Book Review: The Fall by Bethany Griffin

18241263Title: The Fall

Author: Bethany Griffin

Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

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.

I have a hard time putting my thoughts about The Fall to paper. On the one hand, I really enjoyed it, but on the other hand, some minor parts of the book annoyed me.

Madeline Usher is doomed. Her house, the famous House of Usher from Poe’s classic, is haunted. The house itself is sentient, a being with a mind of its own, and while Madeline at first thinks the house loves her and wants to protect her, now she’s not so sure. Her brother Roderick claims the house isn’t haunted, that it’s all in her mind, but her Mother and Father knew about the curse too, and tried to protect them from it. Her Mother managed to send Roderick away, but for Madeline, the house’s favorite, running away isn’t that easy.

The book jumps from Madeline as an eight-year-old to Madeline at age ten, fourteen, eighteen, and as such, the story is a little disjointed. But then again, with an unreliable narrator like Madeline, whose own mind is equally as disjointed, this actually added to the suspense of the story. Soon enough, I was just as confused as Madeline was. And as macabre, weird things start to happen, I understood Madeline’s constant fear, and her inability to do something about it as the House of Usher controlled her.

I enjoyed how the book one time blamed everything on Madeline’s growing insanity, but then again mentioned the curse and ghosts, leaving it to the reader to decide what to believe. The book was creepy, but not as creepy as I had hoped. The ending was a bit abrupt, and I didn’t really understand what had happened until I read it again.

What annoyed me was Roderick. He barely protected his sister, and overall, he was lacking as a brother, refusing to believe Madeline when it mattered the most. Despite that, I really enjoyed the book, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good, although not extremely creepy, horror story.

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