Review: Tumble & Fall

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Title: Tumble & Fall
Author: Alexandra Coutts
Genre: young adult, contemporary fiction
Series: none
Pages: 384
Published: Expected September 17, 2013
Source: publishers via NetGalley
Rating: 3/5

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.
Reviewed by Danielle

Tumble & Fall tells the interconnected story of three teenagers in the week leading up to the end of the world. Their stories are overwrought, soap opera fodder. The third-person present narration is personally distracting and hindered my ability to invest in the main characters, who are unlikeable, flawed, and self-absorbed. It features one of the most blatant uses of insta-love I've seen in a YA novel.

But if you stick it out, the ending is beautiful.

In the heart-felt, hopeful climax, I finally got what the last 380 pages were trying to do. And it wasn't pretty. I rolled my eyes and huffed. I yelled at the e-reader's screen. I was confused by loose ends. But teenagers are selfish, people act badly when presented with their mortality, and not everything gets closure. In showing this, I think the book showed a real understanding of humanity and felt refreshingly realistic.

Unfortunately, while effective, I wouldn't classify it as an enjoyable read. Zan and Sienna's plots felt like retreads of other contemporary dramas, (dead boyfriend's last secret and summer romance that Daddy doesn't approve of, respectively,) and Caden's was just odd. In a book that was sometimes unflinchingly realistic, kidnapping and extortion felt out of place. It's fitting that most of his scenes took place off island, because they didn't feel like they meshed with the rest of the book. Someone please explain to me the Camille scene. It was really out of nowhere.

Characters run into each other with too great frequency to really be coincidental, the general feeling that all of humanity is deep-down good and won't rob and murder during the end of the world is naïve, and it does shamelessly tug at the heartstrings.

But I'll be haunted by the last chapter long after I've forgotten the secret of Vanessa or Sophie or Owen's tribe.


  1. This sounds interesting. I'm very curious even though it seems unlikable, I want to know what the last chapter that has you haunted is.

    1. I'm really conflicted on it. I didn't like it, but the prose is great. If you check it out, I'd love to hear your views!

    2. I'm very conflicted on it. The story wasn't really special, but the prose is beautiful. If you pick it up, I'd love to know what you think.

  2. I think I'll give this one a pass. Beautiful prose doesn't get me past a boring story


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