Review: Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

Title:  Tumble & Fall
Author:  Alexandra Coutts
Series:  None
Publisher:  Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan
Publication Date:  September 17, 2013
Pages:  372
Format/Source:  ARC/BEA, From Publisher
Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Contemporary, Science Fiction, 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. (Cover photo and synopsis from Goodreads.)

Mixed Reviews…

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.

Great Quotes…

I wrote down quite a few nice lines from Tumble & Fall, but here are a few of my favorites*:

“Val liked to say that depression has blinders, a physical barricade between a person and the things that once made her the most herself.”

“He imagines how they would look from space, two antlike figures shuffling sideways, lost in a blanket of green.”

“His body feels like a lie, a hologram, patched together from memories that aren’t really his.”

“Inside, the house feels different.
The big open rooms are dark and quiet, but there’s a lingering energy, like all of the furniture has been moved around and put back.”

My rating for Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts:

Four stars.  I think there could have been a bit more to the story, but overall I really enjoyed it.
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Macmillan
You may also enjoy:  Love is the Higher Law │ Monument 14

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way for this review.

*All quotes are from the ARC.  They may be different in the finalized version.


  1. Brandi Kosiner

    September 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I really enjoyed the premise and was more on the liked it side with you :)

  2. fakesteph

    September 20, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    The writing was my favorite part of this book and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    September 20, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I will be reviewing this book on my blog soon, but I didn't love it as much as you. I only found one of the character's story compelling, but I agree, the writing was good, I just wasn't as invested in all the characters as I should have been. Great review, and I'm glad that you liked it! I might link to you as a more enthusiastic review to the book! ;)

  4. Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

    September 21, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I'm so glad you liked it. I started to read it but had a hard time getting into it so I set it aside for now.

  5. Bittner

    November 4, 2013 at 5:15 am

    I feel like I have seen that cover before and thought it was beautiful! I'm glad you liked the book and it sounds really interesting…kind of reminds me of Deep Impact though. Is there a potential Elijah Wood character in it? Cause that could be good!

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