Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts
Release Date - September 17, 2013
Publisher Website -  Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  384 pages
My Rating - 2.5/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
The end of the world is imminent. What would you do? How would you want to spend those final days? Would you ever be able to prepare yourself for something like that?The focus is on the potential end of the world, rather than the aftermath. It's a unique perspective, and one that deserves to be explored. This incredible sounding premise leaves much to explore in this novel, but ultimately left me wanting more from it.

This entire premise practically begs for it to leave me in tears. I should be having massive bouts of feelings while reading this novel. Instead, I felt distant from the characters. I wasn't invested in them, and therefore the threat to them didn't hit me the way it should.

Alexandra Coutts writing itself wasn't an issue for me. I did however feel the novel lacked a sense of urgency that should have been there. The pacing was rather slow. If this had been used to really make the characters resonate it might have been more effective. Instead the plot felt drawn out. I felt the central storylines took longer than needed to unravel, with little payoff. The muted tone of the novel against such an extreme backdrop left it feeling disjointed.

The characters all had a similar tone, and voice. It's told in three different perspectives, but they all sort of blended together. Nothing capture me about any one of them particular. Their motivations and the whys behind their actions were something I didn't feel came through. The actions felt muted and underwhelming for what was happening. Perhaps I wanted to see more hysteria, and panic. The whole world is about to be devastated and everyone seems to be numb. It's that sense of urgency, and emotion that was missing. It's what would have cemented the story as something gripping. I wanted to feel the unease with the characters, but never saw that they felt it themselves.

The ending packs a bittersweet emotional, and subtly beautiful punch that I wanted from the rest of the novel. The characters were finally connecting with me, but it was too late. I saw a lot of promise in that ending, and it made me long for what might have been if the story had been fleshed out a little more.

A novel that I wanted to feel something from, but ultimately left me feeling disinterested. It was a book that, for me, didn't quite live up to the phenomenal sounding premise. A novel that could have been powerful, but instead felt rather underwhelming.

1 comment:

  1. My thoughts exactly, Kathy!
    I started reading this book with such great expectations and high hopes, expecting to be blown away and left gutted and howling. And there was just nothing there.. Such emptiness and meaninglessness. It's like they were all on crack. Were was the urgency, where the desire to do something meaningful before they die, where the burning desperation, screaming at the sky and blaming everyone and everything for what's about to happen?! It was probably the biggest disappointment of the year for me (because I expected so much from this one) and my first DNF. How sad!

    Great review :)


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