Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers. Grades 9+. St. Martin's Griffin, December 2010. 230 pages. Reviewed from ARC provided by publisher.
Eddie's world was rocked when her art photographer father killed himself. Her mother is a complete wreck, so Eddie's not only dealing with her own grief but worry about her mom. Her best friend Milo is distracted by the arrival of his ex-girlfriend, back in town for the summer. All Eddie can think about is why?
She meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father's, and he's the one person who seems to get her grief and her need for answers. Together, they set out to decipher the clues left by Eddie's father's last photographs, but none of the answers will be easy.
I am so glad that Kelly made me read this book. ;) I haven't read any of Courtney Summers's other books, but you'd better believe I'm going to get my hands on them.
I was most impressed with the excellent writing. Courtney shows the reader everything that Eddie is feeling without having to come out and tell us. She manages to convey Eddie's emotions in the simplest sentences. I really sat up and took notice when Eddie was telling us about her best friend Milo, a boy she's known since the second grade. This is from page 9:
...By third grade, we weren't so outcast anymore, but we were beyond needing other people. We still are. Anyone else who happens on the both of us, they're just temps.
Like that girlfriend he had that one time.
That last sentence, so simple, is filled to the brim with Eddie's possessive love for Milo, her jealousy that he had a girlfriend, her hopes that Milo's done with that and back to being all hers, her dismissive feelings toward the girlfriend (saying it like she doesn't even remember her name. Oh, Eddie knows her name all right.)
And can I just tell you how much I love Milo? He's Eddie's constant, her rock. He'll always be there for her, even if there is a 14-hour drive away (one way!). And I will say without spoilers that a betrayal happens in this book and even though I had thought it might be coming, it still made me hold my breath when it finally came.
I will also say that, while there are hot boys and nice boys and attraction in this book, I don't know that I would call any of it romantic. Eddie's reaching out to try to feel something through the haze of her grief.
Fall for Anything is a powerful, accessible story about a girl dealing with her grief. Eddie's voice is spot-on and some of her observations made me laugh out loud, even as I was mourning for her loss. I would highly recommend this book to fans of books like Jennifer Brown's Hate List, Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, and Sarah Dessen's Just Listen.
Fall for Anything is on shelves now!