The Fall of Lisa Bellow

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Mar 2017

Member Reviews

Great book, but a little bit odd - it took me a while to get into it, but I definitely recommended it. I was hoping for more resolution at the end, but the way it's written is definitely more realistic.
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My thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.

DNF at 60 pages.  The teenage MC seemed to me to be slightly on the spectrum and the mother also had some mental balance issues.  I'm not a mental health professional, but the mother took "Momma Bear" to a whole new level and the daughter seemed off.  

I didn't enjoy this one.  Family drama and what seemed to be unaddressed mental health issues kind of turned me off.  Not poorly written, just didn't do anything positive for me.  From what I understand, there is no resolution to the teenager being kidnapped at the end of the book, and that is the only thing I really wanted to know, so not going to read the rest if there is no pay-off for me at the end.

Not saying this is a bad book, but it is not working for me.  I would recommend it for those who like family drama and don't need a clear cut resolution to major plot points.

No stars, because I don't feel strongly enough to give it a negative star rating and DNF 60 pages in, so can't give it a high star rating.

Note: my review on GoodReads is no star.  I can't submit a review without a star rating on NetGalley.  I went with two stars since I didn't hate what I read, but I wasn't fond of it.
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Sorry, just really couldn't get into this one. It was slow and didn't go anywhere for me. I finish everything, but I tried for months and couldn't finish this book.
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The Fall of Lisa Bellow: A Novel by Susan Perabo (Simon & Schuster, $16).

The typical family thriller these days is about a family who lost a daughter–abducted, dead, gone–with a varying point of view. Sometimes we get the mother’s story; the father’s; a sibling; the detective’s; even, occasionally, the missing girl herself. 

In The Fall of Lisa Bellow, Susan Perabo takes a slightly different tack. Meredith Oliver, an eighth grader, is by chance in a deli when a robbery takes place. So is “mean girl” Lisa Bellow. Lisa is kidnapped; Meredith is left behind. Instead of focusing on Lisa’s family, Perabo’s novel focuses on Meredith’s. We see how a family under stress copes when the absolute worst doesn’t happen–or rather, when it happens to someone else’s family instead of yours. 

The characterizations of Meredith and her mother, Claire, are incredibly well-realized, and this family drama is far more subtle and intriguing than the typical fare. Put it on your list for when you want “brain candy” with some nutrition wrapped inside.
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A very interesting book, loved and really enjoyed the reading. Strongly recommend the book if you are into page turning books.
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The cover and description are what initially drew me to this book. I really enjoyed this book. It took me a little so get into, but once I did I couldn't stop. Great read!
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Usually once I finish a novel I forgot about it but this one calls out to me to reread and reconnect.
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This one was billed as a suspenseful thriller, however, I found it more of a character study and a slow burn. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it just wasn't what I was expecting. 

This story follows teenage Meredith as she tries to come to terms with a traumatic event where she was the one left behind. Themes of survivor guilt and ptsd make up this, at times, tense narrative, but unfortunately I wasn't able to really engage with the characters. Perhaps that's just where I was at the time as I know lots of others who would love this book.
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A very interesting tale that held my attention all the way through. Great plot, twists and turns & the writing kept me hopping!  Thanks for the opportunity with this ARC!
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I felt as though the summary of this book was completely misleading. This is not at all a thriller and is barely a mystery. The book focuses on the girl that was not abducted and is so utterly absorbed in this girl and the girl's mother that the missing girl barely seems to be cared about. The characters are very self-absorbed and details about them, particularly the mother, that have absolutely no bearing on the plot are constantly included. I grew to rather dislike the characters and I did not really feel compelled by them or their story at all. Now the girl that was abducted, her I would have liked more from but the author failed in this regard. In addition, I found the writing to be bland and I can say the same for the story overall.
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This book was a Did Not Finish for me.  I simply couldn't connect with the characters or the setting.
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Perabo's novel takes place after a robbery and abduction that leaves one girl questioning the mysteries of life and death. This is an interesting look at how we respond to intense situations, but it limped to an ending.
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The Fall of Lisa Bellow is a stirring and unique meditation on suffering, loss, and survival. A book that will haunt me for quite a while.
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Lisa Bellow & Meredith Oliver are not best of friends, they are schoolmates whose lockers are next to each others. Lisa Bellow is introduced as a mean person who is good at bullying other kids.

