Friday, May 27, 2016

Title: Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies
Author: Lindsay Ribar
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Twin Peaks meets Stars Hollow in this paranormal suspense novel about a boy who can reach inside people and steal their innermost things—fears, memories, scars, even love—and his family’s secret ritual that for centuries has kept the cliff above their small town from collapsing.

Aspen Quick has never really worried about how he’s affecting people when he steals from them. But this summer he’ll discover just how strong the Quick family magic is—and how far they’ll go to keep their secrets safe.

With a smart, arrogant protagonist, a sinister family tradition, and an ending you won’t see coming, this is a fast-paced, twisty story about power, addiction, and deciding what kind of person you want to be, in a family that has the ability to control everything you are.

Weird and different and weirdly different. That about sums up this book. It's quirky AF, but perfect for a reader like me who's pretty much read it all and ready for an odd little novel like this. Also, to be fair, I would consider it more magical realism than outright paranormal. And for most readers, it probably will seem suspenseful, but with regards to that "ending you won't see coming"...I totally did. Way, way, way before I was supposed to...and yet it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the story one bit. Probably because it didn't make the story predictable; I simply understood something early on that made everything else make a whole lot more sense.

This book is really off the beaten path. It started off slow but as my theory came to fruition, I couldn't put the book down. The protagonist is from a family of thieves, but what they steal will never be missed. The family justifies their theft of feelings and personality traits by using their gift to protect the town from the cliff that looms above them. And that suits Aspen fine until he meets a townie who makes him question the truth about his family and his cousin's tragic death months earlier.

Aspen is kind of a prick when the story begins, every bit the "smart, arrogant protagonist" he's described as in the summary, and he remains such for the better part of the book. He doesn't know the people making the sacrifices for the greater good, and so he shrugs off any guilt he might feel. He's very talented, too, but he doesn't just use his gift with respect to the cliff. He's but a mere visitor to Three Peaks, but he's been using the gift all his life: on his friends, to get out of trouble, even to sober up after a night of drinking. But never on family.

When using the gift on the love of his life starts to have repercussions, Aspen has to reevaluate his actions. Especially when he realizes that someone he trusted has been using their gift on him...all his life. He goes through a crisis of conscience, worrying about the people he's changed and his own free will and who he might have been, had his own personality not been altered. And I've got to admit, the drastic change in his demeanor endeared him to me.

Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies is a clever and introspective look at free will and sacrifice and family. It's not for everybody and it doesn't wrap up perfectly, but it does end on a hopeful note. If you like shrewdly different stories, this book might be up your alley...or take you down the path less traveled. (Watch out for falling rocks!) Either way, it's an excellent read.


GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Lindsay Ribar lives in New York City, where she works in book publishing by day and writes YA novels by night. She attends far too many concerts, watches far too much nerdy TV, and consumes fanfiction like it's made out of chocolate. She is fond of wine, cheese, and countries where they speak English but with really cool accents. Oh, and she has a Harry Potter tattoo.

Find Lindsay:

Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr


  1. I’ve heard quite a lot of praise for this one, and I’m glad you liked it too! It’s been compared to Andrew Smith’s novels and I can’t wait to give this one a try. Great review! :D

    1. I've actually never read one of his books before, but I just grabbed one last week from SYNC's free program. Now I'm even more curious about it. :)

  2. This has a very interesting title, to say the least. Quirky books is a hit and miss for me, but I'm willing to give this one a chance. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I have this one coming up on my TBR. I will have to keep it in mind for when I am looking for a different kind of read. Thanks for the heads up. I am glad you enjoyed it.

    Happy Reading!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs


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