Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Early Review: Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts
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.
Alexandra Coutts's TUMBLE & FALL is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world. ~ Goodreads
Source: Free copy provided by the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Girous, at Book Expo America for review
Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Review:This started out as a DNF review. Tumble & Fall just wasn't working for me but then I gave it another shot and got drawn back in with mixed results.
First of all totally disregard that beautiful cover. If you are thinking this is an all out epic romance novel you would be dead wrong. That's fine but a tad jarring when you actually get to reading this book and are thrown in an entirely different direction. A better direction IMO but still not what you may be looking for when you start this one.
Tumble & Fall has a fascinating concept. It's the end of the world…but not quite yet. Everyone is just waiting for the asteroid to hit planet earth. There is no rush to a big movie style ending to save the world. It's coming and there's nothing you can do but wait. Which is sort of interesting as a contrast to the flailing panic & despair we usually read about.
The story follows three characters (listed below) during the final five days of their life on earth as they try to find closure and reconciliation with loved ones.
Sienna - she was released from a psychiatric facility to be with her father and brother when the asteroid hits. She's having a hard time dealing with the fact that her father is about to remarry when she runs into Owen, a childhood friend. Sienna's family dynamics were interesting, unfortunately the story focuses more on her relationship with Owen. I didn't mind the insta-love in this case. I mean the world's ending so emotions are heightened but Owen wasn't developed enough and his actions seemed downright bizarre at times as the story progressed. (I believe the cover is meant to refer to this couple but…meh I didn’t feel it)
Caden - He lives at home with his alcoholic mom and sister before being reunited with the father he's never known - in a very strange way. I really disliked this storyline. It could have been humorous but Caden's father just made me squirm. It was just skeevy and creepy. There was a romance with Caden and his father's girlfriend (or at least I think she was his girlfriend), drugging's, kidnappings, hookers…Oddly enough the conclusion of Caden's story was my favorite and but the journey there was too over the top.
Zan - I loved her story. She has been grieving over her dead boyfriend, Leo, for 10 months, but with the help of his best friend Nick she tries to unravel a mystery that threatens to upend everything she believed about her relationship with Leo. This was a real mystery with twists and turns, romance and heartbreak. Zan's story was too short and could have been the basis for the whole novel and the end left me scratching my head and kind of pissed off instead. lol
The writing is beautiful, almost haunting, but the 3rd person POV for multiple characters kept me from ever getting close to them or immersing myself in their experiences. I felt like a distant observer. Especially because all three teenagers call their parents by their first names. It just felt so impersonal.
I have to give the author credit for taking what is typically an action based story and focusing more on the psychological aspects of the end of times. But…..it seemed odd to me how very chill everyone was about it. I'm sure there will be people trying to maintain normalcy - hoping the end doesn't come to fruition, or groups having block parties but no riots? No government lockdowns or curfews? Maybe I've watched too many movies or my brain won't go outside the box but it seemed weird to me.
Final thoughts: I hesitate to say I disliked Tumble & Fall because the writing is beautiful and despite setting it aside several times I couldn't let it go either but I just didn't fully connect to any of the stories or characters.
I will say that the author took chances with this story and it's either going to be something that pisses you off or leave you saying WOW. I think I'm more in the pissed off camp because I don't believe the three different POV's allowed any sort of depth to a story that could have been incredible if it focused on just one of them. Or even a trilogy from each perspective that eventually tied everything together.
Author: Goodreads | Website
Buy the book! Tumble & Fall