~ Book Review: Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling ~

Published: January 31, 2023

Author: Elise Bryant

Delilah always keeps her messy, gooey insides hidden behind a wall of shrugs and yeah, whatevers. She goes with the flow—which is how she ends up singing in her friends’ punk band as a favor, even though she’d prefer to hide at the merch table.

Reggie is a D&D Dungeon Master and self-declared Blerd. He spends his free time leading quests and writing essays critiquing the game under a pseudonym, keeping it all under wraps from his disapproving family.

These two, who have practically nothing in common, meet for the first time on New Year’s Eve. And then again on Valentine’s Day. And then again on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s almost like the universe is pushing them together for a reason.

Delilah wishes she were more like Reggie—open about what she likes and who she is, even if it’s not cool. Except . . . it’s all a front. Reggie is just role-playing someone confident. The kind of guy who could be with a girl like Delilah.

As their holiday meetings continue, the two begin to fall for each other. But what happens once they realize they’ve each fallen for a version of the other that doesn’t really exist?

Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling is a very cute story about two teens falling in love over a year. Reggie, a black D&D player first meets Delilah after she performs with a punk rock band on New Year’s Eve. Delilah is a young black singer who has a clear passion for music. The two go their separate ways only to meet again on Valentine’s Day. The story continues with the two becoming closer as the holidays pass by, which was a fantastic way to present the story. It was a great decision on the author’s part to make this dual perspective as the reader can experience Delilah and Reggie when they are together and when they are apart. The pages do feel purposeful, but it did also drag a bit just because it is on the longer side for a contemporary novel. It still was a great read, though, so it was well worth the time to experience the story.

The pacing of the story does move along nicely as the holiday meet-cutes were captivating. Like most novels it does go a bit quick towards the end and there is some miscommunication between the characters. The two characters not only are getting closer romantically as the story moves forward, but they are also going through their own coming of age stories. As this is a YA story, I liked how it read appropriately where the decisions made seemed like those a teen would make compared to an older adult or even a younger child. Each of them has a lot of obstacles that they face just trying to live their lives. They have fears either because of race, background, interests, etc. that all factor into their existence. The DnD in the story was great as it has become a little more mainstream compared to years ago, but it is still not quite as widely accepted without the assumption that it is not “cool.”

The novel itself is wholesome as it is a feelgood coming of age story for two characters. I am not quite sure I buy into the romance, although it was cute. I think I would have preferred the two becoming friends and support for each other and their journeys rather than a full romance. The love story is a slow burn, which I enjoy, and I do think that Reggie and Delilah were compatible with each other, but I still think staying close friends would still be great. Through the romance and the tale about their individual journeys, this story goes into a lot of depth. Since Delilah and Reggie have differing interests, it provides a nice range for readers to connect to the characters. Overall, this was a very enjoyable story and I look forward to reading more from the author.

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