I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it – I absolutely adore mystery and thriller novels. I love the chase of the plot; the intrigue of trying to work out what exactly is going on and the mystery behind the reasoning of it all. They All Fall Down was no different in this, although I do feel these books may get a little bit repetitive quite soon. Let’s get into the review!
Every year, the lives of ten girls at Vienna High are transformed.
All because of the list.
Kenzie Summerall can’t imagine how she’s been voted onto a list of the hottest girls in school, but when she lands at number five, her average life becomes dazzling. Doors open to the best parties, new friends surround her, the cutest jock in school is after her.
This is the power of the list. If you’re on it, your life changes.
If you’re on it this year? Your life ends.
The girls on the list have started to die, one by one. Is it a coincidence? A curse? Or is the list in the hands of a killer?
Time is running out for Kenzie, but she’s determined to uncover the deadly secret of the list…before her number’s up.
They All Fall Down is a tale of loss and murder mystery. Focussed around a ‘high-school hit list’ (sound familiar? try clique bait), the book is a fast-paced mystery thriller which keeps you turning the pages to see what happens. Normally the story line will be similar to something I have read before; or the plot would be pretty easy to guess what was going to happen. With this little gem however, I had no idea and I really loved it! Even the reveal of the killer was a curveball – unexpected but welcomed.
Our heroine and protagonist of the story, Kenzie Summerall, is intelligent and realistic. Though she has a past (and there are obvious guilt problems regarding this), she’s a pretty normal girl who just happens to fall into the situation. She was down-to-earth and genuine, never succumbing to the peer pressure and standing firm in her beliefs – and for what is morally right. Kenzie owns her intelligence as a personality in a humble manner. I really enjoyed the portrayal of Molly. As the best-friend to Kenzie I would have expected there to be a little jealousy when Kenzie made the list of the hottest girls and she didn’t. Instead of any conflict, Molly helped to keep Kenzie grounded – the perfect anchor. Levi was the stereotypical bad-boy who falls into that cliché territory of ‘bad news’ based on previous idiotic decisions. Though I can normally take the whole bad boy cliché with a pinch of salt, I didn’t feel like it was entirely necessary to the story. Perhaps my frustrations with romance in the Young Adult genre is shining through here, but I feel like not all good guys have to finish last.
Her friendship in the novel with Molly was nothing but pure. It seemed a little too good to be true, but I appreciated how the novel didn’t need to see too much conflict with the teenagers. It had a positive message that your friends are there for you always, no matter what you’re going through. The romance of the novel wasn’t anything too major but it helped to add to the mystery behind the entire novel. I wasn’t entirely sure who could be trusted and really felt like Kenzie was in trouble at several points of the story. I appreciated the comments on listing girls by appearance. It was comforting to find that it was highlighted as sexist and “obsolete, meaningless, and unbelievably immature” by the main character. We live in a society where if you do not look like your Instagram feed in real life, then you’re nothing special. Appearance is everything and I’m no stranger to high-school boys making a list of who the ‘prettiest’ girls are. It’s awful and it’s sexualising and it leaves everyone feeling awful – whether they’re on it or not.
I was pleasantly surprised that by the end of the stories, all my questions were wrapped in a neat little bow. Some standalones fail to provide this or set themselves up to become a series – while there is a little bit that could be proceeded with, a sequel is not a necessity and I like that. The book was a fairly quite read, finishing it in around three hours. Of course, I was hooked so that largely contributed – and from what I’ve read from other people, it has hooked quite a few other reviewers on the internet.
Keeping this review short and sweet for today (or tonight because it’s very late here in England), I’m going to give this book a sweet five out of five. I can’t really fault the book because I enjoyed it so much! I’d recommend it to book-lovers who adore mystery/thriller as much as I do and would say it’s a little like the book Ten by Gretchen McNeil! (
review incoming soon, I swear)
Remember that not everybody will have the same opinion! Something that worked for me might not work for you, and visa versa. The whole internet has an opinion, so check out a few others before you decide to dish or ditch this book!
AJ @ The Ravenous Reader’s Thoughts says “It was quite entertaining.”
Luna @ Luna’s Little Library says “It’s a pretty quick read.”
Sofia @ Coffee, Tea & Books says “The characters were not very well written.”
I don’t know about you, but when I check out an author’s bio, it’s usually because I’ve read a book I liked and wondered about the person behind it. Let’s skip the formal bio and I’ll give you the inside scoop on who Roxanne St. Claire really is.
First of all, call me Rocki. Everyone does. Evidently, when my mother brought me home from the hospital I seemed too scrawny and small to pull off “Roxanne” (she’d read Cyrano de Bergerac while pregnant or I would have been Judy) so they called me Rocki.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, the youngest of five (overachievers, every one), and fell in love with words and stories the summer I read Gone With The Wind. That year, for my twelfth birthday, my parents gave me a typewriter (with italic font – it was the coolest thing) and from that day on, I’ve had my fingers on a keyboard, pounding out love stories for fun. My AP English teacher taught me the two most important lessons an aspiring author ever needs: 1) verbs are the key to life and 2) a writer should get a real job. After attending UCLA and graduating with a degree in communications, I tried acting and television broadcasting. Oh, they aren’t real jobs? I learned that the hard way. I changed my last name from Zink to St. Claire because a news producer told me Roxanne Zink had too many harsh consonants for a TV personality – apparently Katie Couric didn’t get the memo. I got some fun gigs, and even met Tom Hanks when I did a guest appearance on Bosom Buddies. I liked on camera work, but wasn’t too crazy about starvation, so I moved to Boston and got that “real” job. In fact, I placed my foot on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder and didn’t look down until I’d climbed all the way up to the level of Senior Vice President at the world’s largest public relations firm. On the way up, I met the man of my dreams in an elevator. Two years later – in the same elevator! – he asked me to marry him and I wisely said yes.
I stayed in PR, moved to Miami, had a few babies, lost my home in a hurricane, built another one a few hours north and all along, I kept writing my “stories” for fun. One night, I read a particularly fabulous romance novel that changed my life for good. That night, I decided I wanted to make someone else feel as whole and happy as that author made me feel. (Everyone asks! It was Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.) With two small children and one big “real” job, writing my first novel wasn’t easy, but I did finish a manuscript that managed to get the attention of a literary agent. She told me to do one thing and one thing fast: write another book. (The first one is usually a “learner” book, honestly.) That second manuscript sold to Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books and was released in 2003 as Tropical Getaway. Since then, I’ve written almost thirty more, in multiple genres, and long ago replaced the corporate ladder with the rollercoaster of publishing as a full-time novelist. Finally, writing is my real job.
Today, I live in a small beach community in Florida with my husband and two dogs. Our kids are off to college and law school, which means my nest is empty! I spend my time writing, working with the kids at my church, enjoying my husband’s gourmet cooking, and hanging with my many writer friends. Of course, I love to read. I’m still crazy about words and stories and hope to write at least a hundred books in my lifetime. And, yes, verbs are the key to life. My favorites? Love. Work. Believe.
Another book down, another review uploaded! Can you name a book you want to know more about but can’t find on my blog? Something stuck on your TBR list? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think. All read requests are acknowledged and appreciated! Until next time guys,
One response to “Book Review ♡ They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire”
Thank you for sharing your review.