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Tumble & Fall Hardcover – September 17, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374378614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374378615
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #884,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–If you knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the world would end in a week, what would you do, where would you go, who would you forgive? Scientists in the 1800s began tracking the asteroid Persephone and discovered that with each century, its orbit was getting closer to Earth.  Now, in spite of efforts made to send missiles into space to move it out of its destructive intersection with Earth, the impact is only a week away. Three teenagers spend their last week discovering their pasts, coming to terms with the present, and preparing for the future, or the possibility that they won't have one at all. Apocalyptic stories are all the rage these days, but this one stands out. There are no zombies, no deadly diseases, nothing to fight, and no way to win. Coutts has written a memorable novel filled with hope, love, absolution, and courage in the face of almost certain death. It will inspire readers to consider their own mortality and the profound impact they have on those who love them. It will have particular appeal to fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer's “Life As We Knew It” series (Houghton).–Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AKα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Taking a title cue from the music standard “Stand by Me,” Coutts intertwines the story of three teens from the same summer island resort as they, and the rest of the planet, stare down the end of the world. As an asteroid named Persephone hurtles toward earth, Sienna returns home from “the House,” a rehab facility she entered after a suicide attempt, just in time for her widowed father’s wedding. Elsewhere, Zan struggles to cope with the death of her beloved boyfriend 10 months prior, and Caden finds himself confronted by his long-lost father. These are stories of forgiveness, family, and—ultimately—community. Coutts’ approach to the end times is almost Zen-like in delivery; there are no scenes of rioting, looting, or chaos. Instead, readers are shown a world resigned and ready to make peace, bound together by appreciation for the time left. Amid all the gritty, revolution-ready YA dystopian fiction, this refreshing debut looks to the period just before and finds a wonderful coming together buoyed by the decency of humanity. Grades 9-12. --Courtney Jones

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Tumble&Fall is a love story: love of friends, family,place.
maria j krokidas
You feel for the characters, because the author is a great craftsperson weaving a real story /narrative and you're living it with her and the characters.
Robert M. Koretsky
The pacing was a little slow for me and I struggled a little to finish the book.
Dark Faerie Tales

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By maria j krokidas on September 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Tumble&Fall is a love story: love of friends, family,place. Although there is in the background an unimaginable event looming, this is a story of young people reaching out to what is truly important in their lives: family and friends. I wonder if adults would be this thoughtful and careful to protect what is truly important. Each of the three main characters brings you into their lives; you care about them and want them to succeed in their searches. there is a sense of peace and fulfillment as the story ends. what a wonderful image of how we might all face such an end. thank you for such a caring and beautifully told story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Rogers ClarkIV on October 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book uses one of the more interesting premises I've encountered recently. Three teens with a connection to the same Massachusetts island, tell their stories in alternating chapters. They're all facing the unthinkable. In six days, Earth will be hit by an asteroid large enough to do serious damage, maybe even destroy all life. Sienna starts off when her father picks her up at the group home she's been living in since a serious suicide attempt. They're heading, along with her younger brother, to spend the final days at the summer place they rented for years. What Sienna doesn't know until they get on the ferry is that her dad has met someone new and is going to marry her the day before the collision. Sienna has a real hard time with this because her suicide attempt was heavily influenced by grief and the fear that she's following in her mother's footsteps. Mom killed herself when mental illness became too much to bear.
Zan is stuck in deep grief and has been ever since her boyfriend Leo died in a car crash the previous year. She gets by, reading and re-reading the stack of books he gave/left her and maintains what little sanity she has left by being a good daughter for her over-committed and rigid mother as well as talking to Leo from her secret spot overlooking the beach where she used to watch him surf. She's also still hurting from the loss of her older sister, Joni, who left years ago because she was feeling smothered by her mother's unreal and rigid expectations. When she finds a receipt with a girl's name and a phone # tucked in the last book, her whole life starts turning upside down. Leo's best friend, Nick tells her that he lied the night Leo was killed. Everyone thought he had asked Leo to get parts for him, but Leo was the one with a secret errand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marango on September 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I loved this book! It was a great story beautifully told and pretty to close to reality should such an event ever happen. Very real. Thank you Ms. Coutts!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dangle413 on September 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I LOVED this book! I couldn't put it down, I loved the characters so much. Unlike so many other books I've read recently, the characters in Tumble and Fall are fully realized and relatable--not just cookie-cutter teenage archetypes. I loved the way the story lines of the three main characters are woven together--Each plot line has an element of mystery and I kept wondering what was going to happen next, and how everything was going to unfold. The ending did not disappoint!

Alexandra Coutts is an amazing writer! I found myself totally absorbed in the world she created on the island, and felt like I knew the characters so well. The epilogue is so beautifully written that I actually cried! I didn't want the book (or the world!) to end.

I highly recommend this book!
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Format: Hardcover
I picked this book off the shelf at the library based on the description of the book jacket. The description of the plot on the jacket is purposefully enigmatic: it mentions an asteroid is set to hit the earth and there are intertwining stories of "love, friendship, and family". What the heck, I'll give it a shot, and it goes into the canvas bookbag. Once I scanned it into GoodReads at home, I saw that people fell into two primary camps: those who did not finish the book because of immense loathing for the plot or writing style and those who gave it a mediocre review for the good stories in spite of its flaws.

After finishing the book, I will say that it has a lot of flaws. Firstly, it is written entirely in the third person, even though each chapter follows one of our three protagonists, Sienna, Zan, and Caden. The combination of the switching viewpoints but the passive narration takes a few chapters to get everyone's names and stories straight, mucking up what might have been time devoted to bonding with the characters more fully.

Secondly, both the approaching asteroid and the ending of the book feel artificial; tacked on. You could change the asteroid to a tsunami, a plague, or anything else and it would be just the same. These stories read like three short stories that decided at the last minute to come together and be a novel. The stories in and of themselves are good; really good. They navigate through raw grief, through mental illness, through shoddy coping mechanisms and the messiness of real human relationships. Each story reads like a fairytale, just a little too larger than life; a little too much shooting from the hip on decisions for it to be real.
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