And Then Things Fall Apart
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And Then Things Fall Apart

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  377 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Keek's life was totally perfect.
Keek and her boyfriend just had their Worst Fight Ever; her best friend heinously betrayed her; her parents are divorcing; and her mom's across the country caring for her newborn cousin, who may or may not make it home from the hospital. To top it all off, Keek's got the plague. (Well, the chicken pox.) Now she's holed up at her grandmother'...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Simon Pulse
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After reading an interview with Arlaina Tibensky on The Contemps, I impulse bought And Then Things Fall Apart (thank you Kindle).

It was love at first word. Not since I encountered Francesca Spinelli have I so instantly been hooked by a character's voice (I know regular readers, I know!).

Keek is fabulous, I just loved her. Her voice lunges out of the book, grabs hold of you, and keeps hold, long after the last word is read. Arlaina Tibensky does a wonderful job of making her just the right side o...more
lucy by the sea
I like a good ramble and mumble grumble but this book has pretty much no plot. Her parents have broken up, shes an angsty virgin and that's about it for the whole book. I kept reading it and gave it 3 stars cos I quite liked the tone, shes witty and I liked the literary references.
First off, I need to express my undying love for the heroine of this book. Holy eff, Keek is just fantastic. I felt such a strong connection with her that several times it seemed like she was speaking directly to me, cracking me up with inside jokes and telling me stories I'd specifically appreciate. Keek's voice is so strong. She is real, funny and overall so damn INTERESTING. I loved her from her first feverish sentence. I'd even go as far as to call her one of my favorite heroines ever.

It's always nice when one cursorily reads something nice about a book on a blog, then months later randomly sees it at the library and picks it up whilst somewhat remembering hearing about it and not only does it turn out to be quite good, but Really Quite Good Indeed.

In And Then Things Fall Apart, high school student Keek has a revelatory summer after developing a later-in-life case of the chicken pox. She's feuding with her best friend and boyfriend, her parents are separated after her father...more
Kai (Amaterasu Reads)
Review posted at Amaterasu Reads

I will be starting this review with the quote: "Sometimes things fall apart so they can fall into the right places." It might not be the exact quote, but it's the one I remember vividly while I was reading this book.

Keek's life went from perfect to worse. Just a week ago she was still happy with her boyfriend, Matt, until they had a fight over doing "it". Until she contracted chicken pox. Until her parents' marriage became a big disaster. And until her so called...more
This is going to be a pretty short review because i don't have a whole lot to say. I really wanted to like And Then Things Fall Apart but there was not much about this book that I actually enjoyed.

I think all of the Sylvia Plath was a little too much for me. I feel like since I have never read The Bell Jar, i missed out on half of this book just because I didn't get any of the references. I always felt like I was missing something.

I also really couldn't connect with Keek very well. I felt like...more
Kelly Hager
Keek's life sucks. Her parents are splitting up (her dad cheated), she and her boyfriend had a huge fight and now she's quarantined at her grandmother's house with the chicken pox. (Which apparently is the worst thing ever when you're a teenager; she's sick for ages.) She's getting through it, though, thanks to a typewriter (did I mention that her grandma's house has no internet?) and a copy of The Bell Jar.

I need to re-read The Bell Jar, I think, because it is all over this novel and it's not a...more
Jen Ryland
From "Best Kept YA Secrets 2011" Dec 13, 2011

Sylvia Plath. Chicken Pox. An old-fashioned typewriter.

This sounds like a party game: pick three things out of a hat and make them into a story. But it works. Keek is quarantined at her grandmother's house with a case of the chicken pox and this mysterious device called a typewriter. She's pissed at her boyfriend. Her parents are splitting up. And she's obsessed with Sylvia Plath. This book is clever, poignant and funny. Ke...more
Tracey G
oh my goodness this book did nothing for me. the only thing i enjoyed was the scattered poetry inbetween chapters and (view spoiler) which was just the right tone of anger and longing for a lost friend. but i still wish i hadn't wasted time reading this book.
I wasn't planning on 5 stars, but you know what? It is amazing and I loved it, even if some of it made me a little squeamish. It's not perfect it's true, but insightful and funny and very well done. I tore through it.
AMAZING. It was me, written through pages and pages.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read this book after hearing the author speak at a conference last November and thinking that she sounded like me. I had no real idea what to expect from the book. Even so, it managed to be not what I expected.

