Rocks Fall Everyone Dies
by Lindsay Ribar
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Obtained Via: gifted
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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.
It’s not secret that I loved Lindsay Ribar’s The Art of Wishing duology, so I had a mighty need for this book. Rocks Fall Everyone Dies is completely different, but I’m not surprised that I really liked it(though perhaps not quite as much as The Art of Wishing. But that’s a tall order, anyway). And I think the Stars Hollow reference in the blurb completely misses the mark. Small town does not automatically equal Stars Hollow. Luckily, I liked this book enough without that!
Basically this book starts with Aspen and his two friends spending their summer in the small town where Aspen’s family has long kept the cliff from falling by taking things from people magically. Their powers are pretty all-encompassing too — just with an object, they can take away a person’s love for a sport, physical feature, or emotions. As you can see, this has some pretty creepy side affects, especially once relationships(family, friendship, romantic, etc.) get involved.
Rocks Fall Everyone Dies is one of the books where the main character is just flat-out a jerk. Aspen has some growth, but he willfully ignores the consequences of his action for far too long, and treats his friends terribly. Now, I am not one of those people who have to like a main character in order to enjoy a book(I love mean girl stories, after all), but if you DO want to be able to comfortably root for the main character, then just know that going in.
The magic system in the book isn’t the most unique, but I found the way it played out really interesting, and I loved how magic became a way to explore other concepts such as autonomy, even if Aspen didn’t realize that’s what he was doing. I don’t think I would call Rocks Fall Everyone Dies straight-up creepy or suspenseful– it’s never scary — but there are these quiet, unsettling moments throughout that are just done SO well, and I completely flew through this book.
I expected to like this book, and it definitely exceeded my expectations. It had some great tense scenes and a lot of depth, but also a story that made me want to keep turning the pages. 4/5 cupcakes.