Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts
Published: September 17th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Format/Source: Paperback Advanced Reading Copy from BookExpo America
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/Apocalyptic
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
So I know everyone likes to handle books they did not finish differently. I generally finish books that I don’t like anyways because of either morbid curiosity or some deep-rooted sense that it is my duty, particularly if I received a review copy.
It is for my very sparing use of book abandonment that I feel like it is important that I at least share why I couldn’t finish Tumble & Fall.
I love the cover. I had heard of a few people looking forward to reading this book, making me decide to pick up a copy and read it. Now it is entirely possible that because all the other books I read around this book were absolutely amazing that it made this one seem that much duller than it really is. However, I kept trying to make it through it, using different techniques (setting a page goal for each sitting, speed reading, etc.) to try to finish it. But when I realized that I was dreading picking it up, that I was choosing to go straight to bed instead of reading, I made the call to put it down.
The premise could be cool. An asteroid will destroy the world as we know it and people have one week to enjoy life. But as many reviewers have noted, no one is really reacting in the world as you might expect. No one’s looting, no one’s really freaking out, hoarding, sheltering in fallout shelters…instead, people are poetically dealing with it in different emotional ways. Painting, going about their regular business, mourning those already lost, and trying to reconnect with those they have ignored for years. I think it was meant to be a poetic story, one with quiet reflection instead of mass panic.
It’s entirely possible that I was just not in the right mood for this. I found it very depressing and difficult to keep the characters straight. It alternates points of view between different teenagers, and it was hard to figure out who was feeling angst about what.
I truly hate not finishing a book and I hate that I have to write such a negative review concerning this book. But I don’t foresee myself giving this book another chance. Perhaps it would be better with someone in the right frame of mind. But for me, it was a no-go.
My rating: 1/5