Keek (short for Karina) is sick. Heartsick, and also chicken-pox-sick. Her parents are splitting up, she and her boyfriend had a Fight, and her baby cousin is in the NICU on the other side of the country, and on top of all that she's covered in itchy pox. The novel is essentially Keek's...more
This book is cute. I liked it. I recommend it. It's a YA novel with no real romance (although she is in a relationship - maybe) and really nothing happening, and I really like those two things about it. Tibensky pulls it off. Keek is sometimes a little too precocious - like, I don't totally buy it - but I enjoy her voice and her obsession with Sylvia Plath (even though I've never read The Bell Jar) and her typewriter habit. I was fascinated by the development of her relationships with her mom, h...more
Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)
And Then Things Fall Apart is so far from what I thought it was going to be, but fantastic all the same. As depressing as it may sound for Keek to be stranded at her Gram’s house, with chicken pox –

like the flu, but with infectious and hideous wounds that itch like fire-breathing ants all over your body and could scar you for life if treated improperly. ~ pg. 8

– alone with her thoughts, her Gram’s old typewriter, and her cheating father living in the basement, it’s not. Keek’s life is in the pr...more
Aug 11, 2011 Lauren rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Keek's big plan for the summer definitely didn't involve catching a rare case of the chicken pox and being stuck at her grandmother's house with only an old typewriter and a copy of The Bell Jar to keep her company. However, nothing has really been going Keek's way lately. Her parents are splitting up - probably for good if the fact that her mom has run all the way off to the other side of the country is any inkling. Her reckless best friend Amanda has deceived her in one of the worst ways possi...more
Honestly, the description for And Then Things Fall Apart sounds pretty average - not terrible, but nothing that hasn't been done before. But after reading so many reviews talking about how much fun this book is, I had to give it a try, and they were right - And Then Things Fall Apart is hilarious!

The best thing about this book is Keek. She's such a realistic character, I could picture her easily - it felt like I was reading about my best friend, not some fictional character. She's unique, blunt...more
Jenn (Booksessed)
I liked this title; at least I think I did. Keeks was an interesting character. Not only does she love the book The Bell Jar, her fever from chickenpox makes her hallucinate. I’m fairly certain that her boyfriend problems would have really annoyed me if the hallucinations hadn’t been so funny. I found the fact that Keek’s boyfriend’s name was Matt. (My sweetheart’s name). Every time she was complaining about something that he’d done in the past, I had this internal dialogue of “not true!!” I’m c...more
Jennah Scott
Keek is a huge fan of Sylvia Plath, specifically The Bell Jar. That book wasn't a favorite of mine growing up, and it still isn't. I thought that would be a turn off for me, but it wasn't. I will say, this book didn't make me want to run out and pick up The Bell Jar. But Arlaina Tibensky did a fabulous job relating parts of Plath's book to Keek's life experiences and internal debates.

Throughout the book Keek is dealing with some typical teen issues while suffering through chicken pox. Her boyfr...more
Sara Grochowski
I very much enjoyed AND THEN THINGS FALL APART. The entire story is told primarily from a sickbed, as the main character, Keek, has been struck by a late case of the chicken pox. Keek's parents are getting divorced, her mom is across the country, and her boyfriend is AWOL. All Keek has to distract her from the itching and other unfortunate side effects is her grandmother, well-loved copy of Sylvia Plath's THE BELL JAR, and an ancient typewriter.

For me, it was Keek's voice that made the novel. Sh...more
Janet Morris
It wasn't very far into this book when I realized that I didn't really like it. I kept trying to convince myself to just enjoy the story or, at least, not to get too down on it so quickly. I was hoping that it would redeem itself somehow, but I don't think that it ever really did.

