Thursday, August 18, 2011

And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Keek is not having a good summer. She and her boyfriend have just had their Worst Fight Ever (on the subject of her virginity, nonetheless), she’s been betrayed by a best friend, her parents are splitting up, and her mother is on the other side of the country tending to Keek’s newborn cousin, who may or may not make it home from the hospital. Oh, and Keek’s holed up at her grandmother’s technology-barren house with an abysmal case of the chicken pox. In Keek’s words, “Sofa king annoying.”

With her world collapsing around her, Keek’s only solace comes from rereading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and typing on an old electric typewriter. Keek—whose snappy narrative voice is darkly humorous and hysterically blunt—must ultimately decide for herself which relationships to salvage, which to set free, and what it means to fall in love.

Keek's big plan for the summer definitely didn't involve catching a rare case of the chicken pox and being stuck at her grandmother's house with only an old typewriter and a copy of The Bell Jar to keep her company. However, nothing has really been going Keek's way lately. Her parents are splitting up - probably for good if the fact that her mom has run all the way off to the other side of the country is any inkling. Her reckless best friend Amanda has deceived her in one of the worst ways possible and Keek has slowly lost contact with her other best friend. Finally, Keek is hiding from her boyfriend because the last time she saw him things did not go too well to say the least. The one good thing that comes from being cooped up in an old house? Keek has plenty of time to think about live, love, and the future. Will everything go her way in the end, or will it end up becoming one "Sofa king" huge problem? Only time and more pages can tell!

When I first heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. Because not only did Keek and I share a favorite book, The Bell Jar, but also And Then Things Fall Apart sounded like the perfect mixture of teen angst, wit, and complications. However, while I did enjoy it, I had a few slight problems with it.

Keek was an interesting main character. She’s blunt, witty, and one of a kind to say the least. However, I was not always her biggest fan, and that is where the main problem of mine laid within this. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to like her character, but for the most part, I found her to be a bit immature when it came to many things, and her lack of confronting her problems became a bit old after a while as well. Her parents were much of the same, especially her mother. However, I have to say, I really did like Keek’s grandmother (Such a funny and introspective lady!) as well as Keek’s other friend Nic (who I wish made more appearances!).

I did enjoy the plot, though. It was filled with drama, drama, and more drama, and I always adore drama in my books. It also managed to keep the book going in a fast paced because I was intrigued to find out just how everything came together in the end. The scenes involving Sylvia Plath and The Bell Jar were also interesting and one of my favorite parts. Arlaina Tibensky’s writing was also a high point, because while I wasn’t always a fan of Keek, Arlaina did really mange to bring out the angst, confusion, and overall teenager-ness within her character.

In all, And Then Things Fall Apart was a decent debut. It was not necessarily the best book for me because of the main character, but I liked the overall picture.

Grade: B

And Then Things Fall Apart is now out!

Source: Publicist at Simon Pulse- thanks Dawn!


  1. I really want to read this one, even if it wasn't perfect for you. Thanks for the review!

  2. I'm excited to read this one - though after your aforementioned issue with the MC I'm curiosu what I will think. Thanks for the review :)

  3. Even though it might have not been perfect I'm still not sure if I want to read because some people say that there isn't enough dialogue in this book!Anyway, great review!


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