Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

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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.

Reading Tumble & Fall was definitely an exercise in patience for me. Not because it’s a bad book but because I get very antsy when there are so many stories interconnected and I’m waiting for them all to finally align. There are three storylines: Sienna who is returning to her father and brother after a stay at the House for emotional issues; Zan who is still grieving over the loss of her dead boyfriend Leo; and Caden who is kidnapped by his birth father and discovers a whole other life he could have otherwise had. All of this takes place on Cape Cod as everyone gathers together to witness the asteroid hit. 

All three stories are fascinating. Sienna feels a bit estranged from her father since her mom died and when she returns to her family, he drops the bomb on her that he is remarrying. She tries to be happy for him but she’s conflicted and ends up befriending a boy she used to play with when she was younger. Zan discovers a receipt with a girl’s name on it in one of Leo’s belongings and instantly everything about their relationship is thrown into question.  Caden finally meets his father whose eccentric behavior completely confounds him. Of the three, I found myself enthralled with Zan’s story the most. The idea of being so in love with someone who may not have been as devoted as you thought has to be crushing.

There’s a heaviness to Tumble & Fall that you can’t shake off. In a way it reminded me of the movie Melancholia starring Kirsten Dunst but Tumble & Fall has an element of hope that the movie didn’t.  The world is coming to an end but these individuals involved here are doing their best to reach out to each other and make the most of the time they have left.

~ Bel

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