We All Fall Down – Robert Cormier

The boys entered the house on April Fool’s Day. However, it was no joke. The boys trashed the place and assaulted Karen Jerome. Karen is left in a coma. Now, Karen’s sister, Jane, must deal with the situation. Luckily, she meets Buddy, and the two begin dating. Little does she know that Buddy was one of the boys who trashed her house. How will Buddy tell Jane the truth? All this stress only makes Buddy drink more and more. Unbeknownst to the boys, there is one person that witnessed the attack: The Avenger. The Avenger must make the boys pay for their attack…

Most Robert Cormier books can be summed up in one word: suspenseful. This one is no different. Readers are just waiting for Buddy’s identity to be revealed to Jane, Karen to wake up from her coma, and the Avenger to strike. The pacing is done nicely, so readers won’t feel impatient waiting for something to happen. From the first page, Cormier takes readers on a journey without holding back. This is saying something, considering We All Fall Down was first published in 1991. Another thing I like about this book is that Cormier uses psychological things more than physical things (other than the trashing) to create the suspense. The ringleader of the boys, Harry Flowers (great last name for such an evil character), is great example of this. He constantly warns Buddy he will tell Jane his identity.

The story is told in alternating chapters with Buddy, Jane, and the Avenger. This works great with the story because it allows readers to see the same events with three different perspectives. Buddy was probably my favorite character of the bunch. When I was reading the novel, I felt pity for Buddy. In this case, pity is not a good thing. It was the you’re pathetic sort of pity, if you know what I mean. Jane was an okay character. She just seemed kind of flat. The Avenger is an 11-year-old boy who wants to bring peace to the neighborhood. He’s the most intriguing of the bunch because readers don’t know much about him in the beginning. However, throughout the novel, Cormier reveals a lot of suprising things about the Avenger, especially at the end.

While not one of my favorite Cormier novels, We All Fall Down is a novel that fans of suspense will enjoy.

Related Links
TeenReads Author Profile + Interview

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2 Responses to We All Fall Down – Robert Cormier

  1. Trisha says:

    This sounds like an awesome book. I love suspense novels, I have been reading a lot of YA and chick lit books lately and I have to say that I am due for a good suspense. 🙂

  2. cbjames says:

    It’s nice to see Robert Cormier get some play on the blogs. I’ve not read this one, though I’ve read many of his books. You’ve got me interested. Nice review.

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