Title: The Falls (The Falls: Book One)
Author: Jon Garcia and Marty Beaudet
Publisher: DSP Publications
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: A beautifully crafted story centered around the Mormon religion.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: You see them everywhere, Mormon missionaries dressed in their white shirts, ties, and suit pants. With their short-cut hair, they ride on their bicycles and knock on doors, trying to convert the world to their brand of religion. In their church community, they are revered for exemplifying the wholesomeness and goodness of being a Mormon youth.
RJ and Chris are no different. Both were born and raised in the Mormon church. Both excelled academically, progressed ecclesiastically, earned their Eagle Scout rank at a young age, and had pretty girlfriends. And now it’s their turn to serve a mission and experience the Mormon rite of passage.
Unknown to them, serving a mission not only opens strangers’ doors to preach the Gospel as they were taught, but awakens secrets of their own lives while in service to their fellow man secrets their church is not ready to embrace.
Review: Romances centered around religion have always been fascinating to me because I like to see how the relationship plays out around, or in spite of, the religion in question. The stricter the religion, the higher the stakes. Amish romances have always had a soft-spot in my heart—both gay and straight—and now the Mormon religion has made its way to my heart.
I was a fan of the film Latter Days—okay, scratch that—I still am a fan and watch it whenever I need a good cry. When the film The Falls came out, I naturally sucked it down as well and loved the movie even if my heart did break. So, when I saw that it was also a book, I knew I had to read it.
The book pretty much follows the film exactly, as I remember. I found myself thinking, oh yeah, I remember this, many times. But it was still a good read whether you’ve seen the film or not. Told from RJ’s point of view, readers see a young Mormon man on his mission, a time that is filled with great excitement for the men and women who go on missions.
I have friends who are Mormon, so reading about the world they tell me about, and seeing it so carefully constructed on the page, made this story ring very true for me. I can easily picture RJ and Chris’s struggles as being real. The author has done an excellent job at researching and presenting the information carefully. That said, it can be uncomfortable to read at times because of how accurate it is. The author does not take liberties and gloss over anything to make it nicer for the story. While there is a romance, this does not have a traditional HEA. I know there is a second movie, but I have yet to watch it, and I don’t know if my heart could handle it!
If you enjoy reading romances where religion influences the characters—for better or for worse—or you would like to learn more about the Mormon faith and how it effects LGBT youth, I highly recommend this book. RJ and Chris struggle to come to terms with who they are, and while some challenges are overcome, not all of them are. I felt for Chris and his feelings of guilt. I also felt for RJ. Since RJ was telling the story, I was able to connect to him better, but I still found both to be well-written and well-rounded characters. It seems like there will be a sequel to this, as there is a sequel to the movie. I’m sure I will read it at some point, but only when my heart can handle it!
You can buy The Falls here: