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Fall to Pieces Hardcover – October 2, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Skyscape (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761462171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761462170
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,691,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This debut novel, written when the author was 18 years old, takes readers on an uncompromising journey through one girl’s grief over the suicide of her best friend. Seventeen-year-old Ella was with Amy the night she jumped to her death. But Ella cannot remember the events, and she feels her friends Mark and Petal are hiding something. The teens have started skipping classes to play Pick-Me-Ups, a game which involves jumping from dangerous heights and relishing the rush of the fall. Each time Ella jumps she is able to remember a little bit more. As seen through Ella’s eyes, Amy was a troubled girl who died inside long before her suicide made it official. Ella has her own issues and her development as a character—from rudderless and self-destructive to a more introspective, honest version of herself—is the greatest strength of this book. There are some devastating reveals throughout which keeps the story compelling without feeling overdone. Some may be turned off by the expletive-filled text, but anyone who sticks with Ella till the end will come away satisfied. — Kara Dean, Booklist Oct. 2012

About the Author

Vahini Naidoo was eighteen years old when Marshall Cavendish acquired this novel, her debut. She is currently a student at the Australian National University. In her spare time she holds down such glamorous jobs as checkout chick and English tutor. Someday Vahini would like to own a castle in Europe. For now she lives in Canberra, Australia. To learn more about the author, read her blog: www.ramblingsofawriter-inkspatters.blogspot.com

Customer Reviews

Her characters are too over the top and too unlikable.
It is marketed for readers 14 and up, but I honestly think it is a little too dark for younger teen readers, and would recommend readers be at least 16.
Tiffany A. Harkleroad
The author does a great job capturing that emotion too.
Tracy F.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ~Meg~ on March 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A lot of the negative reviews on this product are about the language, gloom, and unlikeable characters.
I don't really have a problem with any of those.

1. Language - yes there is quite a bit of cussing in the book but I did not find it overly excessive in any way. I don't shy away from curse words and when I was a teenager I'm pretty sure they were 80% of my vocabulary. Honestly, compared to how I used to talk the cursing in this book was mild. I didn't even notice it most the time because it just seemed to me, the way teenagers would be talking.

2. "Gloom" - There are a lot of negative situations in the book. I'm not sure what people expected when buying a book about a group of friends trying to deal with suicide. Skipping school, underage drinking, risky behavior, running away, smoking, issues with your family. Yeah, that just about sums up high school for me. I guess for people that had a good go of it in high school, this may seem disturbing. Personally I found it deliciously manic at times. While the repetition of words can get annoying I chose to look at it as another sign of Ella's mental decline. Her thoughts are often veering all over the place, impulsive, melodramatic, etc. Again - accurate to my experience of being a teenage girl.

3. Unlikeable characters - So Ella and her friends are 'mean girls.' Okay, no one likes a bully, I get it. But through her internal monologue you see that she doesn't always like herself for what she is doing, and that she puts up this shell to keep herself from getting hurt. While I'm sure they wouldn't make super fun friends to have in the context of the book, from Ella's mind, they're very human and understandable characters. So they don't always take the high road or make the best choices.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Runa VINE VOICE on January 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Wow, this book has a lot of negative reviews, and I'm not sure why. I actually liked this book. It took a while to get into, but was worth it for me. The top complaint seems to be the abundance of profanity, to which I say, have you ever been around teenagers? It's accurate. The other complaint I see is that it's 'melodramatic', which is just an insult to anyone who has lost a loved one. Melodramatic? Everyone deals with their grief in different ways, and the main character had just lost their best friend, to suicide, no less. She and her friends do and say things that are harmful to both themselves and others, but they are in severe pain, and by the end of the book, they learn to resolve their problems and face their grief in a much healthier way. For that development, I think this is a fantastic read and guide to managing unhealthy emotions in a turbulent time. My only complaint would probably be the fact that therapy was brushed off so quickly and so often as an option. Her best friend just died. Of course she should be in therapy. I'm always annoyed to see the already overwhelming stigma of mental health furthered in media, particularly a book addressing teen suicide. You know that many of the readers of such a book will be individuals who identify with the subject, and therapy can be extremely helpful and even lifesaving when a good therapist is found. Beyond that, the writing's not perfect, but the important ideas of pain and the freeing power of forgiveness are delivered wonderfully, and for that, I appreciate this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tracy F. VINE VOICE on December 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There's nothing I hated about Fall to Pieces. It's a good read, quite sad, but nothing more, nothing less than that. I think that's my biggest problem. Usually, I'm compelled to start and finish a great read in one sitting, and this one had me willing to put it down and return to it later, so I can't say it was a gripping read.

Ella, Mark, and Petal are desperately missing their friend, Amy. Amy jumped off a roof to her death, and the three are struggling with grief. Worse, Ella's blacked out and can't remember the details involving her best friend's suicide, and that bothers her even more. She's desperately trying to remember what led her friend to commit suicide and if they could have stopped her.

Since that tragic night, the trio have been playing a game called Pick Me Ups. This game involves jumping from high points, barn lofts, bridges, etc. and every time they play, Ella remembers a little more about the night. When she meets a new boy at school and involves him in their game, Ella realizes there's more to this mysterious "E," than any of them knew.

I'd heard a lot of people complaining about the language in this book. I, for one, didn't find it excessive, I found it pretty honest. I've been around enough teens running car pools, etc. to know that the ones who have emotional issues or problems at home usually do tend to mask some of their pain with language. Had the teens in this book not thrown out F-bombs from time to time, I would have found it a little less realistic. The language choices fit well with the characters.

The story is dark and pretty gloomy, but then teen angst, especially after a suicide, isn't filled with sunshine and rainbows. I remember when one of my brother's friends/classmates put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
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More About the Author

Vahini Naidoo is a student at the Australian National University where she studies Arts/Law. Like all stereotypical writers, she is majoring in English with a focus in creative writing. Vahini is a reader, dreamer and caffeine addict. She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. You can read her thoughts and musings on her blog and twitter.

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Fall to Pieces
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