Courtney Summers does not write lighthearted novels. Her first two books tackled rape, suicide, and social annihilation by former friends. In her third, Summers writes again about suicide, introducing readers to a girl grappling with her father’s death by his own hands.
Seventeen-year-old Eddie Reeves is, for all intents and purposes, alone. Her mother has been rendered near catatonic, unable to offer more than a weepy hug in response to her daughter’s distress. Her best friend, Milo, offers as much complication as comfort. It is only when Eddie meets Culler Evans, one of her father’s former students, that she finds an ally in her quest for answers.
That Eddie is a mess is to be expected. What may catch readers by surprise is how real she seems. It is a testament to Summers’ talent that the novel reads like a confession, bare and raw in its honesty. Eddie’s unequivocal need to know why her father, a famous photographer, took his own life, grabs readers and hauls them along for the ride. We feel her pain, confusion, and anger, as well as the apathy and hopelessness that accompany her more violent emotions.
Summers’ writing isn’t flawless, but it’s close. Scenes are subtly rendered yet crystal clear, allowing the reader to picture every detail. Eddie is a gem, and the supporting characters not only serve to enhance her, but also stand out in their own right. Milo, especially, is written so well, one can easily envision his mannerisms.
Even at its darkest, Fall for Anything is full to the brim with charisma and suspense, making it a thoroughly engaging read.