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Rocks Fall Everyone Dies
Cover of Rocks Fall Everyone Dies
Rocks Fall Everyone Dies
Twin Peaks meets Stars Hollow in this paranormal suspense novel about a boy who can reach inside people and steal their innermost things—fears, memories, scars, even love—and his family's secret ritual that for centuries has kept the cliff above their small town from collapsing.
Aspen Quick has never really worried about how he's affecting people when he steals from them. But this summer he'll discover just how strong the Quick family magic is—and how far they'll go to keep their secrets safe.
With a smart, arrogant protagonist, a sinister family tradition, and an ending you won't see coming, this is a fast-paced, twisty story about power, addiction, and deciding what kind of person you want to be, in a family that has the ability to control everything you are.
From the Hardcover edition.
Twin Peaks meets Stars Hollow in this paranormal suspense novel about a boy who can reach inside people and steal their innermost things—fears, memories, scars, even love—and his family's secret ritual that for centuries has kept the cliff above their small town from collapsing.
Aspen Quick has never really worried about how he's affecting people when he steals from them. But this summer he'll discover just how strong the Quick family magic is—and how far they'll go to keep their secrets safe.
With a smart, arrogant protagonist, a sinister family tradition, and an ending you won't see coming, this is a fast-paced, twisty story about power, addiction, and deciding what kind of person you want to be, in a family that has the ability to control everything you are.
From the Hardcover edition.
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  • From the book CHAPTER ONE

