All Fall Down by Tom Bale



They thought you did it because of religion.
They thought you did it because of culture.
They thought you did it because of ideology.
You did it because I told you to.

I had really high expectations for this books because I’d seen some great reviews and I’d also seen amazing reviews for Bale’s other recent book See How They Run, which I’ve had downloaded forever but still haven’t read… Unfortunately, it fell a little short on the “wow” factor for me with the first 50% of the book being too slow and nothing-y for my liking, plus there were lots of bits that I found really predictable when I was expecting big shocks.

What didn’t help my opinion of this book was the fact I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, especially not our two main ones, Tom and Wendy. They just seemed a little lifeless and felt too “cookie cutter” even though they weren’t meant to be that at all. Wendy especially annoyed me because she was clueless and naive! And the situation between her and Tom annoyed me because it felt to me like she was using him even though she’d sworn they were meant to be apart.

You know when you watch a horror movie and the main person just does all the wrong things, like go down into a dark room calling out “hello” when they’ve just heard some strange ass noises and you’re like “NO WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?” Well that’s how I felt about this book. I suppose if everyone in the books did the right things all the time then it might be harder for the author to work their way round them and still make it an exciting read, but when it gets to the point where they’re doing nothing right, maybe you should rethink how dumb your characters are.

Although the plot was pretty exciting I didn’t feel it was realistic enough and that made me kind of detached from it all. I suppose not liking the family in any way also made me feel less bad about what was happening to them which made everything seem less tense and scary.

I hate to say it, this was really disappointing for me. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. I’m still going to give his other novel a read and go into reading it with an open, so hopefully that won’t disappoint either. Also, please can someone explain the title for me? On the cover it says Ring a ring o’roses, All Fall Down but I don’t see a connection?

Buy it here!

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookoture for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

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