Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Book Review: Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers


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 Short Version:
Potent and intense, Fall for Anything puts a new spin on a post-suicide setting in this character driven story. There is a constant emotional pull that keeps the reader in Eddie’s pained mindset, and with plenty of unsuspected twists, there is a constant drive to keep the pages turning that rivals Eddie’s need to know the truth about her father’s decision. Summers’ stunning writing blends with a well developed cast of characters for an all around hit.

The Extended Version:
Eddie is a very dimension character, trying to not let herself classify things as Before and After while still doing it even unknowingly. Filled with pain at losing her father, Seth, and unable to cope with her mother’s depression, Eddie is grasping at things to make her understand. The depth of her confusion and pain comes through incredibly well, reminding the reader at the right times of how this situation must really feel. With no clues before her father’s suicide to even hint at his true feelings, Eddie is blindsided and struggling. She acts out in gentle ways, and her burning need for some of connection both to her father and just to someone who understands is such a driving part of this book.

Milo, her best friend, is hiding some secrets of his own and feeling the weight of Eddie’s sorrow. There is a clear change in their friendship, but even through Eddie’s eyes, Milo’s true personality comes through. He, too, is well created and developed, and goes through some impressive growth strides that rival Eddie’s. Though he makes mistakes, he is a very good friend, and very concerned for Eddie. In the brief moments of carefree friendship, their banter really shows how things used to be with the two before plummeting them and the reader back into the post-suicide state.

Culler is a very interesting character, holding a quiet intensity that dominates some scenes. A student of Eddie’s father, Culler has a passion for photography that helps create a more rounded picture of Seth. The way he views Seth is clear from the start, and the reasons Eddie all but latches onto him are heartbreaking to read but completely understandable. His real reasons and motives, however, aren’t clear, though this is often ignored even for the reader since Eddie doesn’t tend to pay mind to it, creating an interesting view of Culler as a whole.

The plot centers on Eddie’s need to find out why her father killed himself. There are some clear events that help push things along, but it always comes back to that central focus, and Summers does a fantastic job of maintaining that aspect. The best and worst of all her characters is shown, holding nothing back as they face unexpected events and try to come to terms with everything that’s happened. There are some very emotionally intense, written poignantly and lasting just long enough to drive the points home without lingering.

There are some very striking truths in this book, highlighting not only how it feels to be left behind but that maybe searching for the answers will only bring more pain. From testing friendships and family, to questioning where trust should be placed, several hard to face concepts are weaved together in such a seamless fashion. Summers’ writing is fantastic, giving a clear voice to Eddie and holding a very teenage element while still maintaining an emotional and intelligent air. The scene transitions are smooth, and even the changes within a chapter are easy to follow. Adding to the overall impact is how different Fall for Anything is, in tone, nature and play out, from either of Summer’s previous books, which really showcases her talent and ability.

Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for honest review
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (December 21, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312656734
ISBN-13: 978-0312656737


  1. Awesome review, Kari!! I really enjoyed this one as well.

  2. I just started this one last night. It's amazing how Courtney Summers can say so much with so few words. I adore her writing style.

  3. Well I was already convinced to buy this book by reading your top 5 of 2010... but this review makes me want it NOW! Thanks...great review.

  4. Oh yay, thanks for the review on this. I'm so anxious to read this book and after reading your review, I'm downright jealous that I don't have it yet. I'll pick it up with my B&N giftcards that I got for Christmas, woot!

  5. this sounds awesome...not the fact that she lost her father of course but emotionally.

    definitely going on the list!

    great review!