'They All Fall Down' is basically the teenage girl version of the movie Final Destination...until you get to the end, where things get crazy-fied. What that means is that the whole "death is coming after you" thing is a lot like the movie - there's even a car/truck accident - but the truth behind the girls' deaths is very different (and honestly, kind of unrealistic).
Never for the life of me would I have guessed the ending, but I suppose that was a good thing. The ending was intense compared to the rest of the book, and it really brought out everyone's true characters. In fact, it reminded me a bit of the climax of 'Kiss Kill Vanish' by Jessica Martinez. It had that same feel to it. I really want to mention who the perpetrators of the girls' deaths were - I'm not ruling out Death - but 1) that would be a major spoiler, and 2) it's actually too ridiculous to say with a straight face. Even so, I appreciate the ending because it gives the book character, and I'll be honest, it was really exciting to read. It is pretty much that action-packed end to movies that everyone waits for. But enough of the ending; let me start from the beginning.
The plot centers around a Latin nerd MacKenzie, Kenzie for short. At first, I loved her. When she found out she was on the Hotties List, she was not screaming with joy or drawing away from her friend. She did not think that suddenly she was anybody else. In fact, she thought thee must have been a mistake, and you know there is nothing I like more in my main characters than modesty (not including spunk, feistiness, and pure awesome...). However, then she goes to school and has two encounters. Josh, the guy she has been crushing on since middle school, and Levi, the "bad boy" - yup, it says that in the book - who went to juvie but she feels an attraction toward. Obviously I was all "GO FOR THE BAD BOY! HE HAS A CUTE NICKNAME FOR YOU.", but Kenzie just would not listen. She literally kept asking herself why she was not happy to be with Josh, the most popular guy in school (who also leaves girls in gas stations past the city border without knowing they're okay, and who drives his car in the triple digits even when his girl friend tells him to stop). So yeah, she got on my nerves a bit, but she was not too bad.
Now. If any of you know me, you know that terrible best friends in books get me really angry. Molly was one of them. Again, not the worst, but very high on my annoyance levels. After Kenzie got on the Hotties List, she literally demanded that Kenzie let her ride the coattails of her popularity. Then one day, Kenzie has to skip a party TO SAVE HER OWN LIFE, and go to a secret meeting with other Hotties to, again, SAVE HER OWN LIFE, and Molly gets pissed because Kenzie is becoming the popular girl and leaving her behind. SO MUCH RAGE. I suppose she kind of makes up for it after, but I would hate to have her as my best friend.
There were a few other quirks I did not love about this book - we are dealing with teenage girls, after all - but they did not detract too much from the story. Overall, this is a great book for someone looking for a light read (yes, despite all the death and secrets, it is not too heavy a read), and someone who is looking to get over their Final Destination fears. I would, of course, recommend this book to teenagers who are okay with reading about annoying teenagers who are forcing each other to form a clique even though they are literally dying off one by one. Because really.
Book Synopsis: Pretty Little Liars meets Final Destination in this YA psychological thriller that will have readers' hearts racing right till the very end!
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.
The girls on the list have started to die, one by one. Is it a coincidence? A curse? Or is the list in the hands of a killer?
Time is running out for Kenzie, but she’s determined to uncover the deadly secret of the list...before her number’s up.