    Brandy and Theo were about to break up. They just didn't know it yet.
    They were fighting about this movie they'd seen last week, and Theo was going, "What's the point? The whole plot was just an excuse for explosions!"
    Brandy responded with, "The explosions are the point," which I mentally added to the long list of reasons she was basically the hottest girl on the planet.
    Me? I dipped yet another French fry in ketchup, shoved it into my mouth, and watched the action unfold.
    Theo—poor, clueless Theo—just went, "Well, it was stupid," and took another giant bite of his burger. I'd already finished mine.
    "You always think stuff I like is stupid," said Brandy. You could practically see the exact moment when she reached the end of her rope. "Always. God. You don't even try to like my stuff."
    "I do so try," replied Theo. "I saw the movie with you, didn't I?"
    "Yeah, because you wanted to grope me when the lights went down." Brandy tossed her hair, and I shoved a handful of fries in my mouth to keep myself from grinning.
    Oh yes. Here it came.
    "I swear, I don't know why I was ever into you."
    "Wha . . . what?" Theo was so totally perplexed by now, I almost felt sorry for him. "You were plenty into me yesterday. Hell, you were into me five minutes ago."
    It was four minutes ago. I'd been keeping track. But I didn't say anything, obviously. Just chewed my food in silence, trying not to let on how much I was enjoying this.
    Unfortunately, Brandy's reply was interrupted by the sudden sound of a Black Keys song blasting into the quiet diner. My cell phone. Aunt Holly's ringtone.
    "Hello?" I said. Beside me, Theo called Brandy a very rude name.
    "Ma says there's a fault in the stone," said Aunt Holly in her usual curt voice. "How soon can you be home?"
    Normally I would have pointed out that the house she shared with Grandma wasn't technically home for me—but there was no point in arguing semantics with people as easily provoked as her. So I just said, "Fifteen minutes if you make me walk. Five if you pick me up."
    "God, you're lazy." She sighed. "All right, just meet us at the May Day field. Ten minutes." The line went dead.
    "Guys, I have to go," I said, grabbing my jacket and easing out of the booth. "The relatives require my presence."
    "See? That's another thing," said Brandy, without even missing a beat. "Look at the relationship Aspen has with his family. They call, he comes running. And vice versa, probably. That's how it should be! But all I ever hear from you is how much you hate your parents."
    Brandy, on the other hand, called her father every single night after dinner. She pretended like it was her idea, as opposed to a product of her dad's all-encompassing paranoia about basically everything, but you could tell it was a pain in her ass.
    Theo sputtered pathetic half words as he sank lower and lower into his seat. I couldn't blame him. Brandy always looked like a vengeful goddess when she got angry, and this was probably the angriest I'd ever seen her. I was kind of sorry I had to leave.
    But up here, a call from Aunt Holly trumped everything—even something as potentially life-changing as this fight. I slipped a ten onto the table to cover my meal and headed for the door just as the waiter came over, probably to ask Brandy and Theo to lower their voices.
    It was a gorgeous summer upstate New York night, the likes of which you never get down in the city. Instead of air conditioners spitting dirty water onto overheated sidewalks, Three Peaks was all cool mountain air...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 28, 2016
    A young man with the ability to steal memories and other aspects of a person’s identity learns the cost of his power in this unnerving tale of supernatural suspense. Aspen Quick’s family has secretly protected their small upstate New York town for generations, using their gifts to conduct a periodic ritual to keep the cliff that looms over Three Peaks from collapsing. Aspen also uses his powers for his own benefit—stealing sobriety in order to drink without consequence or stealing his best friends’ love for each other so he can act on a long-hidden crush. As the summer wears on, he runs into a girl immune to his powers and eventually discovers the source of his family’s oddness, as well as dark secrets that threaten to upset their carefully maintained status quo. Ribar (The Art of Wishing) sets up an intriguing premise and explores Aspen’s abilities in provocative ways. The coercive, nonconsensual nature of Aspen’s family’s powers makes for deeply unsettling reading, and Aspen’s recognition of this comes slow and late in the process, and isn’t entirely convincing. Ages 12–up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from April 15, 2016
    A teenage boy learns that the power to steal people's innermost feelings is both a blessing and curse. For generations, 17-year-old Aspen Quick's family has conducted a secret ritual to keep the cliff hanging over their small town from falling: they use a special power to "reach" inside people, steal their memories, desires, fears, talents, and physical attributes, and feed them to the cliff. Smart, cocky, and confident, Aspen doesn't think twice about also using this power to influence strangers and friends for his personal gain. But no amount of magic can bring Aspen's Chinese-American mom back after his parents split up. And when Aspen's friends Brandy and Theo join him at his grandmother's house for the summer, the biracial teen learns that "reaching" isn't the only secret his family has been keeping. Ultimately, Aspen must decide how far he's willing to go to get what he wants. The novel's complex characters and family drama pull readers in from the first page. Ribar balances weighty moral dilemmas with the unusual adventures of a teen who has the power to manipulate those around him. Flashback chapters chronicling Aspen's younger years are interspersed throughout the story, to good effect. Fast-paced and unpredictable, the plot seamlessly balances a summer romance with well-crafted paranormal suspense. A fresh and substantive story about family, love, and deciding who you want to be in the world. (Paranormal suspense. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2016

    Gr 8 Up-For generations, Aspen Quick's family has lived in the small town of Three Peaks and has performed a magical ritual that keeps the large, rocky cliff towering above the town from collapsing. Aspen is spending the summer with his aunt and grandmother, completing a magical triad. Two friends from the city are vacationing with Aspen, but he is able to keep them ignorant of his family's powers. The teen loves his magic. He is able to take things from people without their knowing. Aspen steals emotions like fear or bravery, conditions such as sobriety or calmness, and even physical attributes such as freckles or a strong lower back. He also sees nothing wrong with using his magic to make his dream girl fall for him, or to ease the way socially at parties. But the Quicks' magic is not as secret as they think, and when you steal things from people, there are consequences. Aspen is self-assured to the point of cockiness. Readers who at first might admire his abilities will quickly become appalled by how frequently and thoughtlessly the teen steals. Aspen's friends are a believable teen couple, the local girl who knows too much is fascinating and emotionally volatile, and Aspen's family members are intriguingly creepy. There are several twists, and the Quick family's ruthlessness makes for breathtaking storytelling.

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Rocks Fall Everyone Dies
Rocks Fall Everyone Dies
Lindsay Ribar
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