I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire
Published by Random House Publishing Group on 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Family, Friendship, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Pretty Little Liars meets Final Destination in this YA psychological thriller that will have readers' hearts racing right till the very end! Every year, the lives of ten girls at Vienna High are transformed. All because of the list. Kenzie Summerall can't imagine how she's been voted onto a list of the hottest girls in school, but when she lands at number five, her average life becomes dazzling. Doors open to the best parties, new friends surround her, the cutest jock in school is after her. This is the power of the list. If you're on it, your life changes. If you're on it this year? Your life ends.
It’s the season for scaring and thrills and chills, at least as far as my reading goes. I am so into thriller books right now, especially when those books are about serial killers. Roxanne St. Clair’s latest book, They All Fall Down contains tension and scary moments in spades. The jacket copy compares this book to the film Final Destination and y’all, I am totally going to have to agree. If you like the sort of book or movie where characters get knocked off one by one then I am almost 100% positive you will love reading They All Fall Down, so fans of Ten by Gretchen McNeil, take note this is the book for you.
When They All Fall Down opens, Kenzie is driving to get away from her mother’s stiffling, overprotective presence. She is President of the Latin Club and is desperate to go to the State Finals so that she can win a scholarship to Columbia to study Classics. Her life is normal by most standards. Kenzie’s phone begins to flood with texts. It turns out that she has been picked for The List, which is this ranking of the ten hottest looking girls in school. Kenzie places at number five and thus, all kinds of doors are opened to her. She’s invited to all kinds of parties and for once, boys start to notice her. Her best friend, Molly, could not be more thrilled for Kenzie’s new status, but honestly Kenzie is not that into being on the list.
So, Kenzie’s life begins to change as she finds herself becoming popular. However, it turns out that this whole being on the list is not all that is cracked up to be. You see, the girls on the list are dying one by one in order of their appearance on the list. Their deaths seem to be accidents, but Kenzie who is an A-student does not think this is the case. She thinks that there is something more sinister to the deaths, and so, despite the danger, Kenzie begins to investigate. HER LIFE MIGHT BE ON THE LINE THOUGH. Legit, if you like suspense, you will like Roxanne St. Clair’s They All Fall Down.
I think that Kenzie’s reactions and feelings about being on the list are kind of similar to what my feelings would be now, if I were in her position. The girl thinks the list and the responses to it are kind of ridiculous. In fact, there’s this meeting in the book with the list girls and Kenize can’t stop laughing because it goes into ridiculous mode. If you like sensible heroines, chances are you’ll like Kenzie. When she’s confronted with things like curses, she takes a rational approach. She writes the curse off and tries to find a more realistic solution to the deaths of the girls in the book. Also! ALSO! One thing I like about They All Fall Down is that Kenize often wants to do the sensible thing and go to the police about what is going on. Granted, she is talked out of it, but still, I love that she actually wants to do what the rest of us would do in her situation. Part of what made this book really work for me was a smart, relatable main character who wasn’t arrogant about her brains or being on the list.
Aside from all the dying going on in St. Clair’s They All Fall Down, there is some romance to lighten the mood. You could almost say that there is a hint of a love triangle, yet the heart wants what it wants. Initially Kenzie thinks that she’s into this really popular guy who she has liked since seventh grade, but the reality of him is just not for her. Rather, Kenzie falls for a guy who is totally bad news, but also a really good fit for her. Let’s just say that Kenzie is nonjudgmental and a fantastic girl and the romance actually makes sense, as you will see in the book. Oh, and yes, there’s definitely some kissing.
They All Fall Down is an eerie read chock full of suspense and big reveals. There are actual heart pounding moments as the story unfolds. I will admit to being kind of on edge and freaked out by parts of this book. However, it’s not completely scary. The main character is actually really well written. The book moves pretty quickly too, I read it in one day and would have read it way faster had twitter not exploded with things. Totally read this book if you are theme-ing your reading for Halloween.