By: Melanie | September 27, 2014 | (36) Comments

Review: The Fall by Bethany GriffinThe Fall by Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, YA
Pages: 400
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.

stickers-my-review (1)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!~

3 Stars
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Melanie

Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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36 Responses to Review: The Fall by Bethany Griffin

  1. Wow, you’ve got me shuddering just reading your review. Yes, I’m wayyyyy too much of a wimp to read this book. My heart can’t take it. LOL Glad you overall enjoyed it and didn’t end up DNF’ing it. Great review, Mel! 🙂
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…Lisa’s Stacking the Shelves & Weekly Recap ~ 9.27.14My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Seriously? WELL THEN, I HAVE FOUND MY HIDDEN TALENT. I CAN CREEP PEOPLE OUT JUST WITH MY WORDS MWAHAHA BE AFRAID, WORLD. I am a wimp too, so that makes two of us! I barely finished this book sane

  2. Jill the OWL says:

    I LOVE scary books, so I may have to look into this one 🙂
    Jill the OWL recently posted…Book Review: Asylum by Madeleine RouxMy Profile

  3. Like you, I’m not one for horror books, whatsoever. I’ve only gotten into some horror films, more like paranormal horror. I think this would keep me up all night with scary nightmares thats for sure. But I can be curious with this sort of book as well. It sort of reminds me as Beautiful Creatures in a way. As she doomed at a certain age. Great review, Mel! 🙂
    Emma @ Never Judge a Book recently posted…ARC REVIEW – NO PLACE TO FALL by Jaye Robin BrownMy Profile

  4. Alise says:

    Definitely going to have to check this one out, I loved being scared out of my mind xD The narrative style does sound really unique, but it’s too bad the story was sometimes repetitive, that sucks extra since the book is so long.
    Alise recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday [44]My Profile

  5. Zoe N. says:

    This sounds so darn creepy! Most horror books aren’t really very scary – rather they’re usually simplistic with some slightly scary scenes or maybe a ghost or a goblin, but this sounds genuinely scary. I am definitely going to pick this one up. Even if this pace faltered slightly and the mystery just dangled there for a bit, it sounds like these are flaws that can be overlooked a bit.

    Thanks for sharing Mel, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe N. recently posted…Vault of DreamersMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      It was scary in a creepy way–if that makes sense lol. Yeah, the flaws can be overlooked but definitely got me a little annoyed and restless in the middle of the book. Thanks Zoe <33

  6. I’m reading this right now! I loved the original 🙂 I love creepy books, once in awhile, that is! I love Griffin too, her masque books are amazingggg
    Diamond Dee @ Dee’s Reads recently posted…Let’s Discuss: Is your TBR planned or do you choose books spur of the moment?My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Oh yes I need to read her Masque books! I’ve heard that they are quite polarising but I really enjoyed this one so I see why not try her previous novels, they look pretty too so BONUS! I hope you enjoy the read, lovely

  7. AHH! This sounds awesome to be that scary. I’m expecting a copy next week and I can’t wait to read it. I’m sure I’ll be terrified.
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…I’ll Be Back October 1stMy Profile

  8. It was that freaky?!! OKAY I NEED IT. I read the worst “horror” books in the world and they’re never ever terrifying. *sigh* The slow pacing is a downside though, because I do have a short attention span sometimes and end up wandering away from too slow books. but still…*adds this on goodreads*
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    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, I never really understood why people thought Anna Dressed in Blood was scary–and that’s coming from a wimp here. This is definitely one of the more scarier YA horrors I’ve read.

  9. This looks pretty darn creepy *shivers*. It’s unfortunate that the pacing is slow which can take away from the wow/suspense factor, but I think I might still check it out. Great review Mel!
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  10. I LOVE scary movies, but I haven’t read a lot of scary and/creepy books. The only one I can think of is Paper Valentine, which I really liked.
    The fact that this one had you afraid to leave your room has me intrigued, because I don’t scare easily. I might have to give this one a try!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, girl!
    Danielle @ Love at First Page recently posted…The TBR TagMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      ah god scary movies are even worse for me. I might have nightmares for the rest of my life if I watch a scary movie. i remember I was scared at looking at Voldermort when I was 10 and had nightmares of him all the time. Now I just laugh because gosh, I am the greatest wimp and scare so easily XP

  11. Amelia K says:

    Omg you poor thing trying to go to the bathroom *cries tears of laughter* Anyway, I do not love reading horror at all but I am rather curious to read this because like you, I’m stupid and cannot resist taking a peak. It’s a shame that the pacing was too slow though! Lovely review, dearie 🙂

  12. Loved the review! You always manage to make me laugh. I’m not sure if I love reading about a book where we are constantly jumping through time but it is unique so I think I would still like to try this. I don’t read a lot of horror but watch a lot of it, so this’ll be fun!

  13. Bennari H. says:

    I love reading atmospheric reads where you can feel everything that is described on the page so I think I’ll be game for this, especially because I do read quite a bit of horror anyways. This sounds great despite the slowish pacing and unravelling of the mystery but I don’t think I’d mind it at all.

    COol review

  14. Kelly says:

    The fact that you were too scared to get up and have a wee, that’s a selling point right there. There aren’t many true horror YA books out there. Titles like Anna Dressed in Blood even, they are more watered down horror so it appeals to the wider audience. The pacing sounds a bit dodgy, but I really enjoyed her Masque of the Red Death series and definitely going to give this one a go. All I can say is, lucky I have an ensuite and won’t have to walk far for my wees 😀 Brilliant review <3
    Kelly recently posted…Otherbound by Corinne DuyvisMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Haha, your comments always make me giggle. Yeah, I didn’t want to get up because I kept telling myself that my bed covers would protect me from my own house and I was becoming all superstitious and was freaking over every little creak or movement.

      It’s so true–Anna wasn’t even scary, it just had paranormal elements and had a horror-looking cover. I am a total wimp and scare easily so maybe you won’t be creeped out as much but it’s still a really interesting read.

      Thank you <33

  15. Wow, a creepy book that had you scared at night? Sounds like it definitely did it’s job well! That is a really scary situation to be in for Madeline, especially since she would feel trapped and helpless. The pacing sounds truly unique as well. Great review Mel!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Chatterbox: What Would We Do Without YA?My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, the author captured the sense of being trapped very well. The pacing was awfully slow, but I liked how there was that hook and return structure, it doesn’t work all the time in full blown novels since it’s a tactic for short stories, but it worked well here. Thanks Jeann <33

  16. Oh, this sounds fantastic! I have to admit that I don’t read all that much horror, but I do want to read more (I love creepy things), and from reading this review, I think this is definitely one to add to my TBR list. Great review. 🙂
    Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer recently posted…Sunday Weekly Wrap Up (31) & Stacking the Shelves (15)My Profile

  17. I struggled a little with the whole “jumping around in time” story structure of this, but I agree, the creepy atmosphere was fantastic. I’m a big fan of the Masque of the Red Death books and I enjoyed this one too.
    Jen @ YA Romantics
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  18. Henrietta says:

    I’m like you, Mel – bet I’d find this story creepy and scary!!! Glad to see that you managed to overcome your fear and have your relief in the middle of the night. Thanks for sharing your view about the pacing of the book, I’ll have to keep that in mind when I read it.
    Henrietta recently posted…Unbreakable – C C HunterMy Profile

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