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TUMBLE & FALL by Alexandra Coutts


by Alexandra Coutts

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-374-37861-5
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

As a mile-wide asteroid hurtles toward Earth, Coutts (Wishful Thinking, 2011) takes readers to an island off the coast of Massachusetts, where three courageous teens make the most of what little time they have left.

A suicide survivor searches for a place to belong. A young man confronts the father he never knew and questions the true meaning of family. And a broken-hearted young woman journeys in search of truth and forgiveness. While there are moments of overlap, the teens’ individual stories form the backbone and the heart of this book. Despite this compelling premise, the novel isn’t without a blemish or two. Sections of the story drag (which is both surprising and frustrating, given the apocalyptic nature of the plot), and while readers will likely suspend disbelief to a point, there are moments where it is impossible not to question how these teens can be so calm and self-possessed with only days left to live. That said, this is a well-crafted story with compelling characters that will appeal to a wide variety of readers. But what makes it truly special is that, despite its premise, this book manages to be more about beginnings than the inevitable end.

In the iconic words of R.E.M., “It’s the end of the world as we know it,” and this smart, surprisingly feel-good, end-of-days novel is indeed…fine.

(Fiction. 14 & up)