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The Fall of Lisa Bellow

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  2,159 ratings  ·  491 reviews
When a middle school girl is abducted in broad daylight, a fellow student and witness to the crime copes with the tragedy in an unforgettable way.

What happens to the girl left behind?

A masked man with a gun enters a sandwich shop in broad daylight, and Meredith Oliver suddenly finds herself ordered to the filthy floor, where she cowers face to face with her nemesis, Lisa B
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Simon Schuster
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Susan Perabo Thanks for asking! I love the cover. It wasn't anything I expected or imagined, but I thought it captured the spirit of the story perfectly. What I li…moreThanks for asking! I love the cover. It wasn't anything I expected or imagined, but I thought it captured the spirit of the story perfectly. What I like best about it is that I can imagine each of the female characters as either figure -- the one falling, or the one trying to keep the other from falling. Meredith and Lisa exchange these roles throughout the novel, and I think Meredith and Claire do as well. (less)

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Average rating 3.18  · 
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 ·  2,159 ratings  ·  491 reviews

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Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

4.5 Stars

I came across this book by chance. I was actually searching for another book and this one popped up. I thought it sounded really interesting.

As the book opens we meet Meredith Oliver age thirteen. Meredith is in the eighth grade, she tells us how it's all downhill after grade five.

"In fifth grade you were still friends with everyone, whether you liked it or not because it was easier for the adults that way"

The play
Elyse  Walters
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Update: Thank you 'Angela' ....she told me this book is now available for request on Edelweiss --plus its now available on Netgalley. Just letting those know --for those who are interested!
:) .....and to those who read 'advance readers'.

I know I'm not the only fan of Susan Perabo. Many community friends on Goodreads
have all said the same...."Susan's short stories -dark & light- about love and loss are
real". Susan reaches us deeply".

Well, I'm honored - and thankful to have been offered an early
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo is a 2017 Simon & Schuster publication.

This is a poignant and haunting, if not slightly offbeat novel, which examines the aftermath of a robbery and the kidnapping of Lisa Bellow.

Lisa was one of the popular girls in school and could lash out with her poisonous tongue, which Meredith Oliver found herself on the receiving end of on a few occasions. But, Meredith was not going to allow Lisa’s presence in the Deli Barn deter her from getting a root beer afte
Felice Laverne
Susan Perabo’s The Fall of Lisa Bellow is very on trend at the moment. By this, I mean that she joins the ranks of so many other authors writing their version of the same topic: What happens to an otherwise normal family after a child abduction? The past few months have yielded so many of these novels—the recently reviewed The Trophy Child included—that you can only stop to wonder how long this wave of like novels will continue—and who’ll do it better.

But, let’s turn our attention specifically t
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley, fiction
I received a copy of The Fall of Lisa Bellow through NetGalley for an honest opinion. My thanks to Simon & Shuster and Susan Perabo for the opportunity.

"Underwater like Harry Houdini bogged down with ancient padlocks."

It's called helplessness.....the inability to break free from all that suffocates our ability to draw normal, slow, in-and-out breaths. The desperate desire to live simply outside of its grasp.

Meredith Oliver is suffering from profound survivor's guilt. She is a mere thirteen years
Larry H
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
When a tragedy strikes a friend, or even someone we're merely acquainted with, we wonder how that person or family is handling what happened. "I can't imagine what they're going through," we might think, or, sometimes more commonly, "There before the grace of God go I." Susan Perabo's new novel, The Fall of Lisa Bellow , looks at a tragedy through the eyes of a young girl who witnessed it, as well as her family, and illustrates reactions we might not be proud of, but which seem completely und ...more
Tragedy, fear, disappointment and emotional turmoil is what you will find in THE FALL OF LISA BELLOW.

The unexpected and brutally descriptive account of the first Oliver catastrophe about blew me away.....the crushing blow, the severity of the injury, the shattered hopes for the future, and OMG, the ice cream cone diagnosis. My heart broke for (17 year old) Evan, but not so for mother Claire or the way she handled the on-going aftermath of the situation. (and just wait till you see what she does!


A life-changing event occurs and Meredith Oliver’s previously quiet, unobserved life is suddenly thrust into the spotlight. Her occasional morning ritual of recognizing herself in the mirror, of greeting herself, grounding herself in the here and now will forever be changed on one day. That moment of sinking into the rhythmic tone of her voice and the repetitive phrase reminding her to stay in the present, in the here and now, this has become like a mantra, it’s a part of the
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
3 Stars


If you are looking for a thriller, this is not it.

This story does revolve around a kidnapping, and there's certainly an element of mystery. But it’s the opposite of a thriller. The plot slowwwwwlllyyyy creeps forward, spending time on languid daydreams and conjecture, and raising questions about life and family. In summary, it’s Literary Fiction first and foremost.