A masked man with a gun enters a sandwich shop in broad daylight, and Meredith Oliver suddenly finds herself ordered to the dirty floor,Meredith comes face to face with Lisa Bellow, the most popular girl in her eighth grade class. In a span of few minutes the gunman orders Lisa to follow him and then the story spirals around the consequences to Meredith's mind thinking about Lisa's fate.
As Meredith is going through the turmoil of the consequences, her mom Claire is going through her own suffering between the injured son (Meredith's brother) and Meredith's helplessness!

What I liked - Meredith's character was well thought, but the rest of them could have been improvised better!
Her brother who gets injured in the eye and cannot play baseball was annoying, and the father was even worse though their roles are not as much as her mom and Lisa's mom's in the book.

What I didnt understand - why Meredith suddenly felt close to Lisa though she was ignored by Lisa & her friends! 
also is there a 2nd book coming out as I felt the ending was very abrupt with unanswered questions - what happened after the abduction to Lisa???
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Such a fun summer read!  I will be telling everyone about this one!
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I really need to know what happened to Lisa Bellow! There seemed to be so much more possible with this story. Very ambiguous...I want to know what happened with the other characters as well.
Thank you NetGalley for the advanced digital copy.
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The Fall of Lisa Bellow started off promising, with an interesting premise and an adult-gaze into tropes that usually dominate YA literature: the mean girls, cliques, the brooding outsider. But this proved to be its downfall; a lot of the writing felt stilted, as if the author was trying harder than she needed to in order to get the teenage life right. The clichés were overblown and hyperbolic in nature, making the book almost impossible to trudge through. Moreover, the author spends much longer than is necessary on tiny details, which makes the most straightforward passages sound pretentious. Unfortunately, I had to abandon the book around the 30% mark, because it was proving impossible for me to continue.
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Haunting...   A look into the mind of a 13 year old girl who witnessed a robbery and the abduction of her popular classmate and the fallout in her own life, family and community.  Meredith goes through a range of emotions as she sorts through her memories of what happened during the abduction as well as her memories of Lisa Bellow before her abduction and the "could of's" that go through her mind about the abduction and after.  It is heartbreaking and shocking what goes through her head.  Then there is the way Lisa's mother is acting, wanting Lisa's friends to spend time at her house and to talk to at their homes and on the phone.  The police can't seem to figure out who the kidnapper is and if Lisa knew him.  Meredith's mother doesn't know how to handle Meredith's sudden distance from her and everyone else and her thoughts and mindset is sometimes refreshingly honest and at other times sort of scary.  Meredith's relationship with her brother, who is also still recovering from a life-changing event of his own, helped carry the storyline at times.  Overall I liked the book, especially the character development, but I wished the book did not end as suddenly as it seemed to because I got attached to the characters and wanted to see more of their future.

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.  

I received a free advanced copy of this book from NetGalley for review consideration.
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Meredith Oliver is a 13 year old girl, Lisa Bellow is her nemesis.  One day during an armed robbery at the local Deli Barn Lisa is kidnapped, while Meredith crouches on the floor nearby. Over the next several months, Meredith struggles to make sense of what has happened and even imagines what possibilities her kidnapped classmate is now experiencing.  he Fall of Lisa Bellow explores, what happens to the girl who is left behind. There are several threads running through this story which I thought seemed to distract from the focus of this story. Although I enjoyed listening to the audio, in the end I felt like I wanted something more in terms of a resolution. (3.5/5 STARS)

http://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2017/05/books-read-and-week-in-review-we-5132017.html
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What happens before, during, and after The Fall of Lisa Bellows?

Meredith, a self-conscious and nerdy 14-year old girl, attempts to decipher what’s real and what’s trauma-induced fantasy in Susan Perabo’s coming-of-age novel, The Fall of Lisa Bellows. After a classmate gets kidnapped in a deli robbery that Meredith witnessed, she along with her mother Claire, father Mark, and teenage brother Evan (who recently suffered his own trauma when his left eye was blown out in a freak baseball accident killing his once superior athletic skills and almost his spirit) are lost in a sea of confusion as to how to deal with luck and whatever the opposite of luck is. Meredith’s travel to anther place mentally not only seems natural in the aftermath of the crime but, like her, we hope that it’s true that Lisa is alive and kept company–at the very least by the little white dog.

Wendy Ward
http://wendyrward.tumblr.com/
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