Tumble & Fall | Alexandra Coutts | Book Review

This is kind of a weird thing to feel guilty about, but in a tide of people who really strongly disliked, maybe even hated Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts, I feel so awkward admitting that hey I DID NOT HATE THIS BOOK. Like, what is wrong with me that I feel so different from the meh majority opinion. I do know that I have some pretty weird quirks or tendencies, so when something hits one of my quirks, I feel more of an affinity to it. For instance, Tumble & Fall opens with an epigraph that are song lyrics from ‘Stand By Me’ – specifically “if the sky that we look upon should tumble and fall all the mountains should crumble to the sea, I won’t cry, I won’t cry No I won’t shed a tear just as long as you stand, stand by me.” Guys, I love that song. I think we sang it in middle school chorus or something and so, when song lyrics like these trigger something in my memory, I know that I already feel that affinity connection and am going to look at the book more kindly. Also, the whole time while reading, I had the song stuck in my head which I would not consider to be a bad thing.

Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts | Good Books And Good Wine

The asteroid Persephone is on a collision course with Earth and everyone knows it is the end. Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts explores how three separate teens take their last days on Earth and use them to wrap up loose ends within their lives. The book alternates chapters between the three teenagers and well, there is very little crossover between their stories. I think the one thing they all really have in common is that they live on the same island. Also, they are all experiencing the impending end of the world. Anyways, I guess I will break down the teens a little bit more, since at this point you get the gist of how the plot works.

Sienna is back on the island with her dad and his girlfriend. I think her mom died young, it’s been awhile. Anyways, Sienna is really resisting her dad’s impending nuptials, so much so that she ends up running away with this guy that she used to have a crush on. It’s kind of illogical I guess. Only, Sienna realizes in her heart that she needs to come back and be with her family. And that is her story in a nutshell.

Zan, or Suzanne, is mourning her boyfriend Leo who died in a car accident. Anyways, she finds something that he has left behind which leads her on this sort of hunt with her deaceased boyfriend’s best friend. Along the way she discovers some hard truths, and again the value of family and such. Hmmm, come to think of it, these stories really do explore the value of family in a neat way. OH and Zan’s parents are like these artists and kind of really ritzy. Her dad is busy making a machine that dispenses something cool in the midst of doom and all. Anyways. Her story takes us all the way from the island to Boston.

Caden is the sole male narrator. He lives in a pretty messy situation. His mom is a drunk. His sister works hard to support them all. Anyways, one day Caden’s dad shows up and well, he is rich and powerful. However, his dad is also super abusive. There might be a scene in his chapters with ladies of the night. All I will say is that honestly, I wasn’t that heated up about it because let’s be real, if the world is about to end, you might want to get laid if you are still a virgin. Whatever. Again, I’m not getting heated. This is another story where the value of family is celebrated as well.

Tumble & Fall is told in weird present tense and what I think is second person, but I don’t know exactly. The writing and pacing just felt off for most of the book. HOWEVER, I did get caught up in the stories of the three characters, even though I never felt all that connected to them. I also loved the mood, this book was so heavy and solemn and ya know made me think about what would happen if it truly was the end. Speaking of the ending, I thought it was absolutely beautiful – I loved the imagery and the idea of forgiveness and letting things go.

So, I am torn, I was blah about a lot of things, but I just really, genuinely liked how Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts ended.

Disclosure: Review Copy Provided By Publisher

Other reviews of Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts:

Alexa Loves Books – “lovely, thoughtful and simply told
Writer Of Wrongs – “Blah characters, no plot, and wretched world-building
What Danielle Did Next – “a book that echoes back to a simpler time in people’s lives

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Well, now you have me curious as to how it ended because…big asteroid? The end of the world? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to go?

  2. It’s always a bit awkward when you don’t agree with the majority on a particular book, which has happened to me as well. It makes me wonder if maybe I missed something critical or maybe I’m just too stupid to get it (or not get it). But then I remember that this is the beauty of books and this is why reading is SO important. Because everyone can take away something a little different. There is no right or wrong way to read OR enjoy a story. And remember that what holds meaning to one person won’t always jive in the same way with another. So while the masses might not have enjoyed this one, I think it’s a lovely thing that you found something special in it, small as that something may be. It’s really nice to see the other side of the coin on this one, especially because the concept is so intriguing.

    • Yeah, like I feel like the odd girl out. And you know sometimes when EVERYONE hates a book it’s like, hmmmm, am I weird or uncool because I felt differently?

      You are so right, I love what you say about the beauty of books, we all read things differently and bring different perspectives to the table.

      For me, there were bits that were special. Was this my favorite book? No. But, I liked certain aspects. I liked how calm this book was, but I could see where some people went in expecting romance, fireworks and action and got all disappointed.

  3. It sincerely makes me glad that I wasn’t the only person who liked Tumble & Fall! It wasn’t a perfect book, by any means. But there was something utterly compelling about following these three teens as they lived out what was possibly their last few days on earth. It definitely made me think about what I’d do in their place, which added a surprisingly strong aspect to my reading experience.

    • Right? That is where the appeal to me lie, in what I would do in their place. I also just really liked how the stories came together and how peaceful the ending was. I can get why people didn’t.

      Glad I am not alone in this feeling!

  4. I actually enjoyed this one too. It was oddly suspenseful and the narration was very intimate.

  5. Hmm. Well this book isn’t really on my to-read-list. It just doesn’t look like my kind of book. But I know what you mean when you kind of like a book that a lot of other people aren’t impressed with.

    In fact, I just read How To Train Your Dragon and really liked it. But I just read a review by another blogger who didn’t like it at all. I mean, there are lots of people that do like the book, but when you read a review by a blogger you tend to rely on a lot . . . well, it makes me feel like I’m just a little different from everyone else.

    Anyway, yay for surprisingly liking a book, right?

    • That’s totally cool to not add this to your TBR, it definitely is not the book for everyone that is for sure.

      YES! I kind of have to remind myself that people feel different things and that’s cool and there’s nothing wrong with being different.

      BIG YAY, because it’s nice to go into a book and come out liking it unexpectedly.

  6. This sounds excellent–not meh. And I’m glad I read your review, because I somehow missed this before. Thanks!

  7. Sounds like a really good story. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Also, how sweet is that cover? Great review!

  8. Candice @ The Grown-Up YA says

    I’m with you on this one. I didn’t hate it or dislike it at all. I thought each characters story was unique and enjoyed seeing how they dealt with the end of the world. I think I was just let down by it because it wasn’t what I was expecting. Not in a bad way, just in a disappointing way. Glad you’re in the minority who enjoyed it!

  9. Okay, so I actually didn’t think T&F was terrible. I DID DNF, but I didn’t hate what I read. I was mostly just meh about it, because I could not keep the three characters straight for the life of me and it was REALLY long and I was trying to get through the stack of BEA books, so I was just like eh no best not.

    BUT I am now very curious about the ending. Maybe I need someone to spoil it for me. Lol.