Monday, 22 July 2013

Review: Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

Title: Tumble & Fall
Author: Alexandra Coutts
Release date: September 17th 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Apocalyptic/Contemporary
Format: eARC
Pages: 381
Source: NetGalley

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.

Tumble & Fall is such a beautiful story. It really is. I read some pretty mixed reviews before starting this, so I wasn't sure what I'd think of it, but it was clear soon enough that I would love it. This is the kind of book that really makes you think, you know? About anything, even just life in general. This really is a contemporary novel, but I guess the asteroid about to strike the Earth makes it apocalyptic.

This book follows three teens primarily, but it's really about everyone around those three, and the relationships they make and break. The only thing I didn't like about the book is that it's written in third person. It was a little confusing at the beginning since there are three perspectives, but I soon got into it. I really liked that we got to read three different but ultimately intertwining stories. And that there is so much depth to these characters. Alexandra Coutts' writing really is beautiful, and I immensely enjoyed this one.

The first perspective we get is that of Sienna. Everyone knows about the asteroid hitting the Earth in a week, and Sienne wants to be with those she loves most - her family. Namely, her father and brother, since her mother died a few years ago. But her dad drops a bomb on her. He's getting married. A week before the world could possibly end. And Sienna hates it. They go to live in an old home on an island, the first time they returned after Sienna's mom died. And of course Sienna resents her dad for that. But she meets Owen, a childhood friend from long ago, and everything changes. She's found love in what is possibly the last week of her life. And she wants to spend it all with him. Sienna's story involves her balance of her family with Owen, and dealing with the remarriage of her dad.

We also get Zan's narrative, which is definitely my favourite. It's been a year since Zan's boyfriend, Leo, died. And she's still not over it. But when she finds a phone number written on a receipt in a book Leo had the day he died, Zan wants to find out exactly what happened. She goes on a journey of discovery with Nick, Leo's best friend, and together they trace back the steps Leo took on that fateful night. What they find will both shock and mystify them. I loved Zan's part of the story so much because it always held my attention, and I just loved both Zan and Nick's characters. They're both so strong, mentally and physically. They have each other to hold on to now that Leo's gone, and it was nice to see them get closer as they went on their journey. I do wish that there was some resolution between the two of them by the end, though...

The third perspective is that of Caden. I think this has to be my least favourite, probably because I found it so weird. Caden and his sister, Carly, live with their perpetually alcoholic mother. She doesn't take care of them at all, so they have to do it themselves. Their father left them years and years ago. Well, Caden gets kidnapped by his father, who wants to spend the last remaining week he has with his son and his family. But that doesn't include Carly or her mom. Caden is held against his will at the house of a man he hates. The only other person who is there against their will is Sophie, who Caden immediately connects with. Caden's story is basically him spending time with his dad and his family, trying to forgive him. I did like the way it ended, though.

Apart from the plot of the individual stories, there's something so much deeper in this book. It makes you imagine what it would be like if you knew you only had a week left. Who would you want to be with, and what would you want to do? It definitely raises a lot of questions in us. There are other, simply minor little things that really made me wonder. This quote, for example, where Owen is talking to Sienna - 

“You know how it is when you’re a kid, and you have these friends, and you don’t see them for a while? You always remember the way they were, like they’re all still out there somewhere, hanging out with a smaller version of you.”
I can really relate to a lot of things in this book, and I found that amazing. This book has really made me stop for a while, just to think. And that last chapter, that ending... It was incredible. The writing is so fantastic. Tumble & Fall is an incredible debut novel, and I can't wait to read more from Coutts. You may need some tissues for this one.

*Thank you to Macmillan Children's Publishing for providing me with an ARC for review*

Rating: 5/5


  1. Sounds absolutely amazing. I love the vibe behind it. Scary but thoughtful is definitely my type of read, especially because it has good writing. I hadn't heard of this book before but now I'm very eagerly anticipating it. Great review!

    -P.E. The Sirenic Codex

    1. Thank you, P.E! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :D


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