Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Madeline Usher is doomed.
She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.
Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.
In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.
After finishing this book at around 2am last night, I spent the next hour contemplating on whether I should get out of bed and walk across the hallway to go to the bathroom. Why did I spend an hour? Because this book left me totally freaked out about my own house. Yep, that’s right. This book is scared the crap out of me. And no jokes, I nearly pissed my pajama pants because I didn’t have the guts to get out of my bed and go to the bathroom. WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME, BOOK?
I did end up going to the bathroom in the end, but it was a terrifying experience. *shudders*
I am not a horror-reading type of person. However, I happen to be a stupid-and-curious type of person so I ended up picking up The Fall anyway. I don’t read a lot of horrors and I scare easily, so here’s just a warning not to get your hopes to high because it just not be that creepy for you. But for me? Hell yeah. What a ride. The book follows a young woman, Madeline Usher, who has spent her entire life living in this ancient house. The house is a curse, you can never leave the house, but you are never really living in it. The house is cunning and tormenting, and everything must go it’s way. This was a truly strange read, and watching the characters go mad and insane just leaves you feeling a little insane as well.
The way this story was told was unique. The story starts off with Madeline in a coffin. She soon realises she’s been buried alive under the house. This left me on the edge of my seat and I simply had to know why she was there and what events led up to that moment. Why I call the narrative unique is because after that, we start jumping through Madeline’s years. We have a snippet of her life when she was nine, then we go to when she was twelve, next minute we are looking at her at the age of sixteen and so on. We don’t actually get to go back to the coffin scene until the end–it’s basically a hook and return structure.
The hook and return structure works here for me because I honestly think that I would have DNFed this if I hadn’t read that first chapter. Despite the short chapters that each only last a few pages long, the story was incredibly slow paced, and after a while, boring. The mystery never really moves. It just sits there, taking little shuffles forward every now and again. Many of my blogger friends say that the story line got repetitive–I definitely agree. It just began to loose my attention after a while and only dragged the plot line more.
Bethany Griffin captured the atmosphere perfectly here. I felt all the chills and the suspense was great. I haven’t read Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher but I can definitely say that Griffin did a fantastic job at building a story around that book.
A paranormal horror that I definitely think is worth taking a look at, The Fall left me chilled to the bone with it’s intriguing story line and well created atmosphere. I was bored at times and felt the pacing could have some work, but it was still enjoyable.
~Thank you Greenwillow Books for sending me this copy!~
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