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The Fall

    RYAR Review: THE FALL by Bethany Griffin

    Previously published on ReadingYA.rocks


    ABOUT THE BOOK


    THE FALL by Bethany Griffin
    Published by Greenwillow Books on October 7, 2014
    Genres: Thriller
    Provided by: Edelweiss
    Rating: 5 stars

    AMAZON | B&N | GOODREADS

    This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

    DESCRIPTION

    Madeline Usher is doomed.

    She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

    Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

    In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.


    REVIEW


    Chilling and haunting and utterly mesmerizing, THE FALL will pull readers in from its very first chapter, a chapter that introduces Madeline Usher who wakes to find herself in a stone sarcophagus, entombed alive. The story then goes back in time to earlier in Madeline’s life, leaving the question of Madeline’s survival unanswered until much later, making this a gripping and nail-biting read.

    A reimagining of Poe’s classic, Bethany Griffin expands upon his dark tale with one that’s even darker, more macabre, sadder and more disturbing, though perhaps a bit more hopeful. Told in the first person, from Madeline’s point of view, with peeks into Lisbeth Usher’s journal interspersed throughout, the story moves back and forth in time revealing earlier moments in Madeline’s life and leading to the present and the predicament she finds herself in.

    Through these glimpses into Madeline’s past a grim and twisted tale unfolds, one of madness and murder. From the family’s curse that causes terrible pain and illness and ends in insanity and death to those inflicted. To the sentient and evil nature of the home. To Madeline’s struggle, as one of the last in the line of Ushers and a favorite of the home, to keep her strength and sanity in order to fight against the curse and the house and save herself and her brother Roderick.

    It’s an enthralling story that will keep readers engaged, horrified and hopeful throughout. With a protagonist who is interesting and intriguing and oddly likable, one readers will find themselves rooting for more and more as the story progresses.

    While not an original, the author’s expanded story is unique in its telling, its character development and its detail. THE FALL is a fascinating, eerie and atmospheric, and beautifully written story that is not to be missed, whether a fan of Poe or not.

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    THE FALL Blog Tour: Interview with Bethany Griffin + Giveaway

    thefall

    I am a huge fan of Author Bethany Griffin and I love, love, love her newly released novel THE FALL, based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher. So I am more than thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for this eerie and chilling and unputdownable book.

    From the very start, the novel pulls you in and makes you anxious to find out just what will happen to Madeline. It will make you race through the pages to find out what’s really going on in that house and how she ended up in the situation she was in when you were first introduced.

    And while I know what happens, I shall not reveal it here. The suspense adds to the experience and I would not want to ruin it. But if you’d like to know a little bit more about THE FALL, be sure to check out the Q&A I have with the author in which she reveals a bit about the inspiration behind THE FALL, a bit more about the story and its characters, and which scene was her most difficult to write.

    This tour also includes a swag-tastic GRAND PRIZE giveaway with a signed copy of the book as well as three signed book and bookmark giveaway prizes. So if you’d like to enter for a chance to win, scroll down to the Rafflecopter a bit further down.

    And if you’d like to read a few reviews, check out a couple of interviews and guest posts, be sure to visit the other stops on the tour. The schedule is at the bottom of this post.

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    About The Fall

    THE FALL-2

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: THE FALL
    Author: Bethany Griffin
    Release date: October 7, 2014
    Publisher: Greenwillow Books
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Description…

    Madeline Usher is doomed.

    She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

    Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

    In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | GOODREADS


    The Interview

    Q&A with Bethany Griffin

    Q. What was it about Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher that appealed most to you and inspired your novel, THE FALL?

    The Fall of the House of Usher has always been my favorite Poe story. I loved the haunted house, the failing Ushers, the general atmosphere and mood of the story. For me it is the quintessential Poe story. It was published after his death, and embodies everything that (in my opinion) makes Poe great.

    Q. THE FALL is not your first novel to stem from one of Poe’s stories. What is it about expanding and changing Poe’s classic stories and reimagining the worlds he created that draws you in and entices you to create longer ones?

    The Fall actually WAS my first Poe inspired novel. I wrote it before Masque of the Red Death, and in fact, my agent hesitated to look at Masque because, to paraphrase, ‘he was still in love with The Fall and unwilling to move on to a new story’. But once he read the first pages of Masque, it became our focus, and was the story that was published first. For several years I didn’t know if and when The Fall would be published. But back to the original question, I think it’s the atmosphere of Poe’s stories that makes me want to expand and add to them. What stories fascinate more? I think fairy tales have the same eternal (and creepy) quality, and there are many retellings of Shakespeare’s stories, but otherwise, what classic stories fascinate teen readers more thoroughly than Poe?

