Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of Macmillan
Eddie Reeves is still reeling from her father’s tragic suicide. In her grief, she is desperate to find out why he did such a horrific thing – he was a successful photographer, he had what Eddie thought to be a happy marriage with her mother, and he had Eddie: his wonderful daughter who loved him more than anything in the world. Why would he leave all the beauty the world has to offer for such an early death? While she’s exploring her father’s art studio one afternoon, she meets Culler Evans, a student of her father’s, someone who loved and respected him almost as much as Eddie had. She immediately begins to fall for him – not only is he mysterious and interesting to her, but he seems to know her father on a different level than she, and Eddie hopes he will give her some insight on why her dad did what he did. Her relationship with Culler begins to get very intense, very quickly, and Eddie must decide if she wants to explore the dark, uncharted waters of her father’s life.
Fall for Anything is intense with a capital I. The way Summers is able to create such an emotionally charged piece of fiction, the kind of book that makes the reader feel what the characters are feeling, is pretty amazing. This is one of the most heartbreaking books I’ve read in a while, and the raw emotion that is displayed on the page makes the novel almost impossible to put down.
Eddie is the kind of character that is impossible for the reader not to love. She is extremely scared, confused, and overwhelmingly sad – and as I stated, the reader feels these emotions right along with her. The situation she finds herself in overall really sucks – not only did her dad commit suicide, but her mom is barely able to function as she grieves, and her mom’s friend, Beth, who has moved in to take care of Eddie’s mom basically tells Eddie to get over her grief so she can focus on her mother’s. Beth as a character is someone I absolutely detested, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what adult with a brain in his/her head would think that a teenager doesn’t need to grieve over the loss of a parent. It was maddening to me. But it did cause me to feel even more connected to Eddie, and I felt more empathy for her situation, causing me to hope and pray that she would be okay eventually.
The conclusion to Fall for Anything was the right one, I think, for the story. Things will never be perfect for Eddie and her mom, and that is clear from the ending, but as a reader I was satisfied that their little family would get through the tragedy.
I can’t say enough praise about Courtney Summers. Now that I’ve read two of her novels, I can safely say that I am a fan of her work, and for young adult novels, she is an author not to be missed.