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Fall for Anything


Fall for Anything

Being 17 isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. But when your loving, kind and apparently happy father suddenly commits suicide, it’s next to impossible.

Which is exactly what happens to Eddie Reeves. The only daughter of a once-famous photographer, Eddie used to be just an average teenage girl, who tried to make the best of life in the hopelessly boring town her dad had chosen to retire to. She went to parties, hung out at the local diner, and ate cheese fries with Milo, her best friend since second grade. Her father’s exile had been self-imposed. After making his mark upon the world, Seth Reeves had voluntarily walked away from everything and, still inspired, continued to make art for himself for the next 30-some years. 

When he jumped off a warehouse roof one night, it came as a complete shock to everyone, especially Eddie’s mom. Since then, she hasn’t worn anything except her husband’s old housecoat, and now her best friend, Beth --- who thinks that vitamins, slime-green smoothies and positive energy can solve everything --- has moved in to “help out,” making Eddie’s life almost unbearable. Because not only is Beth a total nightmare, no one --- not even Milo --- can understand that, more than anything else in the world, Eddie just needs to know why her dad decided he didn’t want to be alive anymore.

In the hope of finding an answer, Eddie starts haunting the scene of her father’s death. But instead she meets Culler Evans, a mysterious and talented photographer Seth had taken on as a student. Culler wants the same thing Eddie does --- and apparently just as badly. Sparks fly as the two are instantly drawn to each other, and since her dad’s art is the one thing Eddie knows absolutely nothing about, it seems like there’s a solid chance Culler might actually be her savior. After all, he’s the only person who takes her seriously, and Milo won’t even tell about what happened the night her father died.

So when a disappointing trip to clean out her dad’s studio reveals a string of clues that might unravel the mystery of his suicide, a vulnerable and increasingly desperate Eddie becomes convinced that Culler is, in fact, the only one who can help her. But there’s more to Culler Evans than meets the eye, and whatever answers are out there for Eddie, they might be better left alone. Their subsequent journey together through Middle-of-Nowhere America will keep readers turning the pages --- and make them as desperate to find out why Eddie’s father killed himself as she is.

FALL FOR ANYTHING is definitely riveting, but not in the conventional sense of the word --- which is why it’s probably the first young adult novel to keep me completely immobilized for an entire day since Harry Potter. Unlike a lot of the YA lit I’ve read recently, this book isn’t really about the plot --- or at least the plot isn’t what makes it altogether impossible to put down. Although the combination of Eddie’s relentless search for answers, the mounting tension between her and Milo, and her clear-cut chemistry with Culler Evans does make for a compelling and suspense-filled story, it’s not what made me park myself on a sofa for six hours and nearly cancel my Saturday night plans. It was the fact that Eddie’s voice is so powerful, so real and so utterly convincing that, by the end of the book, I had become almost as frantic as she was. Her pain became mine, and if she was in Courtney Summers’s hands, then for the time being, so was I.

The ending didn’t exactly offer the kind of consolation I’d been looking for, but that was fine with me. Although some readers might find that it lacks a sense of resolution, in my opinion, anything else would have undermined Eddie Reeves’s unbelievable integrity as a character. After everything Eddie has been through, her epiphany --- and the culmination of her unremitting quest --- is almost anticlimactic. But it’s also the most true-to-life scenario that Summers could have imagined, which is why I think it’s the ideal conclusion to this perfectly sincere portrait of a confused and grieving 17-year-old girl.

If you’re looking for a mindless distraction or a feel-good novel, FALL FOR ANYTHING isn’t going to be your best bet. But if you want a powerful and innovative book that tackles intense, real-life issues with a fresh voice and unflinching honesty, then it doesn’t get any better than this.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Bruce on December 21, 2010

Fall for Anything
by Courtney Summers

  • Publication Date: December 21, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • ISBN-10: 0312656734
  • ISBN-13: 9780312656737