those ~extra special books™~ in which I preferred the side characters which is probably due to the fact that a) I clearly didn’t love Chess and b) for a book written in first person, nothing was really described. You know who I did like? Tom. I actually quite enjoyed his wide range of emotions especially as he seemed to have more feelings than the other characters. I would have preferred more backstory on Tom and Chess but we can’t all get what we want. Also, his relationship with his sister was a nice element to the book, I vote for more on their backstory.

The matriarchal society of the fae was actually pretty cool and I did appreciate that it was still self aware by pointing out that it was still pretty flawed. I appreciated the depiction of such a society as it made me realise that both matriarchal and patriarchal societies can be pretty harmful. The amoral nature of the faeries was quite the conundrum but it was written in way that I could tell the only real purpose of their nature was to complicate the narrative which I found to be underwhelming. I didn’t particularly like the faeries and the class systems and power structure was just… not a good time. What I yearned for was more on the history of Trinovantum, it could have added so much to the plot and things would have made way more sense.


Overall, I just couldn’t get behind this book. I found the plot and characters to be lacking and as I said before, I had difficult finishing the book. That being said, I was glad to read it even if it was just to broaden my taste in genres. I really appreciate Inside A Dog for sending me a copy. I think I should rate it a solid 2/5, nothing more and nothing less.


Your Favourite Bookworm



My thoughts exactly; such a fantastic idea and so many fantastic parts. However, on the whole, the execution really was underwhelming. Also, how awesome is the pin?!

The cliche tropes were annoying, but I can't help think about how well they worked in HP. JK Rowling does have a very different style of execution, and Harry was a lot more phased by his new world than Chess seemed to be. She grew wings randomly and didn't even seem surprised. Um what?

2w ago

I agree with the tropes thing in HP but I would like to argue that while those tropes existed pre HP it was most likely HP that popularised them. Also, the growing of wings bugged me to no end. Why wasn't she fazed by it???

2w ago
inky State Library Victoria

Very comprehensive review and I have to agree that while it had some good ideas underpinning it, some good moments within it, overall it fell a bit flat. It wasn't as feminist as I wanted it to be. I also preferred the side characters - I really liked Jules.

2w ago

Thank you! I didn't mention it but Jules was great.

2w ago