Courtney Summers Fall for Anything
230 pp. St. Martin’s Griffin 2010
Summary (From author’s website): 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?
Raw. Powerful. Brilliant. Those are the best words I can think of to describe Fall for Anything. I read this book for the Contemps Challenge, and I’m now embarrassed to say that this is the first book I’ve read by Courtney Summers. She has two other books– Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out! Reading Fall for Anything was intense and emotional, but I couldn’t turn away. I’m so impressed with her writing, I went out and bought her other two novels the day after I finished Fall for Anything. Trust me, if you haven’t read any of her books, you really need to change that.
Eddie’s story is absolutely tragic. Her father committed suicide without leaving much of a note or a reason. Her mother is practically catatonic, and her mother’s annoying friend Beth is staying with them. It’s horrible that Eddie is now fatherless, but what troubled me the most was that Eddie can’t turn to her mom. Her mother is incredibly fragile, so Eddie fears discussing anything related to her father. Beth is there trying to piece Eddie’s mom back together, but neither are there for Eddie. She is a teenage girl; someone needs to be there for her! How is she possibly supposed to deal with her father’s death if she can’t talk to her mom and doesn’t really feel comfortable opening up to anyone else? I will admit that I enjoyed Eddie’s reactions and responses to Beth. Most of the time Beth drove me nuts, so I laughed whenever Eddie would come back at her with an under-handed comment.
I fell for Eddie as soon as I started reading. She reminds me so much of a couple of my students, that I couldn’t help but connect with her. She’s frustrated and sad and angry and confused. She wants to connect more with her best friend Milo, but she’s lost the ability to do so. She’s told that she’s not positive enough to be around her mother, so she should leave. Eddie is alone. But she cares and loves and wants to feel. She needs support and needs to allow someone to support her. Even though Eddie struggles and falters throughout the story, you can’t help but hold out hope. It almost felt like I was her support. I knew somehow she’d make it through. I wanted to be there for her to vent. Again, she made me think of my students and that is what I’d be doing for them. Courtney Summers really knows how to reach her readers.
Honestly, there is so much I can say about Fall for Anything, but I already feel like I’m gushing too much. I’ve been searching for a “just right” contemps novel and this was it for me. Courtney’s writing is absolutely gripping; every word and sentence is written for maximum effect. Go buy this book.
If you’d like to see the trailer, go here for an earlier Book Trailer Thursday post.