Sunday, 23 January 2011
Review: Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers
Unflinchingly honest and achingly sparse, Eddie's first-person narrative sees her revealing far more to the reader than she does to the people she's closest to. Her mother is so utterly devastated she's barely functioning, and her best friend Milo has his own reasons for finding it hard to talk about what happened the night that photographer Seth Reeves jumped to his death. Only her father's former student, Culler Evans, seems willing and able to help her - but with a growing attraction between them, Eddie seems to be headed in a dangerous direction.
Eddie is a character in the midst of an emotional retreat, consumed by her loss and her need to know why. We don't really get to know her much beyond her grief, but at this point in her life grief is the biggest part of her. With her memories of her father altered by his final act, Eddie herself isn't the person she was before. She's a question; she's confusion; she's the absence of what she previously knew to be true, and she won't get herself back until she knows what made her dad take his own life. A cast of vividly drawn and multifaceted secondary characters heighten our connection with Eddie; from sensitive and loyal Milo to blood-boilingly tactless friend of the family Beth.
While Courtney Summers takes readers to some dark places here, the focus on Eddie's hunt for clues prevents the story from ever becoming sentimental or self-indulgent. This isn't really a weepy novel; it's a compelling mystery, and as a reader you'll want to know why almost as much as Eddie does. In fact, it's impossible to read Fall For Anything without trying to piece the clues together and decipher the intention behind them, even when Eddie can't. It's a book that explores how much we really know the people we love, and the tangled relationship between art and truth.
Courtney Summers is a striking voice in contemporary Young Adult fiction, full of honesty and insight. Fall For Anything leaves you with the feeling that you have read something brave and lasting and true; and that you've lived through these chapters as well as read them. A must read.
Out: December 21st 2010, US
A huge thanks to the lovely Nomes from Inkcrush for running the fantastic giveaway in which I won my copy of this book.