STARRED REVIEW
December 02, 2017

Good friends will always catch you

By Marcella Pixley

With grace and humor, author Marcella Pixley’s Ready to Fall captures the intricacies of a teenage boy with crippling grief and an illness he believes is all too real.

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With grace and humor, author Marcella Pixley’s Ready to Fall captures the intricacies of a teenage boy with crippling grief and an illness he believes is all too real.

Max has a problem, and it’s in his head. When his mother dies of cancer, he invites her brain tumor into his head in a misguided attempt to stay close to her. Max is now convinced the tumor lives in his head, and it’s a really bad tenant. He imagines that it throws parties and bangs around at all hours of the day and night, belching and shouting. As a result, Max finds it impossible to think, feel or do much of anything.

Max’s concerned guardians send him to an artsy new school with hopes that a fresh start will get him involved in life again. Their plan begins to work as Max joins the cast of the school’s production of Hamlet. To bond, the cast participates in trust falls (hence the title of the book), and even though he’s unable to complete the trust fall, Max does begin to feel comfortable with his new friends, even to the point of sometimes forgetting about his raucous tumor. However, family complications—such as seeing his father kiss an attractive single mother from his school—threaten to shatter any tenuous emergence from his darkness.

Readers will ache for Max, but they will also revel in his effervescent teen spirit.

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Ready to Fall

Ready to Fall

By Marcella Pixley
FSG
ISBN 9780374303587

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