Review: Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts
Author: Alexandra Coutts
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan
Publication Date: September 17, 2013
Format/Source: ARC/BEA, From Publisher
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. (Cover photo and synopsis from Goodreads.)
I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for Tumble & Fall on Goodreads, but I really liked it. I love the idea of this book: an asteroid is on its way to Earth, and the story follows three different teens and their friends and families as they prepare emotionally for what could be the end of everything they’ve ever known. It’s kind of pre-apocalyptic, but it’s more contemporary than anything. These teens are struggling with not only their impending doom, but also the highs and lows of family and friendship and love, and the question of how they want to spend the rest of their time on Earth.
There were some things in this book that I know some people found offensive. I won’t go into specifics because of spoilers, but I just want to say that I felt like one such event in the book, while controversial, seemed very realistic to me. It fit with the character, and it seemed likely that this character, when faced with such a catastrophic event, would act accordingly.
Others might have found the writing style jarring, and while it was a bit hard to get used to, I think that the present-tense made sense for the story. It kind of put you into the story, as if all these things were happening in real time, that the asteroid was actually on its way as you were reading.
And others also seemed to have a bit of a hard time relating to all of the main characters’ stories, but I liked all of the storylines. I think it was interesting to see how these different characters with different backgrounds and home lives would spend their last week alive, and how their lives intertwined with each other and all the other residents living near them.
I wrote down quite a few nice lines from Tumble & Fall, but here are a few of my favorites*: