I’m not sure why I was completely surprised that I liked this book so much. Recommended by a student who’s a Bella Thorne fan, it hooked me from the first chapter and never let me go. It wasn’t that I had low expectations, but while it delivered the lightheartedness that I was expecting, it also surprised me with how invested I became in the characters. I read the first four chapters on my commute and devoured the rest that same night.
Autumn Falls is the story of the titular character who is dealt, in my opinion, one of the worst emotions you can feel: regret. Not only does she not get to say goodbye to her dad, but the last words they exchanged were ones of anger. You know how much I love (reading, but not experiencing) deliciously awkward and achingly bittersweet moments, and this definitely falls into the latter. The plot, after the opening chapter when the family receives the dreaded phone call, is simple but well executed. Autumn is given her dad’s old journal, and she realizes that whatever she wishes for in it comes true. Will she wish for a way to make her life easier? For the cute guy to notice her? For her bully to have a mishap? As the book wore on, I found myself hooked onto finding out what Autumn would wish for next.
I really applaud Thorne for writing with such a distinct voice. Autumn feels very authentic in both her misery, reluctance to trust others, and helplessness against the mean girls. I understand her frustration in dealing with the sudden changes in her life, and even more, I applaud her for how she tries to fix everything herself. Thorne really impressed me by letting Autumn try to fix her mistakes or get past obstacles on her own first without resorting to asking for help from her mom or other adults. In this way, she shows not only the strength of Autumn’s character, but she also highlights the idea that sometimes it’s better for kids not to always have adults around to help them. Trying to fix things herself is definitely character building for Autumn, and I really enjoyed that bit.
Two other things that made this story an enjoyable reading experience: the diary, and Autumn’s friend, J.J. The journal is such a clever, multifunctional device that is so instrumental in Autumn being able to move forward with her life. It’s a tie to her past, a useful tool to her present, and a potentially powerful item for her future. It is such a brilliant agent of change, and it also encourages kids to write. Love it! And then there’s J.J. Let me just say … he had me at the word “anagram”. Anagrams are cool, and he’s one cool bloke.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you get through this book. You just want to keep reading it ‘til it’s done. Check it out! And if you’ve read it already, let me know if you’re excited for Autumn’s Kiss.
Bella Thorne’s Online Corners
Thank you, Random House, for sending me a copy of Autumn Falls
in exchange for an honest review.
All opinions and suggestions expressed herein are entirely my own.