Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers; read in December, 2010. Copy purchased for myself.
I briefly mentioned my thoughts on Courtney Summers’ previous two novels on this December book catch-up post. I didn’t really spend time gushing like I could have. I loved both her books. A lot. Like, was really emotionally moved to pieces by both. So I was excited to read Fall For Anything, her new release. While I was a little less wrapped up in the story, it did not disappoint.
Fall For Anything tells the story of Eddie Reeves in the months after her father commits suicide. She doesn’t understand why he did it and cannot move on. He was a talented photographer and had a wife and daughter who loved him. Her mother can’t function under the weight of her loss, and her best friend Milo refuses to talk about the night of the suicide, so Eddie feels isolated in her grief. Then she meets Culler, a photographer who studied under her dad. Culler is also mourning her father’s death and seems to have known a side of her dad that she was never privy to. He convinces Eddie that together, they can find an answer to the “why” of his death. Eddie is hesitant: she never knew Culler existed before her dad died, and he is older than she. Yet she feels so alone, and Culler offers her something no one else can: a deeper understanding of the father she’s lost forever.
Courtney Summers is really talented at depicting pain and loss. Each of the main characters in her three novels face a loss of varying types and degrees, and each book is so completely honest. My heart ached for Eddie and her mom. I could imagine how broken her mom would feel after losing her husband to suicide, and I could relate to the idea of staying in bed in her husband’s bathrobe. Yet it made me angry that her mom left Eddie alone, as if she discounted Eddie’s loss of her father.
The way Eddie was drawn to Culler was understandable, especially with Milo refusing to talk about the events of the suicide. He was involved and remembers it, but it is a blur in Eddie’s mind and she wishes Milo would clarify it for her. Eddie and Milo have been bffs since childhood and Milo’s silence about such a weighty topic leaves Eddie feeling a loss of a different kind. Culler’s desire to talk about her father is a bandage for Milo’s silence. Yet, I never felt like I could fully trust Culler, which made me feel a little removed from Eddie and her pain. This is what made me feel a little less wrapped up in the story and characters than I felt previously with Summers’ books. It is possible that this was Summers’ intention, or just my take on the character.
Other than that minor nitpick, I think Fall For Anything is another Summers success. My students really like Courtney Summers, which I think is due to her honest writing. I look forward to putting this one in their hands.