    Q. For those who may not have read The Fall of the House of Usher, in what ways is your story and its characters, particularly Madeline Usher, similar to or different from the original? To what extent does your story parallel Poe’s short tale? And at what point does the story take on a life of its own?

    Well, Madeline in Poe’s story is pretty much mute. She has no voice, and no story besides being Roderick’s sister. In my story she’s the narrator, so she has a voice, she has a story, she has agency, and is in fact much stronger that Roderick. Poe’s story comes in at the end of mine, and at that point it parallels The Fall of the House of Usher pretty closely. Originally I didn’t name Poe’s unnamed narrator, but I did finally come up with a name for him. The doctors in the story come from a reference in the Poe story to a doctor watching from the stairs (my doctors are always watching).

    As I wrote the story it grew larger with backstory and additional characters, though Madeline and Roderick are still the heart of the story.

    I did comb through Poe’s story for every possible clue or detail about the characters and their lives, and then I set the source material aside while I drafted, and revised, and revised, and rewrote, and rearranged the scenes, and revised some more!

    Q. What was your favorite scene or your most challenging scene – or both – to write in THE FALL? And why?

    I’m going to go with the first scene. I first envisioned this scene (and started drafting it) five years ago. I questioned whether I was a good enough writer to convey the horror of being buried alive. I wrote and rewrote that scene over many years, and in the process made myself more than a little claustrophobic. There were points where I had the scene memorized, and then I’d go back and change something, then something else. It’s really sort of an homage to my writing process, which involves a lot of layering in details and then slowly taking out extra words and details, and then layering in more. It was a difficult scene in that it has to convey the horror of being buried alive along with Madeline’s almost casual realization that she’s coming out of a trance where she can’t move, forcing herself to remain calm until she realizes where she is.


    About Bethany Griffin

    Bethany_GriffinBethany Griffin is a high school English teacher who prides herself on attracting creative misfits to elective classes like Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, and Speculative Literature.

    She is the author of HANDCUFFS, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, DANCE OF THE RED DEATH, GLITTER AND DOOM, and THE FALL.

    She lives with her family in Kentucky.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


    The Giveaway

    The tour has some seriously awesome prizes up for giveaway…

    • GRAND PRIZE: A Poe Prize Pack with a Raven Scarf, Necklace, Candle, and a SIGNED Hardcover of THE FALL + a SIGNED Bookmark – US ONLY
    • 3 Signed Hardcovers of THE FALL + Signed Bookmarks – International

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Sept. 29th – Bookish – Interview

    Sept. 30th – A Glass of Wine – Guest Post

    Oct. 1st – Stories & Sweeties – Review

    Oct. 2nd – Novel Novice – Review

    Oct. 3rd – Burning Impossibly Bright – Interview

    Week Two

    Oct. 6th – Fiction Freak – Review

    Oct. 7th – Once Upon a Twilight – Guest Post

    Oct. 8th – WinterHaven Books – Spotlight

    Oct. 9th – Fiktshun – Interview

    Oct. 10th – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

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    A New Pile Add: THE FALL by Bethany Griffin

    The FallTitle: THE FALL
    Author: Bethany Griffin
    Publisher: Greenwillow Books
    Pub. date: October 7, 2014
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Description…

    Madeline Usher is doomed.

    She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

    Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

    In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

    Where I heard about it?

    I first saw THE FALL when I was stalking Goodreads author profiles to see what new books I could look forward to this year. Bethany Griffin is an author whose releases I keep an eye on so that I can pre-order them. But I also saw it on Epic Reads’ Cover Reveal Roundup post, which made me that much more excited to get it on the pile.

    Why I’m adding it?

    Firstly, it’s written by Bethany Griffin. I seriously love her writing. Secondly, it’s a reimagining of one of my favorite Poe stories, The Fall of the House of Usher. Thirdly, I read the description. Sooooo awesome and creepy.

    When I’ll read it?

    Tonight? Kidding… kind of. I just saw this today on Edelweiss and instantly added it to the pile, and while I am already reading a couple of books and I have a book or two planned for this coming week, I plan on taking a peek once I finish writing this post. And if it’s as amazing as I think it will be, I will not be able to put it down.

    What do you think?

    Have you heard of THE FALL? Do you already have a copy or will you be anxiously awaiting its release this October? And are you as excited to read it as I am?

    Are you a huge fan of Bethany Griffin’s gorgeous writing? Or are you more curious about how it differs from Poe’s story?

    Do you love the fact that this is a psychological thriller? Do you love that the description already sets the stage by revealing that Madeline Usher wakes up in a coffin? Do you love that this story sounds a bit different from many of the novels out there?

    Will you be adding THE FALL to your TBR pile? Or will you be adding it to your TBR now pile?

    What makes you want to dive into THE FALL?

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