A Writer’s Review: A Step Towards Falling

A young guy and a young girl attend a high school football game. They both witness a classmate with disabilities getting sexually abused under the bleachers. They see each other and assume the other will get help. Neither of them do. They’re punished by having to work volunteer time / community service at a local school / community group for those with disabilities.

So what did I think? This is rather a difficult review for me to write, because it could very easily start to borderline on my thoughts being offensive. See, with books, I fall in love with them when they start to drag me into the story. When I become so involved with the book that I get a connection with the characters. For example, my current favourite novel of all time; Thirteen Reasons Why created such a connection that I had a desire to save a fictional character. That did not happen with A Step Towards Falling. Unfortunately I have to use words like boring and uninteresting. It was a novel that I struggled to keep turning pages with and to a degree, wanted to be over. So why was that my impression? For various reasons, one of them was the mix of characters.

Two’s a party, three’s a crowd.

Jennifer Niven had done a fantastic job with the writing of All The Bright Places. But she had a perspective from two characters. This novel had three, the lead male, the lead female and the girl whom suffered from a mental disability. Which meant the writing style for character three had to be done in a way that seemed less cohesive (probably the wrong word, I’m trying to say, basic) than the other main characters. I didn’t enjoy the switching round so much and felt it hard to bring myself into the story. There wasn’t enough going on either to keep me interested. It was slow paced and again, dull.

– Michael Topschij.

A Youth’s Struggle: Medical Chaos

Whilst on my trip to the US with Mom last month I ended up in a hospital twice during the same week for two completely separate incidents. The second a life-threatening allergic reaction to something. Today Cigna on behalf of my BNZ travel insurance that is included with my credit card, told me that they will NOT be covering the cost of these incidents… For what reason?

In their lengthy legal policy documents they have one line that states: “You are not eligible for cover under this policy if one of the reasons for the overseas travel is to engage in business and/or work-related activities.”

They in their rejection email showed evidence from my social media providing proof that I was doing business while on this trip.

So as a result of not being made aware that the insurance I had was NOT VALID if I do ANY business related work whilst on the trip, I am now going to face huge bills that are likely to be upwards of $30,000 – $50,000 if not a lot more due to the scans and other costs that are involved in the American medical system.

Companies are out to make money, to incentivize you to get their credit cards to use their insurance. But when push comes to shove they’ll jump at the first chance they can to use something in their legal documents to stop them from having to help.

This is what they’re doing to a 21-year-old who deals with severe mental health issues (that they will be well aware of after reading through all my medical documents that I had to authorise them to access).

Thanks BNZ and Cigna. Glad there is some humanity in the way you guys work.