The Children’s Book Review | March 17, 2015
By Bella Thorne
Age Range: 12 and up
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press (2014)
What to expect: High School, New Home, New Friends, Journal Writing, Bullying, Loss, Dyslexia,
Fitting in at a new school is never easy, but when you happen to be a fiery redhead, full-time klutz and accidental thorn in Aventura High’s queen bee’s side, Autumn Falls can only wish for an under-the-radar existence. Dealing with a new home and family heartache is hard enough, but when the most popular girl in school has taken to practicing her death stare on you, it seems impossible that Autumn will ever fit in, even if she has managed to secure some awesome and genuine new friends.
Autumn vents her feelings in a journal gifted by her slightly crazy grandmother, signing off each entry with a wish – and then those far-fetched wishes begin to come true. Could it be coincidence, or can Autumn change her circumstances with each entry into her journal? As Autumn works her way through a wish-list of problem solvers, she quickly learns that you should be careful what you wish for, as some wishes are more trouble than they’re worth.
Bella Thorne’s debut novel reads like a peppy Disney movie with none of the clichés and cringes—a breath of fresh air. The seventeen year-old actress, singer, and dancer can now add author to her glitzy résumé, and she should be taken seriously for it. Here’s a succinct, playful, genuine novel that YA readers will laugh along and fall in love with. Thorne’s protagonist is charming and relatable, the story sharp and ensnaring with a touch of magic thrown in, and the teenage humor and cynicism on-point and delightful.
Autumn Falls touches on light bullying, loss, dyslexia, realistic high-school life with accuracy and grace, with plenty of fun in between. It’s a snappy page-turner: one that younger readers will devour, devout fans of Thorne or not, looking up to and seeking wisdom from a believable young girl finding her place in the world, while elder readers will delight at such a fun, engaging read that can be gobbled up this summer in as little as an afternoon.
Add this book to your collection: Autumn Falls, by Bella Thorne
About the Author
Known for her role as Cece Jones on the Disney Channel’s hit show Shake It Up, Bella Thorne has over 8 million likes on Facebook, 5 million followers on Twitter, and almost 3 million followers on Instagram. At age sixteen, Bella is a role model for young people, serving as a Global Ambassador for Stomp Out Bullying and as lead ambassador for iDECIDE, a campaign encouraging teens to focus on making smart and healthy decisions, such as saying no to underage drinking. Bella is no stranger to personal struggles, but her positive energy, her stay-true-to-yourself message, and her amazing family, plus the love of all the bellarinas/-os around the world, are the driving forces behind everything she does.
Autumn Falls, by Bella Thorne, was reviewed by Charlie Kennedy. Follow along with our book reviews and articles tagged with “Bullying Books” and our Young Adult Books category to discover more great novels.