The title was what gripped me. Rocks Fall Everyone Dies. It was dark, cryptic, and slightly unnerving. So of course I eagerly turned the book over to see if the description was equally compelling. It was.
Aspen Quick spends his summers in a small mountain town with his extended family and their many secrets. For decades the family has carried out private rituals designed to strengthen the crack in the cliff that hovers over the small town, and in order to do so, they have to steal things. But it isn't simply objects or mementos the Quick family steals. Aspen has the ability to reach inside and take things far more precious: memories, feelings, and personality quirks. Arrogant and quick-witted, he's never stopped to consider the potential consequences of his emotional thievery, until one summer changes everything.
I really liked the fantastical element to this book. The reader is asked to suspend some disbelief in order to engage with the story, but it's well worth the effort. One of my frequent issues with the characters in YA novels is that they don't act like young adults at all. They're far too clever and far too mature to be an accurate representation of their age and demographic. Rocks Fall Everyone Dies easily side-steps this frequent pitfall with a protagonist that has selfish but relatable motivations and concerns. With a well-rounded cast of characters, an unsolved mystery or two, and a major plot twist, this is an excellent summer read.
Rocks Fall Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar releases June 7th. Pre-order your copy at The Bookshelf!