Title: The Fall
Author: Bethany Griffin
Publication: October 7th 2014 by Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult ~ Horror ~ Retelling
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Cover Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
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.
Nothing here is just anything. This is not just a house. We have never been simply children. We are Ushers.
The Fall of the House of Usher is one of my favorite stories by Edgar Allan Poe so when I had the chance to read and review a retelling of it, I was pretty excited and didn’t wait too long to jump into it. It’s my first Bethany Griffin book and it was so freaking good! I can’t wait to read more books by her!
First of all I should mention that this is not a typical story. The chapters are really short (which I love) and they jump between Madeline’s age, between nine and nineteen. At first it was a bit confusing as I didn’t really understood it all yet. But soon I really came into it and came to genuinely like how this book was written. It was just so original!
I liked reading about Madeline in every age. I loved learning more about the house, about everything going on in there and how it affected her and the other characters throughout the years. There were also some twists I hadn’t seen coming, which made my jaw drop all the time and the horror factor was a pretty big part. Some scenes really creeped me out. And I usually don’t get creeped out easily. I would not recommend reading it at night like I did most of the time. I had to stop a few times because I was freaking myself out too much. But oh how I loved that.
The ending really took me aback. I literally had to read that last chapter three times to really get what had happened. It was surprising and also shocking. I hadn’t seen it coming at all. But those in my opinion are the best story endings, the ones you don’t see coming.
Overall, The Fall by Bethany Griffin is one of the best retellings I ever read. The writing was excellent. It was beautiful, creepy, superb and it, together with the amazingly dark story and omnious yet interesting characters just pulled me in. I loved it!
Mother told me once that no matter how brave you think you are, how sure you are of your faith or your convictions or of the rules of science and nature, you can barely glance at the House of Usher. Your eyes won’t let you take it in.
I want my own memories, my own stories.
“The spirit of the house—the conciousness of it—gets inside our heads. It sees through our eyes and feels what we feel, especially moments of extreme emotion, moments of passion. Or grief. It loves grief.”
Bethany Griffin is a high school English teacher who prides herself on attracting creative misfits to elective classes like Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, and Speculative Literature. She is the author of Handcuffs & MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (April 2012). She lives with her family in Kentucky.