Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts Review

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Title: Tumble & Fall
Author: Alexandra Coutts (Twitter)
Publisher: FSG BYR
Publish Date: September 17, 2013
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher:

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 world is on the brink of disaster. There is nothing that can be done, nothing that can be changed and three teens are forced to find a way to live their entire lives in their final days. Sienna's life has been non-stop drama, and for once in her life, she might just not want to die. Zan is still coming to terms with the fact that her boyfriend, Leo, is dead. But she's finally found a reason to live...at the end of days. Caden's about to be reintroduced to the father he's never really known. How do you live out your life when there's only 7 days left?

In a world where people are utterly fascinated by the possibility or probability of the end of days, Tumble & Fall leaps into a coveted place on the market. Offering readers a solid premise, a cover that should be envied by many a cover (and author) out there and talented writer at the helm, this book has all the makings of excellence. Alexandra Coutts has set the stage for a fantastic drama full of life, love and the desire to survive.

Now, before I go any further, I have to be honest and say that I actually debated even writing this review. However, as it was provided as a review copy, I feel the need to offer up to my readers some unblemished honesty. Tumble & Fall, despite having all the facets of an incredible story setup, simply did not work for me. We're given three distinct points of view - that of Sienna, Zan and Caden - and for the first time ever, I can honestly say that not one of them worked for me. Sienna was probably the most plausible of the three, as she's recovering from severe depression, but the utter flakiness and impulsiveness of her character was jarring. Plus, let's add in the fact that she's known her new love interest, Owen, for a very short period of time before she decides she's in love with him. Oh, and for the record, Owen is building an ark...which will totally not save them from an asteroid. I struggled with Zan's character because, while I can understand the depth of her loss and loneliness, her epic scavenger hunt to find some hidden message from her dead boyfriend as the world's ending just didn't seem remotely plausible to me. Caden's story, if possible, was by far the least plausible (or enjoyable) for me. His absent father returns at the end of time to abduct him and treat him to all the things they've missed out on? I can see that being accomplished without forcible abduction. Here's the thing, guys. The writing in Tumble & Fall is not bad. In fact, it's fluid and engaging. The story, however, lacks the same charm and quality as the writing, itself. I would expect far more urgency and drama in an end of the world scenario. Instead, we have this overwhelming sense of denial, and a lackluster sense of doom & gloom where everyone seems more keen to enjoy the beach then spend true, quality time together.

All in all, Tumble & Fall just didn't speak to me. I wish so badly that it did because it really did have all the makings of a good book, but it really fell flat. I hesitated reviewing it because I can't offer a good review, but I do encourage readers to make their own decisions regardless of my opinion. I give it a 2 out of 5, and this is appropriate for the YA crowd.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. Too bad about this one. Especially because the cover is so pretty - although it does not make me think pre-apocalypse. I hate it when characters are neither plausible nor likable.

  2. Phew, I'm glad I'm not the only one. I ran into the same problems as you did, Melissa---did not like any of the characters, and didn't seem realistic to me how everyone was acting considering there was an asteroid hurling toward the earth. I wanted to love this one...but sadly it ended up a DNF for me. It just didn't hold my interest at all.

  3. I haven't heard many good things about this one, despite its pretty cover, so I'm not surprised you struggled with it. It's definitely not for me, so thanks for your honesty, Melissa!

  4. I felt exactly the same way about this book Melissa, I was utterly disappointed as I was expecting so much going into this, but like you mentioned the world was coming to an end, but none of the characters actually acted like it was. I think I maybe enjoyed this a tad more than you, as I was able to connect with Zan's character, whereas the other pov's didn't work for me at all :( Thank you for your honest review! I hope your next read is a lot more enjoyable! :)

  5. You're not the only one. Every review I've read so far had the same trouble with this book. Such a shame, because I was expecting something completely different :(


  6. I don't see any point in me trying this book if I'm pretty darn certain that this book won't work for me. I hope your next read is way better, hun!

    Lovely honest review as always, Mel! <33

  7. MELISSA. I'm so behind on blog commenting but I wanted to see what you had to say about this one. I have the audiobook format of this one for review, so I'm interested in seeing how that compares to what everyone solidly feels about this one, which is basically the same way you feel, which is really disappointing because HELLO THAT IS ONE GORGEOUS COVER, YA KNOW? I want it to be a pretty book because it looks so gosh darn tootin pretty. I will give it a listen sometime soon and hope for something, something, something. Le sign.

  8. We discussed this one of course, but I had to come read your review:) It's such a shame that the writing is engaging, but the story has so many flaws and none of the individual POVs kept your interest or connected you to what was happening. Your thoughts seem to be on par with what majority of the reviews have said, and because of that I'm making peace with my decision not to pick it up even though I feel bad since I got a review copy. I loved reading your review though, you have a gift for stating your opinion without ripping the book apart completely!

  9. The cover is gorgeous, but this is the first review I've read about the book and I'm inclined to skip it. I've only been reading your blog for a short time, Melissa, but I've come to trust your reviews. I usually don't base my opinion of something on one or two reviews, but with so many books, sometimes you just have to say no.

  10. I think I have heard much of the same from many readers. I have it on my list. Not sure when or if I will get to it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  11. It's terrible that I snorted when you said Owen was building an arc. Nope, my dear, that's not gonna help against an asteroid. Unless it's an arc to the stars... I think I'd get frustrated with the implausible goings ons, too. A very interesting concept but not for me, I believe.

  12. You're not alone, Melissa! I wasn't a fan of this either, the story didn't make any sense to me, hence the DNF. After reading your review, I'm very glad I didn't continue the story because then I probably would've hated/strongly disliked it. Though I think this has one of the prettiest cover I've ever seen. Too bad the story didn't live up to it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

  13. I had a very similar reaction-it just did not come to life for me though I adore the cover (and expected an amazing tragic romance because of that.)


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