Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Autumn Falls

Autumn Falls
By Bella Thorne
Delacorte Press, 2014. 217 pages. Young adult fiction.

When Autumn's dad dies unexpectedly in a car accident, her life changes drastically: new home, new school, new friends. She's not quite sure where she fits in. But one day, as she's visiting her Great-Aunt Eddy at the nursing home, Eddy gives her a final gift from her dad - a diary. But Autumn soon learns this is not just any diary; any wish she writes down miraculously comes true. Soon Autumn is using the diary to try to get the upper hand on a bully at school...without knowing the consequences of getting what she wished for.

Let me just get two things off my chest. First, the magic diary was completely unnecessary. The plot would have gone on perfectly fine (or, in my opinion, better) if Autumn had just recorded her wishes in a normal diary and all of the high school bullying had played out in a non-supernatural manner. It was Mean Girls with a magic diary. Second, many of the characters spoke in really poorly constructed Spanish. I may not be a native speaker, but I know enough Spanish to know that what her characters were saying was just plain wrong. Both of these issues annoyed me pretty much from the start.

That said, in spite of these two flaws, this book actually had a really good message to it. It talked about the consequences of getting what we wish for, the pain of bullying, being true to yourself no matter what is going on around you. In fact, it had so much good stuff going on in it that it made me even more disappointed that they messed around with all the magic diary stuff, because I think it could have been a really fun but thought-provoking book without it. In the end, it was a fun read, but be prepared to suspend reality to get to the real message. The book was a clean read with only one or two instances of swearing.


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