How Far He’s Come

Senior Debuts First Novel



Matteo Silvero ‘22 launching his novel in the Media Center.

It’s not every day that one of your classmates writes a book, but on Tuesday, June 7th, Edison High student Matteo Silvero ‘22 did just that: He launched his debut novel, How Far We Fall, in the Media center. 

How Far We Fall follows two teens, Vince and Eli, in a story exploring the New York underworld while tackling issues of personal identity, sexuality, and love. The novel explores the themes of found family, freedom, and independence. While most of these themes may be common in young adult literature, Silvero takes on a different time period, setting his novel in the 1980s, while most young adult books today are commonly set in present day.

Most of Silvero’s inspiration for the themes and the overall story comes from works such as History Is All You Left Me and More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, and other works such as the manga Banana Fish. According to Silvero, the plotline was also inspired by the infamous American duo Bonnie and Clyde.

“How Far We Fall” by Matteo Silvero ’22

Silvero discussed the dramatic change in How Far We Fall from its original conception, evolving as both the characters and the plot became further written and developed. 

“It evolved into something I never would have thought it would evolve to,”  said Silvero. “The story just started out as two teen criminals, and it just turned into so much more.”

Silvero has been working on How Far We Fall since January of 2021, and the title was originally set to be Eli and Vince.  Silvero used the creative writing elective taught in school by Language Arts teacher Ms. Jackie Pelliccio to work on and publish this novel.

“It was great having a period a day to write and just focus on that. I’m in the school’s theater department, so being backstage and being in the [audience], I would always find a moment to write. If I could, I would write in study hall or in between classes. Probably focused a little bit more on writing than school.” said Silvero.

Silvero has always known he wanted to be a writer. He revitalized his love these past two years with Creative Writing 1 and 2 classes, an opportunity for Pelliccio to serve as Silvero’s advisor while writing How Far We Fall.

Despite his pride in both process and product, Silvero doesn’t want to focus on the monetary gain but on what he could instill within those who read his work.

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“I feel like as long as somebody is reading my work, and they get inspired to write, it could be a million people I inspire, it could be two people I inspire, but as long as they get inspired to write, I feel like I’ve done my job as a writer,” said Silvero.

Although the book is complete and Silvero has started the publication process, he indicated some of the hidden demands and obstacles before a book can be brought to the public.  

“You still have to look for an agent, you still have to look for an artist for the cover art,” he said,” and then another artist to create the book layout, and a marketing team to market your book so it doesn’t flop. It was the most surprising thing for me, just how much work goes into creating a book.”

This fall, Silvero will be starting a 4-year program at Montclair State University, majoring in English with a focus on creative writing. He sees himself continuing to write books for years to come, having already started on the outline for his next novel. The next one, he admits, is, “happier than How Far We Fall.”