by Alexandra Coutts
Published on September 17, 2013 by Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Genres: Contemporary, Dystopian, Young Adult
A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings
The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.
Oh the days I regret not reading the reviews first. Tumble & Fall looks like a fantastic read, right? The cover captivates you and keeps your attention long enough to read the back cover blurb, which draws you in further. The world has a week before total destruction and three teens are telling the stories of their final days. It sounds like it’s full of suspense and fear, love and hope, no? Tumble & Fall is a pretty picture but behind the painting is a blank white wall, flat and lifeless. Watching paint dry would be less painful than reading this book.
There are three main characters, all with over-the-top issues whose lives supposedly intersect according to the back cover. First, there’s Sienna. Look, sweetie, I understand that the world is ending but do you honestly think you can love a boy you just met enough to abandon your own family? I immediately cast her off as a waste of paper. Then there’s Zan. Obsessed over her dead boyfriend, I thought maybe there would be a chance for her to find happiness or something of the like, but I shouldn’t have had such high expectations. Her little adventure following clues was about as entertaining as counting ceiling tiles. Finally, there’s Caden. I literally have no words for his story. There’s just…no logic. At all. What the author was thinking with him is beyond me; all I know is it ‘s messed up, big time. And guess what? It doesn’t get better! The reader is tossed about between each character’s story so even if I wanted to care about the characters, I didn’t have time to really become emotionally invested in them. Plus, the story lines never really connect as promised.
Tumble & Fall is sure to put you to sleep. The writing isn’t the worst I’ve read but there’s no life, no emotion, in the story. I can’t begin to understand how this concept was even conceived. Don’t let the gorgeous cover fool you. You won’t get the time wasted reading this book back. As it was, I was unable to bear getting through this book and am happily leaving it unfinished.