The title of Lindsay Ribar’s new novel was enough to make me want to read it. Add the awesome title to a matching cover, and I had to read it.
Lindsay Ribar’s Rocks Fall Everyone Dies
Penguin Random House, 2016
What It’s About:
Aspen Quick can reach into people and steal things from them — feelings, memories, parts of their personality. Each summer, he spends a month in upstate New York with his Aunt Holly and Grandmother. The three of them have to complete a ritual called a triad that helps fix the cliff. Aspen thinks that they have to fix the cliff’s faults to save the town of Three Peaks.
This summer is different, though. This time Aspen’s two best friends — Brandy and Theo — come along. Here’s the thing: Aspen has had a crush on Brandy for three years, well before she and Theo started to date. Aspen takes things into his own hands when he takes away Brandy’s feelings for Theo so he has a chance with her.
Things become complicated when Aspen meets Leah, a girl who is immune to the reaching ritual and who was once best friends with Aspen’s now dead cousin, Heather.
That’s when things start to change for Aspen, and turns his world upside down.
What I Thought:
I don’t usually read reviews before I read a book. Which, is ironic on so many levels, I know. But, I was browsing the GoodReads page for the book and skimmed through some of the reviews. One of the reviews talks about how Aspen is an asshole, essentially. And I was intrigued by that idea. However, as I was reading it, I realized something. He’s realistic. I mean, the way he acts, talks, and what he does is really true of a lot of seventeen year old guys out there. And I’m not stereotyping or generalizing, but it’s true. And it was actually a little refreshing that he wasn’t this ideal Boy Scout/Stand-Up-American-Teenager. He was filled with angst and violence, and wanted to have sex with his new superhot girlfriend.
And honestly? I liked that about him. Don’t get me wrong, he was a total d-bag at times. I mean, stealing Brandy’s feelings for her boyfriend so they could get together? Yeah. Jerk move. But, still.
That being said…
The Plot: It was an unique twist on the mythology of a place. I liked how Ribar wove together the story of the Quicks with May Day, the May Day Tree and the Cliff. I liked learning the old woman’s story and how it all came to be. (As a person who loves mythology and origin stories, I was really into this part.)
The plot was mostly to help drive Aspen to realize what’s wrong about what he does (take away some of that assholey-ness) and change. And I do believe he does by the end of the novel. At least, he’s trying. But, it’s interesting the perspective his aunt has on the reason for his actions. (No comment to prevent spoilers!)
The Characters: Since I already talked about Aspen, I’ll skip him. Theo, his best friend, isn’t really that well-developed. He’s really, really a minor character and often off to the perphiary of the story.
Brandy is…I don’t know. I think she’s the girl that tries to hard, but then gets upset about things. I know that sounds a little ridiculous, but something about her just didn’t jive well with me, at all.
I really liked Leah, though. Leah was real. She was an asshole and she knew it. She dealt with her shit and realized what she did wrong, and tried to fix it. But I also love her sarcastic comments and the fact that she worked in a bookstore.
Overall thoughts? It was a good read. I would recommend it, especially for any male readers looking for male protagonists/narrators. It wasn’t in the Top Favorites, and probably wouldn’t make my Five Foot Bookshelf, but it would definitely end up on a few recommended lists.
I hate doing .5 on anything, but it wasn’t a solid 7 or a solid 8. But it did make a good impression.
Also, can you believe I got through this entire post without one single GIF?? I am exhausted today. I’ll make up for it next time.