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We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier

We All Fall Down

by Robert Cormier

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If you loved The Chocolate War, you will probably enjoy this one as well, although this is an easier read.

One of the protagonists sees people as either "good" or "bad." He ultimately learns that what you do determines in which category you fit, not what you think or how you feel. Interesting characters and realistic social dynamics for a high school student to think about, along with a page-turner plot. As always with Cormier, no cheesy fairy-tale endings. Just reality.

For teachers & parents:

Deals very realistically with alcoholism, peer pressure, and divorce. Also explores sociopathic behavior, realistic teen romance. I'd recommend this to a teen trying to understand alcoholism (maybe has a parent who is alcoholic, is struggling with it himself, etc.)

( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
Haunting in a way only Cormier could craft. ( )
  lizzyerwin | Aug 20, 2013 |
This is a frequently challenged book (like most of Cormier's books) about a group of teenagers who break into a house, vandalize it, and assault the young teenage girl who makes the mistake of coming home early. The violence is ugly, brutal and exceedingly real. The book unflinchingly depicts it and then moves beyond it to address the consequences of this violence for everyone concerned.

Cormier deals with dark subjects in a complex and mature way. So many books for young adults romanticize violence in one way or another, but his do not. They show it in all its nasty, empowering glory. They're disturbing and make you feel dirty once you've read them, but they also make you think and analyze the whys and wherefores and that's what good books do.

This one is disturbing enough to give you nightmares, but compelling and truth telling all the same. Given the amount of violence our young adults experience in their day-to-day worlds, more books need to help them explicate it for themselves. ( )
  kraaivrouw | Nov 1, 2009 |
In Robert Cormier’s We all Fall Down, Jan Jerome’s home is vandalized by four bored suburban teens. Her sister is in a coma, because she interrupted the vandals, who while assaulting her pushed her down the cellar stairs. Jan’s family struggles to put the pieces of their life back to together, but the destruction is not easily covered with new paint and carpet. Unbeknownst to the vandals, a witness who calls himself The Avenger has seen the evildoers and vows to exact revenge. While Jan struggles with her uncertainties, one of the vandals struggles with his own demons. Buddy Walker’s parents are getting divorced, the ringleader of the vandalism is manipulating him, and he is quickly becoming a teen alcoholic. Buddy feels great guilt for the drunken free for all that he participated in, and he can’t escape the images of Jan’s bedroom in particular. When these two meet and fall in love it makes for a great twist to the story. While Jan brings comfort and strength to Buddy, the relationship can never work because of Buddy’s participation in the vandalism and the fact that he is still keeping it from her. The Avenger is shocked to see Jan with one of the vandals, and his love for her becomes a hate that is even stronger than what he feels for the destructive teens. Jan’s life seems to get better as her sister awakens from the coma, but then she faces near death at the hands of The Avenger and she learns of Buddy’s participation in the wrecking of her home. Even though she deeply loves him, Jan chooses to place the value of her integrity above her love for Buddy. She tried to support him in his fight against his need for alcohol, but she will not forgive him for being the type of person who could destroy her home and lie to her everyday about it. Buddy is too damaged for Jan to repair and she won’t subject her family, or herself to someone who lacks such a moral backbone.
1 vote mmmahaffey | Feb 26, 2009 |
We All Fall Down by Cormier Robert (2001)
  Francostudies | Feb 5, 2009 |
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They entered the house at 9:02 p.m. on the evening of April Fools' Day.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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What happens when your life is out of control.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440215560, Mass Market Paperback)

They entered the house at 9:02 P.M. and trashed their way through the Cape Cod cottage. At 9:46 P.M. Karen Jerome made the mistake of arriving home early. Thrown down the basement stairs, Karen slips into a coma. The trashers slip away.

But The Avenger has seen it all.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:22 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

As The Avenger searches for the teenage boys who trashed a house in his neighborhood, Buddy, one of the trashers, increases his drinking in order to cope with his parents' separation and his obsession with the daughter of the owner of the vandalized house.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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