Eddie Reeves’ father took his own life, and she found his body. Her mother is catatonic with grief, and family friend Beth has moved into the house to restore order, largely by yelling at Eddie, who only wants some answers. In the quest to understand her dad’s death, Eddie is taking bigger and more dangerous chances with her safety. When she finds out her dad had a photography student, Culler Evans, who also wants to understand what happened, it seems like perfect timing. Maybe too perfect.

Fall For Anything flirts with being a mystery—when Eddie and Culler find messages that Eddie’s dad may have left behind as clues about his suicide, coded in a series of photos he took, they feel compelled to follow the trail. The darkness in the pictures is amplified when Eddie and Culler visit their locations; looking at these abandoned buildings and collapsed churches with a photographer’s eye for the quality of the light gives everything an extra coating of film noir grime. (A fleabag motel they crash in is not just grungy—there’s even a used condom behind the bed.) There’s also a bit of a love triangle, or love trapezoid: Though Eddie’s best friend Milo might be going out with another girl for the summer, he still feels threatened by Culler’s presence in Eddie’s life. Jealousy skews in all directions, which complicates relationships and leaves Eddie more isolated when she’s most in need of a friend.

Author Courtney Summers is not afraid to tackle dark subject matter, and balance it with equally dark humor. Things get much harder for Eddie before there’s any hope on the horizon, and even then there are no pat solutions to the problems she’s facing. Fall For Anything is full of hard truths and short on happy endings, but it is a relentless and captivating novel for older teens.

 

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