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I Belong

Early Review: Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

Title: Tumble & Fall

Author: Alexandra Coutts

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: N/A

Publication Date: September 17, 2013

FormatHardcover, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 0374378614 (Mac Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0374378615 (Mac Teen)

Reviewed byBridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: Very emotional story filled with heartfelt moments, love and hope.  The pacing was a little slow and I didn’t love all the characters, but overall it was a good read.


Excerpt: No

The Review

What would you do if you knew that you only had a week left to live?  Would you turn to your family to try and find comfort or would you turn to strangers to try and find a good time?  An asteroid is heading to earth and they are saying it is going to be the end of the human race.  In Tumble & Fall you follow the stories of Sienna, Zan, and Caden.

Sienna has spent the last few years of her life in a mental hospital.  Her mother died when she was young and she never fully recovered from it. Her father has come to pick her up, because they are saying that the end of the world is coming.  He wants to take her brother and her to their beach house they loved when they were kids.  He also tells her that he has met someone and that they are going to get married.  It is a lot for Sienna to take in all at once, she is back in the house that is filled with memories of her mother and now she has to try and accept her dad’s new fling.  Soon after returning to the island she meets one of her childhood friends.  Owen is ambitious and has so much hope, but Sienna has to decide who she wants to spend her last days with.  Her loving family who has made mistakes over the years, but has always loved her or the boy she just met, and has fallen madly in love with?

Zan was madly in love with Leo.  They grew up together and once they started dating she thought they would be together forever.  Then there was a horrible accident and all her dreams of happy ever after went out the window.   Even though it has been months since Leo died, Zan still thinks about him all the time.  One day she is looking through an old book that belong to Leo and she finds a receipt from the day he died and it has a girl’s name and number on it.  Was Leo everything Zan thought he was or did he have secrets she never knew about him.  She and Leo’s best friend Nick decide to track down the girl on the receipt and find out.

Caden has lived his whole life on the island.  His mother is a hopeless drunk and his dad skipped out when he was a kid.  He is pretty content to live out the rest of his days partying and not caring.  Then the unthinkable happens, he dad kidnaps him.  He has always resented his father for leaving him, but he still wanted to get to know him.  He always wondered if he was like his father, or if he would end up a drunk like his mom.  Now Caden has a second chance to save his relationship with his father, but does his father deserve to get the last few days of his life?

The story is told from all three of the characters point of view.  My favorite character was Zan.  Her story was very heartfelt and believable.  She had purpose and drive even in the face of adversity.  I enjoyed reading her story and loved her as a character.  Sienna was harder to connect with for me.  She was very unpredictable which didn’t fit her story very well.  Emotionally she went very up and down and she changed her mind a lot.  I felt that her romance wasn’t very convincing, they just barely met and all the sudden they couldn’t live without each other.  I know when a crisis happens people act differently, it just wasn’t very believable for me.  I enjoyed parts of her story, but I think it could have been better.  Now for Caden.  I felt he could have been left out of the book. I felt that his story was juvenile and boring.  He is a coward most of the book, but he does have some redeeming moments.  I just didn’t connect with his story and I found myself not caring what happened to him. For this book to work the characters needed to make a lasting impression and some just didn’t quite get there.

This was a very interesting book for me.  There were three different stories being told and the only thing they had in common was that the world was ending and they all took place on the same island.  As you can tell I enjoyed some of the stories much more than others.  There were some really heartfelt beautiful moments in the book, and then there were juvenile unnecessary moments as well.  This book really does make you think about what is important in your life and it is good at stirring your emotions.  The pacing was a little slow for me and I struggled a little to finish the book.  Overall, this was a good read for me.  I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys a good YA contemporary filled with heartache, love and emotion.

Notable Scene:

She is ready to tuck the receipt back between the pages when she notices the printed date. The numbers are light and sketchy, but under the lamp she begins to make them out. This time, she gasps.

It’s a date she knows too well. The date Leo was supposed to take her to the last movie at a ? lm festival at the library, a documentary about the importance of keeping bees. The date his best friend Nick asked him to do an emergency favor, something having to do with a part for Nick’s boat in New Bedford. The date Leo said yes, because it sounded like an adventure and Leo always said yes to adventures, and what’s the big deal? They’d catch the movie on DVD, and since when did she care so much about bees?

The date he left in the rain, and never came home.

Zan slams the book shut. Before she knows why, she ?icks it like a Frisbee across the room, where it skids along the ?oor and stops at the wall with a dull, lifeless thud.

FTC Advisory: Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Tumble & Fall. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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