The Fall by Bethany Griffin
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult – Horror, Historical fiction
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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.
*This book was provided by Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Madeline Usher and her twin brother are cursed. They live in a house that is cursed. Only people who have Usher blood are drawn to the house all the way down to the servants and cooks. The house is falling apart and everyday something new is breaking, fraying, or covered in dust. The house chooses a new person to pass the curse onto. Madeline has always been close with the house. She feels what the house feels. She would fly high on the swing without her legs moving. Her father was slowly slipping into madness, her mother was an evil woman with a love for her brother, and her brother was afraid of the dark but never believed in the house. Her brother is sent off to a boarding school to protect him leaving Madaline with the relentless doctors that poke and proud her. All the while she is slowly slipping into the sickness.
The Fall is a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” and it was wonderfully written. As for accuracy compared to Poe’s story, I don’t know because I haven’t read it but the settings were eerie (especially the attic) and I was totally pulled in by the prologue. The chapters of the book jump time frames from when Madeline was a young girl to pages in a diary she found and then to her present day. This continues until about half way through the book and then it just stays in the present time. Since there is so much time jumping this results in a ton of short chapters. I am all for short chapters because I feel like I am reading really fast, which was good because I felt sort of just blah throughout the book. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a good book, but for some reason I just wasn’t feeling it as much as I had hoped I would. There were definitely some good parts but it wasn’t everything I thought it would be. I did read Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin and I had really enjoyed that one so I’m not sure what it was about this.
I recommend picking this one up If you enjoy Poe retellings, historical fiction, or if you have read Griffin’s books before. It was a quick read, even for the length. Now this is classified as horror but I wouldn’t put it quite that far. I was never scared while reading this book so don’t let that put you off. Even though this wasn't my favorite book I still plan on picking up whatever else Bethany Griffin writes next.