The narrator, a fifteen year old girl nicknamed Keek, is stuck at her grandmother's house during the summer with a case of chicken pox because her parents didn't get her vaccinated for that or any other communicable dis...more
Patricia (Patricia's Particularity)
And Then Things Fall Apart is a refreshing look into the mind of a teenage girl watching her world fall apart around her, unable to gain any control over any aspect of it. Keek uses a form of journaling on her grandmother's typewriter, unable to have any technology, and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar to explore her thoughts and feelings and what they really mean.

"Getting what I'm thinking onto paper is smudgy black letters feels good, like stretching or punching a wall. Or crying."

Keek's words flow
15-year old Keek’s life seems perfect. It’s the summer before sophomore year and she has the perfect family, the perfect boyfriend, the perfect job helping out at her parents’ restaurant, and the perfect co-worker and new best friend, Amanda. Then everything falls apart. Keek’s dad has an affair with Amanda. Keek finds out that her mom has been embezzling from the restaurant for months. Keek and her boyfriend, Matt, have a tremendous fight over the subject of his and her virginity (or lack there...more
Judy (Geeky Reading)
[Taken from my blog: ]

I was expecting this to be good, and it was. I usually end up enjoying letter or journal style books, especially when it's about a person that might be rambling and thinking a lot throughout the book, and when I found out that's what this book is, I wasn't disappointed.
The book is about Keek, who has chicken pox and is staying with her Grandmother, while her parents are divorcing and she's trying to deal with her fight with h...more
Magan (Rather Be Reading)
[Review originally published on Rather Be Reading!]

I was so hopeful that And Then Things Fall Apart was going to be a sweet, fun read. It sounded like Keek was going through a lot and I was ready to go all Jersey Shore with a fist pump in celebration of another contemporary young adult book. I wish I could say that And Then Things Fell Apart lived up to my expectations.

Keek was a whiny fifteen-year-old character. She complained about absolutely everything. In the beginning, I gave her a lot of l...more
This book is one of those "pulled off the shelf at the library and thought what the heck I'll read it." And it wasn't half bad except for the fact that the plot line was so completely random I had a hard time being able to follow what was going on.
So basically here's the summery: Keek has the chickenpox. Oh and she's currently "living" at her grandmothers house where her father now lives because her mom kicked him out of the house for sleeping with a waitress who also happened to be Keek's best...more
And Then Things Fall Apart is Keek's story when she gets the chicken pox. On top of that, she and her boyfriend just had their worst fight ever, her best friend betrayed her, her parents are divorcing and her mother shipped her off to her grandma's.

What I really liked about this story is that Keek is so funny. She's witty, incredibly intelligent and she definitely knows what she's talking about when she speaks of The Bell Jar/ In this story, it's really a retrospective journey for Keek as she l...more
Pamela Hubbard
I was unsure what to think when I started reading this book, but the writing and emotion were so beautifully poetic that it drew me in. Keek's life is the pits right now. It is summer time, but she is trapped at her grandma's house with no technology and suffering through chicken pox. On top of that, she doesn't know where she stands with her boyfriend, her dad was caught cheating on her mom, and her mom is across the country with her sister and her sister's premature baby. Keek's only friend is...more

Discovery: I first mentioned this book in an Anticipation post . While I hadn’t heard of it earlier in the year, the unique writing style drew me in.

+ Writing style. As I mentioned earlier, And Then Things Fall Apart isn’t a flashy story, but it has a vibrant voice. This book is a diary-of-sorts for Keek and the voice Arlaina Tibensky uses is perfect. The structure lapses into stream-of-consciousness and can sometimes be...more
Sarah (YA Love)
Actually 4.5 stars

And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky is a prime example of great contemporary Y.A. literature. Keek has a true, authentic voice, which I enjoyed immensely. I’m actually struggling right now trying to find the words to write this review because I loved this book that much.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if And Then Things Fall Apart was a book I wanted to read when I first heard about it. I hadn’t read that many reviews, and I’ve never finished reading The Bell Jar, so I d...more
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And then things fall apart-Cedar Ellis 1 3 May 25, 2012 07:35AM  
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