Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review: And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky

Title: And Then Things Fall Apart
Author: Arlaina Tibensky
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing              
Release date: July 26th 2011
Pages: 272
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought
Find out more: Amazon ; Goodreads

Goodreads description:
Keek is not having a good summer. She and her boyfriend have just had their Worst Fight Ever (on the subject of her virginity, nonetheless), she’s been betrayed by a best friend, her parents are splitting up, and her mother is on the other side of the country tending to Keek’s newborn cousin, who may or may not make it home from the hospital. Oh, and Keek’s holed up at her grandmother’s technology-barren house with an abysmal case of the chicken pox. In Keek’s words, “Sofa king annoying.” With her world collapsing around her, Keek’s only solace comes from rereading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and typing on an old electric typewriter.
Keek—whose snappy narrative voice is darkly humorous and hysterically blunt—must ultimately decide for herself which relationships to salvage, which to set free, and what it means to fall in love.

First sentence:
I once watched a collector kill a monarch butterfly on a nature show by putting it under a glass dome with a piece of cotton soaked in gasoline.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Honestly, the description for And Then Things Fall Apart sounds pretty average - not terrible, but nothing that hasn't been done before. But after reading so many reviews talking about how much fun this book is, I had to give it a try, and they were right - And Then Things Fall Apart is hilarious!

The best thing about this book is Keek. She's such a realistic character, I could picture her easily - it felt like I was reading about my best friend, not some fictional character. She's unique, blunt and quirky, and so much fun to read about. Yes, she's melodramatic  at times, something that can really annoy me, but she knows she's being immature, and for some reason that made it totally fine, made me love her even more.

The writing is incredible. No, it's not the most meaningful and deep writing I've ever read, but that's not the point. This is, essentially, a journal, a format I'm not usually a fan of. It's so hard to get this format right, making the voice realistic but still enjoyable to read, but somehow Arlaina Tibensky did just that. And Then Things Fall Apart reads like a real journal, like we're right inside Keek's head, but it's still accessible to the reader, which must have been very, very hard to write.

I loved the whole "sofa king" thing - that is such an awesome idea! If you don't get it, try saying out loud really fast. It took me a while, but when I finally got it, I couldn't stop lauging!

The plot... There's not much I can say about the plot, since there isn't much happening in And Then Things Fall Apart - like the description says, it's basically just Keek sick in bed writing down her thoughts. That might sound weird, but somehow it works. If you need lots of action, this probably isn't the book for you, but it totally worked for me.

This book really made me want to read Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. I've been kind of wary about it, since it's not like the books I usually read, but Keek persuaded me - I'm reading The Bell Jar as soon as possible!

This whole book is so adorable. Keek is an amazing character, and the style is unique, in a good way. I definitely recommend it!


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