Fall to Pieces

Overview

When your best friend dies, you’re supposed to know what happened. You’re supposed to know why. But Ella has no idea what happened the night Amy jumped to her death. She has no idea why Amy would want to die. Ella’s other friends Mark and Petal are hiding something. Ella thinks they know exactly what happened that terrible night. But they’re not talking. Instead, Ella, Mark, and Petal play Pick Me Ups — a game in which they jump from dangerous heights. And every time Ella falls, she begins to remember pieces of ...

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Overview

When your best friend dies, you’re supposed to know what happened. You’re supposed to know why. But Ella has no idea what happened the night Amy jumped to her death. She has no idea why Amy would want to die. Ella’s other friends Mark and Petal are hiding something. Ella thinks they know exactly what happened that terrible night. But they’re not talking. Instead, Ella, Mark, and Petal play Pick Me Ups — a game in which they jump from dangerous heights. And every time Ella falls, she begins to remember pieces of that night. . . . It’s still not enough. So Ella brings a mysterious new guy into the group, hoping he will help shake things up and unearth the truth. But Ella’s “Explosive Boy” has secrets of his own. In the end there may be some secrets that Ella doesn’t want to face. The truth — the real truth — about Amy’s death might just be more than she can handle.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Rosa Roberts
What are you to do, say, and think when your best friend has just committed suicide? If you are Ella, you try to make sense of the tragic event and question if there was anything you should have said or, done that could have stopped this tragedy. Ella is not the only one wondering about what unfolded, her circle of friends Mark and Petal, are as well. Slowly the questions and events leading to Amy's suicide become apparent to the reader but the novel fails to hook the readers' interest. Readers are taken through this journey in a futile attempt to wonder why the suicide occurred and what the group of friends knows about that disastrous day. Throughout this first person account, the group of friends plays a game of Pick Me Ups where each jumps from different heights to get an adrenalin rush. The situational irony of the friends playing this game and knowing at the same time their best friend died by jumping to her death is an attempt to add more depth to the storyline. This book is intended for young adult readers, contains some profanity and struggles to continually keep the reader engaged. Reviewer: Rosa Roberts
VOYA - Susan Redman Parodi
Naidoo’s debut novel Fall To Pieces tells a chilling story involving a group of teenagers all of whom are grieving after the death of their best friend. The story centers around Ella, Mark, and Petal who have, in response to their individual and collective grief, invented a dangerous game called “Pick Me Ups.” The game inspires them all to jump from various heights to feel the rush of falling, and relish in the danger of the act. When Ella falls, she is seized by memories once suppressed, revealed only in her adrenaline rush, of the mysteries revolving around the death of their beloved friend. As the truth becomes comprehensible and the memories flood her, the group must try, together, to make sense of their loss, deal with the truth, and live in the world filled with voids caused by her departure. When newcomer Tristan becomes involved, his own history and his insight into the dangers of this game can only mean that the group has to come to terms with living and with dying. The group bonds while repairing and raging against a society devoid of the ability to aid in their struggles. The author’s prose is gripping and intense. The authenticity of her voice, the rawness of the characters, and the emotions render this story nearly flawless. The blemish in the writing is that the story fails to fully engage the reader. As impressive as the storyline is, it takes too long for the reader to become invested in the plot. Once that transition is made, it becomes this transfixing, organic story rich in metaphor and steeped in conflict and emotion. This novel is an excellent choice for readers who gravitate towards “Kafkaesque” themes of suffering and atonement. Naidoo is a talented author who deserves to be followed. Ages 15 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
An anorexic girl's suicide throws her friends into a tailspin. Ella can't remember what happened the night Amy flung herself from Ella's roof to die. She and their best friends, Mark and Petal, cope with "Pick Me Ups": a dangerous game in which they throw themselves from increasingly high places. Ella does it in the hopes that imitating Amy's action will help to restore her memories. And it seems to. The self-professed bitch recruits Tristan, a new boy, into their circle, mostly, it seems, to make his life as miserable as hers is. Predictably, Tristan helps her to the truth that she correctly suspects Mark and Petal have been keeping from her. Unfortunately, much as the revelation rocks Ella's world, it probably won't rock readers'. Naidoo writes as if with razor blades, with her intensity meter consistently amped up to 11. While this effectively evokes Ella's inner turmoil, it also wears thin, creating a self-conscious narrative that is without modulation. There are too many words repeated for effect. Too many sentence fragments. Too. Many. Fucking. One-word. Sentences. A troubled proto-Amy at the child care center Ella's mom makes her volunteer at (and where she meets Tristan) is the one real ray of hope for both Ella and readers, and it's this relationship that will help readers care. Naidoo shows promise, but her debut has too darn many sharp edges for anyone's comfort. (Fiction. 14-18)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761462170
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Pages: 324
  • Sales rank: 1,043,129
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Vahini Naidoo was eighteen years old when this novel, her debut, was acquired. She is currently a student at the Australian National University. In her spare time she holds down such glamorous jobs as checkout chick and English tutor. Someday Vahini would like to own a castle in Europe. For now she lives in Canberra, Australia. To learn more about the author, read her blog: www.ramblingsofawriter-inkspatters.blogspot.com

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