Monday, April 13, 2015


A normal teenager Dean Knight is not.

With a mental illness that threatens to take over his sanity; a sister who’s deep in her own problems; and a wasted mother who couldn’t care less about it all, Dean is left to battle real life on his own. School, bullies and medications are his realities.

Then there are also the ghosts, the hallucinations and of course – the monster.

In the middle of it all, when everything seems to lose purpose, hope comes shining down on Dean’s miserable life. Her name is Ella and for one reason or another, she actually wants to be close to Dean. With Ella’s help, the lost teenage boy decides that he could finally win a battle or two – both in real life and in his writing.

But hope is a tricky thing. And the monster seems to know that.

When secrets buried down for almost a decade come out in the open, what do you do?


Where do I start? First, this book is AMAZING. I normally don't rate books very high that deal with mental issues because they don't make me feel anything.. However, Steven Cross had me feeling every word!! Fall of Knight is one of those books that once you start it all other aspects of your life go on hold until you have finished it.
I have dealt with many, MANY mental issues both with my work life and my family life. I feel like this gives you a realistic look at what the world is really like for someone suffering from Mental Illness. It is an uncomfortable subject just because no one wants to talk about it. However, you are thrown right in without a lifeline and you just keep swimming until you have finished. I was refreshed with the way he wrote about such an unsettling subject. I finished this book a week ago and still have trouble putting together the words that would create a review that would do Fall of Knight justice. Steven Cross classifies this book as Young Adult but I think it's in a class all its own.. It's got just the right amount of "pretty" that offsets the "dark".

Dean Knight is not your typical carefree and outgoing teenage boy. He suffers from a diagnosis of a mental disease called bipolar. But is he really? No one gets him because simply no one understands him or his disease. He is bullied, picked on, made fun of (however you want to say it) and because of this AND his monsters, life is anything but normal for him. He changes when he meets Ella in more ways than one.

Cross has so brilliantly wrote a novel that I could literally feel every emotion. I thought I was in every scene. I was pissed, happy, sad, depressed, enlightened etc... If you read one book this year about mental illness, THIS has to be the one!!


No one answers when I pound again, so I
try the knob. It turns and the door screeches open.
            “Hello!” I
call out as I poke my head in. I don’t see anyone, and I once again fight the
urge to turn around and walk back out the door. Lou could be lying on the floor
bleeding somewhere or convulsing from an overdose. I take a deep breath and
step inside the trailer.
            “Lou! Anyone
            The trailer
is a single wide, so it isn’t very big. When you open the front door, you are
in the living room, which is right next to a tiny kitchen. Down one hall is a
bedroom. First, I survey the living room and kitchen and don’t see anything
unusual. I walk past the kitchen toward one of the bedrooms. As I step closer
to it, my heart thumps wildly. The bedroom door is closed, but I can hear
muffled head-banging music, as if someone is listening to it through headphones
at two hundred decibels, and I sigh with relief. I open the door. No Lou, but
an MP3 player hooked to ear buds lies on the bed.
            There might
be a bathroom down the opposite hallway. Again, my heart thuds as I approach
two doors, one on the right, a bathroom no doubt. I pause and look down. No
pool of blood seeps from under the door. I grab the door handle, find it
unlocked, and jerk it open. The bathroom is empty too. It’s dirtier than a
public toilet at a crack house, and I feel like I want to throw up.
Quickly, I close the door. The last
bedroom is all that remains. I don’t think he’s in there, but I check it
anyway. As I suspect, the room is empty. This must be the master bedroom where
Lou’s keepers live.
            I still
can’t fully shake my feeling of dread, but then I think Lou was probably just
late to school, and while I was traipsing through the woods, he probably went
on to school, and at this very moment, he and Ella are laughing their asses
            I laugh a
little too, but I also feel good about myself in another way. The old Dean
wouldn’t have been too concerned with anyone else. I guess you could say the
new Dean has learned to make a few friends. I realize how tired I really am
from not only the walk but also the unbearable tension I have felt from thinking
my friend is dead.
            I sit on
the couch―a little reluctantly because it’s pretty dirty, but then again our
couch is secondhand, so I can’t be judging other people’s possessions. I think
about how ridiculous I feel, and then I laugh aloud again.
            I start to
leave, but something outside the window catches my eye.
            I stare for
a long time, feeling unsure.
            Lou swings
from a tree outside the window; he’s hanged himself with an electrical cord.

Steve Cross’s first successful writing project was a play about a werewolf that his eighth grade English class performed. Though the play was never published, the warm fuzzy feeling from its public performance has never quite left Cross, who continues to sink his teeth into a variety of writing projects. His first publication was a haiku, followed by two middle grade novels published by POD publishers and a young adult novel published by Buck’s County Publishing.

A fanatical St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan; a lover of all kinds of YA fiction, as well as the writings of Dean Koontz and Stephen King; a fan of all kinds of music – from Abba to the Zac Brown band, Cross dreams of the day he will write a best-selling novel or sell a screenplay for seven figures, so he can retire and write more best-selling fiction.  Until that day, he and his wife Jean, Missourians born and bred, will continue to toil in the field of education and live in peace with their two dogs and two cats and wait around until their daughter Megan and son-in-law Sean give them grandchildren to spoil.

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