11 September 2013

Review: Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

Expected Publication: 17 September 2013 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (BYR)

Pages: 384 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Apocalyptic

Source: Publisher for review

Synopsis

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. 

My Thoughts

The reason I so desperately wanted Tumble & Fall is simple - the cover and, in part, the synopsis immediately made me think of Armageddon, and I freaking love that movie.  Yes it's cheesy and cliched, but every time it comes on TV I watch it and get all sniffy at the end.

 The book itself is not like Armageddon, apart from the fact an asteroid is heading towards earth, but I wasn't disappointed.   Told through the risky medium of multiple-POV's, Alexandra Coutts has struck the perfect balance of beautiful, emotional writing with characters that feel incredibly real.

All three main characters, Sienna, Caden and Zan, are completely different from each other, so I was never confused about who was telling a particular part of the story - their voices are strong and individual, and their stories are most definitely their own.  There is a little interaction between the three towards the end of the book, but for the most part these are three standalone stories.  Often in multiple POVs I find myself rushing through at least one particular perspective because I like it less than the others, but this wasn't the case with Tumble & Fall.

This book could have been riddled with cliches, and although there is a little bit of insta-love for one of the characters, it didn't have that horrible unrealistic feeling - it suited the story and the situation and felt real and possible.

However, if you pick up Tumble & Fall looking for a action-packed, disaster-riddled post-apocalyptic story, you will be a little disappointed.  Although there is talk of the asteroid and a few glimpses of what the world is doing to fight back or prepare, the main focus of this book is the characters, and the way that they interact with their friends and family as the end draws closer.  None of this however, took away my enjoyment of this book - I loved getting to know the characters and see them come to realisations about themselves, their families and their relationships.

In the middle of an avalanche of post-apocalyptic and dystopian books that seem to sacrifice characterisation for action and world-building, Tumble & Fall stands out as a book that has fabulous characters, realistic situations and a real emotional punch.


7 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear you loved this book! It might be too contemporary for me though...
    The cover is indeed gorgeous! And now after your mention of Armaggedon, I must go an listen to the song...

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  2. Wow finally a good review for this one. After all the one-star/DNF's I had written this one off but you are definitely making me second guess that. Happy that this contemporary worked for you, Kat!

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  3. This sounds like my kind of book! As much as I love action-y sci-fi, I adore novels that take the speculative fiction plot elements and turn them into social/personal reflections even more. I'm also super-glad to hear that this novel ignores a lot of cliches!

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  4. This sounds like my kind of book! As much as I love action-y sci-fi, I adore novels that take the speculative fiction plot elements and turn them into social/personal reflections even more. I'm also super-glad to hear that this novel ignores a lot of cliches!

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  5. Wow, this one sounds wonderful! I didn't know what it was about, but I fell in love with the cover. Lol.

    Great review, Kat!

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  6. I really wanted to reas this and had a NetGalley copy but it was an annoying no-Kindle option one. So think my PDF has expired now as hate reading on my iPad. Hopefullly it will come out in the UK.

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  7. You're right about one thing, Kat --- that cover is stunning and I do enjoy books that have very well written characters. Like you, in stories with multiple POV's, I tend to enjoy one or two more so than the others. It's a rarity to find a book where all POV's are equally enjoyable.

    What I'd really like to know is if the story takes us up until the point of impact. It doesn't sound like it's that kind of book, but that's what would really hook me here.

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