Saturday, August 9, 2014

ARC Review: The Fall (Bethany Griffin)

The FallHardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication:

October 7th 2014 by Greenwillow Books
Genre: YA~Horror~Suspense

ARC Provided by Publisher in Exchange for Honest Review

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.

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Bethany Griffin is a high school English teacher who prides herself on attracting creative misfits to elective classes like Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, and Speculative Literature. She is the author of Handcuffs & MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (April 2012). She lives with her family in Kentucky.

Nothing here is just anything. This is not just a house. We have never been simply children. We are Ushers. 

First of all I love the cover of this book. It is exactly what I would imagine for a retelling of any Edgar Allen Poe story. It is dark, creepy, and mysterious. I love the image of a young girl walking into the woods on the front. Where is she going? What has happened to her? It immediately makes you want to read the book to determine the answers to these haunting questions. 

The Fall is a retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher." I have never actually read The Fall of the House of Usher so to me this was a totally new story. I know that Edgar Allen Poe writes deep, dark, and horrific tales so this is what I was expecting when I started this book. 

The book is mainly told from the perspective of the main character, Madeline Usher. Each chapter in the book is written at a different age in Madeline's life. To me this was confusing. It throws the story around and you have to fill in the blanks until you get to the next chapter and I just really didn't like that aspect. I found it hard to keep up with what was going on and at the same time trying to figure out the plot of the story. 

"The spirit of the house—the conciousness of it—gets inside our heads. It sees through our eyes and feels what we feel, especially moments of extreme emotion, moments of passion. Or grief. It loves grief."

Madeline and her twin brother Roderick live in a house that is full of secrets and madness. The house basically controls the Usher family and is evil, jealous, and very protective. The house has been cursed for years and from what I could gather the curse is that any young teen that grows up in the house dies at a young age. It is made known very early that Madeline is the "favorite" of the house. She is forced to live in the house and never leave. Roderick escapes and goes off to school and while Madeline is jealous of this part of her wants him to escape and live a normal life. 

"Cursed Ushers. Did they manage to keep the house happy?Or did they live their lives in fear? The house rewards cruelty. It loves darkness and despair and death.
....and I am its favorite."

Madeline is left in the cursed home to live amongst Dr's who also live in the home and believe they can cure Madeline and her family. I found this VERY creepy. Poor Madeline is an emotional and mental wreck. I felt so bad for her and found myself urging her to escape. 

There are so many horrific events that plague this cursed home and its residents. There were several occurrences that happened that left me in complete shock. Even though the story was very confusing to me...I still could not put the book down. I knew at the turn of each page there would be something shocking happening and was compelled to keep reading. 

If you are looking for a suspenseful, mind-boggling, thriller then The Fall by Bethany Griffin is definitely for you....Just be prepared The House of Usher is a psychological thriller that grabs you and never lets go......

**The quotes from this book have been taken from an Advanced Reading Copy and are subject to change when the final book is printed. Please refer to the final, finished copy for exact quotes!**

**I want to say Thank You to Greenwillow Books/Harper Teen for the opportunity to review this book!!**


  1. I really like Edgar Allen Poe and was super excited for this retelling now I'm kind of on the fence because I don't like overly jumpy plots and long periods of confusion. I think I will still give this one a chance though as I did enjoy Masque of the Red Death.

    Emily @ Falling For YA

  2. I already thought this one sounded fantastic, even if I sort of DFNed Masque of the Red Death... but after reading your review, I need to give this book a chance and this author another chance for sure!
    Thanks for a great review.
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  3. This is a fantastic spin on Edgar Allen Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher". It is a very imaginative and keeps you wanting to read on and find out what happens in the end. If you are a fan of suspenseful and mysterious story lines than this is a book for you!