Book Review: They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire

Here’s your synopsis from Amazon:

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.

1. I loved the protagonist!

So Kenzie Summerall is our heroine, and she is an awesome nerd. Like, president of the Latin Club type of nerd. Her main goal is to get into Columbia, not only to escape her mother, but to escape the tragedy of her brother’s death in her town of Vienna. Which, admittedly, is understandable especially because her mother is hyper paranoid about Kenzie doing anything (she won’t even let Kenzie shower while it’s raining – it’s that bad). Kenzie is not impressed by the Hottie List (which the list is so unfortunately called) and expresses disdain for it throughout the book. This is refreshing because every other person in her school reveres her for it while she continues on to her goal of college and good grades. This is commendable, because we all remember high school, right? The pressure to fit in and be popular is staggering. Kenzie doesn’t care about this list or the popularity – she knows who her real friends are and that’s fine with her. One more super awesome thing Kenzie can do but I can’t? She’s a Latin whiz. I had to drop Latin in college because I failed two tests even with tutoring and help in my professor’s office hours. That is seriously so cool.

2. Most of these points are character analysis and my opinions on the characters, because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. So here, I’ll tell you about Molly.

Molly is Kenzie’s best friend. She was exhausting from the first second she appeared. She admitted to wanting to ride Kenzie’s coattails to popularity as soon as she discovered she was on the list. Any time Kenzie goes out without her or gets a text message from any of the girls on the list, she is immediately hurt. She needed a swift chop to the throat if you ask me. But, she ends up being quite the hero and kind of redeems herself in my eyes towards the end. But, when you read it, you’ll understand. She was arguably one of the most annoying characters in the book.

3. Josh. Collier. Josh. EFFING. Collier.

I HATE JOSH SO MUCH. Even now, after finishing the book, I hate him. I updated my progress on Goodreads a lot on how much I hate Josh and how much I wished he’d die. Think if the douchiest douchebag you’ve ever met in your life. Got it? Good, multiply that by 25 and you have Josh. He doesn’t talk to Kenzie (who’s had a crush on him since seventh grade) until the day after it comes out that she’s on the list. It’s really sick how he uses his family’s money and his influence in sports to get girls or pretty much anything he wants. He really is the most shallow person in this book (barring, maybe, the girls on the list other than Kenzie). He really is just the worst. At the end, he does something that would have redeemed his character with anyone else. However, my hatred was rooted so deep for him, that nothing he did could make up for his douchiness. I hope you hate him, too because it’s a burning emotion.

4. This wasn’t an intellectually challenging book, but I finished it in less than 24 hours.

I very rarely use cliches like “page turner.” But, I’m here to tell you, that this was a page turner. This definitely hooked me from page one and didn’t let go. (Ugh I just rolled my eyes at myself.) Anyway, you’re going to have to suspend disbelief a little bit. This is a great read if you’ve read something super intellectually or emotionally heavy. It’s a quick, fun read that is fun to try to figure out along the way. Admittedly, I am not smart enough to ever figure out mysteries on my own (I can call really bad ones) so that should tell you that I couldn’t call this one until the main character figured it out. I really enjoyed this, only because I needed something like this. It is not literary, it is not challenging, but it is most definitely FUN.

Overall: 4.5 STARS!!! I really, really liked this book. It was full of twists and turns and a sharp wit displayed by Kenzie and the likes of her friends. It is a good look into high schools today and how popularity can be a killer. (I’m so punny, see what I did there?) Get a copy for yourself if you’re ready to be entertained. Clear your afternoon, curl up with some Diet Pepsi (what I drink instead of tea), and strap in for a fun ride!

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