Rules of Falling

Book Cover

YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE SUSPENSE/THRILLER MYSTERY

Contemporary

Leslie Tall Manning

TaleFlick Top Pick!

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Submision Type

book

Logline

Erica O’Donnell, a seventeen-year-old chronic fainter and odd-girl out, must find a way to expose a deadly arsonist. Gradually peeling away layers of deception from those she trusts, Erica wonders how far she is willing to go to uncover truths—and how many people will get burned in the process.

Genre

Young Adult,Romance,Suspense/Thriller,Mystery

Short Summary

High school senior Erica awakens on the science room floor after one of her fainting spells. Her bestie and savior, Lindsay, is immediately by her side, not only in this instance but each time Erica dives to the floor.

Setting

Eastern North Carolina

Based on a True Story

No

Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth,Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Language/Profanity

Main Character Details

Name: Erica O'Donnell

Age: 17

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Underdog,Funny,Sarcastic,Aspiring,Empathetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Lindsay Bennett

Age: 17

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Desperate,Insecure,Naive,Secretive

Additional Character Details

Name: Adam Carchelli

Age: 17

Gender: Male

Role: skeptic

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Engaging,Heartthrob,Heroic,Funny,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Larry Taggert

Age: late 30s, early 40s

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Narcisstic,Confident,Decisive,Educated,Manipulative,Power Hungry

About The Author

Leslie Tall Manning is an award-winning novelist. She loves writing books about grown-ups (GAGA, MAGGIE’S DREAM, and KNOCK ON WOOD). She also loves to write about teens (UPSIDE DOWN IN A LAURA INGALLS TOWN, I AM ELEPHANT, I AM BUTTERFLY, and RULES OF FALLING). When she's not spending quality time with the characters in her head or tutoring her amazing students, she speaks at libraries, schools, and book clubs. She is proudly represented by the TriadaUS Literary Agency. Book Awards: Indie Brag Award Firebird Literary Award Sarton Women's Literary Award NC Author Project Award Taleflick Road to Development Finalist William Faulkner Words and Wisdom Finalist Story Monsters Certificate of Excellence Library Journal Self-e Selection International Book Award Finalist Connect with her on Goodreads, Wordpress, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Linkedin. www.leslietallmanning.com

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Female Leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Self-published

Year Published: 2021

Hard Copy Available

Yes

ISBN

978-0960017751

Genre

THRILLER, ROMANCE, DRAMA

Brief

Erica suffers from syncope and feels like an outcast at school save for her best friend Lindsay. Lindsay takes a new babysitting gig and gets groomed by the kids’ dad, Larry. Erica turns to Lindsay’s ex-boyfriend, Adam, for support in loosing her best friend. Trying to uncover the depth of Larry’s moral corruption, Erica and Adam, become suspicious that Larry is responsible for a string of deadly arson attacks happening in their town.

Overall Rating

EXCELLENT

Point of View

FIRST PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: EXCELLENT

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: EXCELLENT

Premise: FAIR

Structure: GOOD

Theme: EXCELLENT

Accuracy of Book Profile

It is accurate.

Draw of Story

There are so many layers of relatable small town drama but the center of the drama revolves around a surprisingly realized disability experience in the protagonist’s syncope.

Possible Drawbacks

Some of the antagonists have unnatural character arcs and or don’t feel fully three dimensional when they are being in “attack mode.” Showing more nuanced dialogue and a slower progression of the change in character could help the descent into meanness feel more authentic to the character and less to drive the plot.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that there’s a town arson on the loose and the only person who’s closest to solving the case is vulnerable to fainting at any moment.

Fanbase Potential

This definitely has the potential to be a huge YA film as the character dynamics and original plot are refreshing and the themes is both inclusive of disability politics but in a way that is comprehensible to general audiences.

Awards Potential

This is unlikely to have awards potential as the characters experience a lot of dramatic moments, but their development isn’t always smooth or fully realized to feel wholly three-dimensional.

Envisioned Budget

LOW BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

PRISONER, LOVELY BONES, WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, BACKDRAFT

What’s New About the Story

There are three aspects about the story that make it original which are the protagonist’s syncope influencing the themes about disability and causing conflict; linsday’s grooming storyline; and using arson as the main crime to investigate. By making Lindsay more sympathetic when being an antagonist she will have more emotional investment in her character and feel more real.

Lead Characters

Erica is determined, loyal and idealistic. Adam is calm, ambitious and trusting. Lindsay is hungry, lonely and desperate. Larry is creepy and egotistical.

Uniqueness of Story

This is a rare gem that is very engrossing with unique conflicts although some of the side characters could be more smoothly developed to feel more proactive and less reactive.

Possible Formats

Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming TV Series: Network, Cable, Streaming

Analyst Recommendation

RECOMMEND

Justification

The combination of the fainting storyline developing disability themes intertwined with the external arson conflict create great tension when tied to the emotional attachment to the high school characters and their unusual dynamic.