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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Review: Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers


Release Date: December 21, 2010
Publisher: St.Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Realistic/Contemporary Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 230
Source: Bought

Blurb (from courtneysummers.ca)

When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on… but are some questions better left unanswered?

The Quickie Review

Eddie’s father has committed suicide and the grief of it is consuming her, swallowing her whole, she cannot continue with her life until she discovers an answer to a question she may never find, the question being why? Why did he commit suicide when he had a seemingly perfect life? Was it because of Eddie or her mother, did they disappoint him in some way? Was it because he lost the passion he had for his work? Now Eddie’s whole life is all about finding an answer to this question even if it means distancing herself from her best friend and mother in order to join a man, Culler Evans, she barely knows who is helping her find the answers she so desperately wants, but can Eddie really trust Culler, is he genuine or does he have ulterior motives? Fall for Anything is an amazingly powerful novel which describes in such raw and honest language how the suicide of a love one can affect a family.

You simply cannot read Fall for Anything and forget about it, it stays with you well after finishing it, it’s a novel which gets under your skin and makes you think and really question things. Whilst these novels are not for everyone, as the subject matter is quite depressing, for me these are the best kind of novels. If this sounds like something you’d like you definitely should read this novel it’s, to put it simply, amazing, I just adored it.

The Full Blown Review

Eddie Reeves life has basically stopped, her whole life is consumed by finding out why her seemingly happy and loving father, Seth Reeves, committed suicide. But finding out why he committed suicide is not an easy task after all how do you get answers from a dead man? But trying to figure out why her father committed suicide brings up things Eddie never thought she would have questioned like whether or not she really knew her father at all? Who exactly was he to do this and how could he do this to Eddie and her mum if he really loved them. To Eddie it’s like her father had this whole other life he kept separate from Eddie and her mother. Whilst Eddie is going through this emotional turmoil Culler Evans, Seth Reeves’s student, enters Eddie’s world. Suddenly Eddie is not alone in her grief someone else appears to be just as concerned as Eddie is at trying to discover why he committed suicide. He also appears to know more about Seth Reeves’s other life which Eddie has no idea about. Now with Culler in the picture it’s more important than ever for Eddie to find out why he committed suicide even if it means distancing herself from her best friend Milo and her mother, who seems to be just a shell of the person she used to be before her husbands death. Whilst each step taken with Culler seems to bring Eddie closer to the answer she so desperately wants, is she really ready for the answer?

I don’t know where to really begin this review as I don’t believe I can give this book the justice it deserves, I was simply blow away by how emotional and confronting this book was for me. Part of the reason I was so emotional over it was probably because the day I started this book I went to a funeral for an old friend from primary school whose father passed away unexpectedly and I saw with my own eyes how it affected everyone, there are no words to describe how sad it was. So before I even started the book I was already thinking about death especially when it comes unexpectedly as is the case for both the book and my old friends father.

When describing grief and loss, words seem so inadequate, how do you put someone’s grief into words? It is so difficult and subjective, yet Summers’ does it brilliantly. It is because of this I adore Summers’ writing style there is something so raw and honest about it, Eddie’s grief was so palpable throughout the entire novel and the way it was written I could understand and feel her grief, it made me want to cry for her and give her a big hug whilst telling her it’s going to be ok.

Death especially suicide as well as how people deal with their grief is still often treated as a taboo subject and is not often discussed, but when it is it must be handled with care and Summers’ achieves this. She never sensationalizes the suicide or the grief the characters are going through. It is a realistic novel with each character showing grief that individuals would actually show with Eddie fixated to the point of obsession on trying to figure out the why of her father’s suicide, Eddie’s mother’s complete breakdown with the loss of her husband and Milo’s refusal to discuss what exactly happened that night.

Eddie was such an emotionally damaged character, it was so depressing reading from her point of view. The only way Eddie found she could deal with her grief over her fathers loss was to find out why he did what he did which became an obsession. To me Eddie seemed like she was shell, she was going through the motions of everyday life but nothing was getting through, all she cared about or thought about was her fathers suicide and discovering why. Her father’s suicide encroached on every facet of her life even her friendship with her best friend Milo who found Eddie the night of her fathers suicide but won’t tell her what happened on that night which frustrates Eddie no end, she cannot understand why he won’t tell her what happened. In order to help her come to terms with his suicide Eddie separated the two facets of her father’s life into 1) the loving and kind father Eddie knew and loved with all her heart who would never kill himself and 2) the famous photographer and the person she knew nothing about. It is this person that Eddie wants to discover more about in order to find out why he committed suicide because she simply cannot comprehend her father committing suicide due to his life with Eddie and her mother whereas there must be something in his other life that left him suicidal. However, soon Eddie starts to question this line of thought, perhaps it was his home life, and more specifically Eddie, that caused his suicide.

Now we get to Culler Evans, Seth Reeves’s student, he was an interesting character and after finishing the book I definitely have strong feelings about him however I am not going to say which way those feelings lean (I either really love him or really despise him) as I don’t want to give away the plot of the novel, you’ll just have to read the book in order to find out what I feel about him as I’m sure you’ll feel the same way as I do. My feelings aside I did have an issue with Culler (which continued throughout most of the book), I was never really sure Eddie could trust him even when he appeared to be helping her I was still suspicious of his motives, I mean yes he wants to find out why Seth Reeves committed suicide just like Eddie but still what’s a 21 year old man hanging around a 17 year old high school student for, it’s a bit creepy.

Milo (l absolutely love the name) was another interesting character who had real depth to him and FYI he’s pretty swoon worthy and oh heck I’m going to say it I wanted Eddie to end up with Milo. Both Eddie and Milo were so close before the suicide but now things are strained partly due to Milo’s refusal to tell Eddie what happened on the night of her father’s suicide. Throughout the novel Eddie was always asking Milo to tell her what happened on that night but Milo kept on refusing to talk about it which frustrated Eddie and I have to say me as well, by the end of the book I was so desperate to find out why he wouldn’t tell Eddie what happened. Finally when he does tell Eddie the answer it is so emotional and shows how much he loves and cares for Eddie whilst also indicating that Eddie and her mother were not the only people emotionally affected by the events of that night, Milo was as well, he just had a different way of coping with his grief.

In the end Eddie doesn’t get the answer she’s searching for but I don’t think anybody that’s left behind when someone they love dearly commits suicide can ever understand the why of it because those committing suicide are in a totally different frame of mind which is incomprehensible to everyone but them. All you can really do is acknowledge that it happened and hope they have finally found the peace they failed to find in their life. Whilst the reasons for suicide are often uncertain what is certain, which is conveyed perfectly in this novel, is that suicide tears families apart.

Whilst the subject matter is not easy (I found it quite confronting at times) Fall for Anything is such a beautiful novel about grief and how suicide leaves such a lasting effect. I feel like there is so much more I could say about this book but I’m going to leave it there, if you want more you’ll just have to read this book, trust me you’ll love it.

Rating

5 out of 5

Goodies

* Fall for Anything Trailer



* Watch James from Book Chic Club read the sixth chapter as part of his Fragment Friday meme



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About Me

Romy @ Lost.in.Stories
Greetings fellow blog readers, welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by. Now you may be wondering who is lost.in.stories? Well lost.in.stories is also known as Romy, a 23 year old graduate student from Australia who loves to read. I read (maybe devour would be a more appropriate word) largely young adult novels, with a particular love of fantasy and paranormal novels, however I am also a sucker for a good romance.
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