by Courtney Summers
Released on 12.21.2010
From the author of Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are comes a gripping story about one girl’s search for clues into the mysterious death of her father.
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? (from GoodReads)
REVIEW: Have you ever had a delayed reaction to something? You don’t react when it actually happens, but later, the enormity of what has happened and the emotions you have because of it sort creep up behind you and hit you in the back. Not to your head, because you’re always conscious, but right to your spine, so you feel the hit.
That was my experience with Fall for Anything. When I finished it, I was like, “Yeah, good book: steady plot, interesting characters, good writing, some shocking moments at the exact right times. Yeah, solid read.” But I wasn’t emotionally attached. I just wasn’t – something didn’t click.
And then I started writing my review, and I was really surprised at the emotions that sneaked their hands around my waist from behind. And then I realized precisely how much I liked Eddie. And how much I wanted to absolutely punch almost everyone around her, including her catatonic mother. And then I would find her dad’s grave, dig him up, and punch him, too (hey, he left her in horrendous situation – completely pro-Eddie, here). We won’t talk about what I wanted to do to her mom’s best friend.
Wow, does that sound angry? Yeah, I was angry. What Eddie went through was bullshit, pure and simple. Unfortunately, it happens. In short, dad checked out permanently, mom was present but um, vacant, you could say, and mom’s unwelcome best friend (Beth) checked-in, but not for Eddie, the 17 year-old in this story. Oh no, she checked in for mummy WHO SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER!
Basically, everyone (save one person) abandoned Eddie in the book. And then Eddie’s grief high jacked her own better judgment and sense of clarity (thanks, daddy-o).
Excuse me why I go take friggin’ deep cleansing breath (I hate you, Beth).
Okay, good now – let’s get back to the basics then, shall we?
Right from the start, Eddie simply wasn’t a character I could pity. I actually think she’d be pretty pissed at me if I did. It got me thinking, “When did pity become a bad thing?” After all, it’s akin to sympathy, and feeling a heartfelt, emotional connection with someone isn’t usually a bad thing. I think pity is different because the word has developed this connotation of being a face value emotion. It’s like saying, “Oh, that’s such a shame. Well, call me next week – I have to fix dinner now.” Feeling pity for a character like Eddie would’ve been like leaving a casserole on her doorstep, but never actually being there for her. It’s thinking someone won’t be able to claw back to hope, and you're already looking at them like they’re washed up. Pity is too defeatist and shallow an emotion to offer up to someone who has been through a personal hell and just wants answers.
Eddie’s father has left her in a severe state of mental anguish with absolutely jack to hold onto. When we first meet Eddie, I don’t think she even knows how deep the pain runs – it’s literally to the point where she's numb, and she’s experiencing psychosomatic symptoms. If her mom was with it, maybe she could've have gotten Eddie into grief counseling, but that was a no-go. To make matters just peachy, her best friend has moved in to ***motivate*** her mom back to life – think a female version of Richard Simmons with a more militant attitude and less compassion, but she would completely whip out some jazz hands if she thought it would help Eddie’s mom. I could appreciate it, if she wasn’t so harsh towards Eddie.
Cherry that sundae of sadness with Culler. Yes, please do say that name with an italicized emphasis and disgusted sneer – out of the people who used Eddie and/or her mother’s loss for personal gain (although they lied to themselves and called it something else), this guy was the worse. He could’ve been a great, big brother type for her in a perfect world, or picked the road of aloof kindness, but life’s about decisions, no? And Mr. Artsy Photographer made his. He was the variable in this book, the what-if monkey wrench who turned into a. . . well, I won’t tell you what he did, obviously. Drop me a line when you find out and we’ll have a character roast.
I didn’t cry while reading this book. Like I said, there was a detachment there that kept me from really sinking in. But, if Eddie was real, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from checking on her at night, just like
Okay, now I’m tearing up a bit.
Yeah, I recommend this book.
I take a swig from
Milo’s flask and hand it back to him. He screws the top back on. He inherited the flash from his grandfather and stole the liquor from his mother. The circle of life.
I want to go into the sympathy card business. . . Forget sappy messages about overcoming. I want ones that say NOW YOU’LL BE A LESSER PERSON THAN YOU WERE or WE CANNOT POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND or I CAN UNDERSTAND BECAUSE SOMEONE I KNOW DIED TOO or maybe something about how grief can make your skin feel sore and bruised and electric because that’s how my skin has felt ever since, except for my hands.
I know some friendships can’t stand horrible things happening, no matter how strong you think they are. People will never lose the ability to surprise you. I read it on some Web site about how other people will react to your grief and these four words stuck with me:
Your constants may falter.
The man who did every stereotypical father cliché in the book and acted like he loved it. I don’t think of him anymore. I buried him. Now it’s like I’m looking for answers to a stranger’s death and I couldn’t even tell anyone why it’s so important to me, because this stranger didn't do anything for me. He never showed himself to me. . . “
If anyone else said that to me, I think I’d roll my eyes, but Culler saying it to me means me committing it to memory and locking it inside so I’ll always have it.