Literary Fiction Checklist:
[X] Middle-Aged Woman/Man in Unhappy Marriage
[X] Parents who struggle to understand thei
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Eighth grade is a time of "the haves" and "the have nots". There are popular girls, the fashion setters who roll their eyes to appear superior and the quiet, ignored girls with low self-esteem. Meredith Oliver is chubby and unhappy, feeling that she does not excel at anything. Meredith's locker is next to that of Lisa Bellow, a very popular girl who thinks Meredith is unworthy of even civil conversation. All that will change in the blink of an eye at the Deli while Meredith and Lisa are the sole ...more
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5* and rounded up to 4
I am not exactly sure how I feel about this novel. I was totally engrossed in what I was reading and couldn't put it down but it wasn't necessarily what I was expecting and I think that is what spoiled it for me a little bit. I wouldn't describe it as a thriller but more of a psychological drama/literary novel. I did enjoy the characters and the authors writing style but did get annoyed at times with some of the characters "thinking" and "dialogue" expressed throughout t
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
Meredith is fine.  Just fine.  Except she's not.  All she wants is to be left alone.  All her dad wants is a return to some trace of normalcy for the family.  Her mom is slowly coming to grips with the fact that it is virtually impossible to protect her loved ones from danger (view spoiler).     

The intricate corridors of the human mind lie dark and serpentine with myriad doors.  We open the portals that allow us to deal with a traumatic event, either
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the story of a family that has experienced tragedy. The parents are both dentists, they have a high school aged son, who has lost one of his eyes during a freak accident playing baseball (I loved this character) and a middle school age, unpopular daughter who is a victim of a deli robbery in which a fellow student is taken by the robber.
This book deals with issues the whole family has, especially the daughter and how she is dealing with the post traumatic event.

Thank you to NetGalley, S
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having raised four daughters, I have lived through the nightmare that middle school sometimes can be. I can well remember the tales of the popular girls, the boy crazy girls, the girls who were smoking pot and having parties before they even reached high school. Fortunately for me, my girls didn’t “mature” until at least their junior year in high school and fortunately for them, they all had something that they were very good at, tennis, gymnastics, drama, etc.

The girl in our story, Meredith, d
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
The Fall Of Lisa Bellows by Susan Perabo is the story of how one family copes after a robbery it is thought provoking poignant novel that had me turning the pages, the pacing was top notch the characterisation was well written & believable as it could happen to any one of us at any certain time, saying that i will say i loved this novel i connected with Merdith's character straight away she was dealing with PTSD after the robbery i am dealing with the same thing different circumstances, i thing ...more
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo
Susan Perabo has written a beautiful heartbreaking novel that inspires hope.
What it means to be a family. What it means to experience being in middle school. How much younger our children are in chronological age and the very difficult traumatic experiences some kids have to deal with astounds me.

Meredith and a fellow student that she doesn't care for named Lisa Bellow, who gets abducted during an armed robbery. This novel deals with how Meredith deals with
It's taken me a while to finish this novel - partly because of the busy time of the year and also because of the subject.

This has been a mixed bag.

The good parts: good writing, very realistic, intimate, raw, and relatable.

The not-so-great parts: nothing much happens after the kidnapping; as the blurb conveys, this is mostly about how a family deals with traumatic events in their life. It's almost entirely a character driven novel, with two points of view: one of the thirteen-year old's Meredith
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars--rounded down.

Meredith Oliver and Lisa Bellow are 13 year old girls. They attend school together, but they are part of different groups, and Meredith understands that her group is eclipsed by Lisa’s group. They are the cool girls, and Lisa is the coolest girl of all. But fate flings them into a situation in which they are both at risk, and Meredith walks away, while Lisa does not.

How do you deal with being the survivor of a disaster? What if the person who does not survive is not some
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars. NetGalley Give-Away.
Liz Barnsley
I read this in one sitting because the writing was beautifully done and I appreciated the way Susan Perablo enveloped you into the plot as a reader - starting with a traumatic event and then showing us the aftermath through the eyes of one mother and her daughter.

The Fall of Lisa Bellow is a wonderfully deep character exploration, a book that give you a real sense of feeling about the characters in it - Meredith had a quirky outlook from the start and seeing that change and alter after the event
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 ...more
Sarah Joint
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Don't go into this one thinking it's a suspense or thriller. It's actually more of a character study... or should I say, a study of several characters. Despite Meredith being the main character, she's not the only person whose innermost thoughts we're privy to. This story deals with survivor's guilt, PTSD, trauma, and simply the everyday life of a young teenage girl. After something terrible happens to you, how do you go back? How do you move on, or at least deal with it?

This book was recently n
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Fall of Lisa Bellow. I’d never heard of Susan Perabo, but the blurb grabbed me with its promise of similarities to Everything I Never Told You and Room, two of the best books I’ve read so far in 2016. This can be a double edged sword, going into a book with such high expectations. Fortunately, Lisa Bellow lived up to this tall order.

This is the story of Meredith Oliver, an insecur
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
At the very start of this novel, eighth-grader Meredith Oliver is staring at the mirror, locking eyes with her reflection, and repeating, “This is me. This is my real life. This is me.”

At thirteen years old, nothing really important is supposed to happen to you. Your “real life” hasn’t even started yet. But the unformed Meredith shortly thereafter finds herself at the Deli Barn, where she – and Lisa Bellow, one of the most popular and mean girls in class --- find themselves unwilling participant
Zuky the BookBum
Nov 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, 3-stars
This novel was one I had been highly anticipating since late last year, and unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me. I’ve read a number of character driven novels in the past couple of months and I think I’m just getting a bit sick of them. Because of this, my review is going to be skewed, there’s no way around that, it just wasn’t the kind of novel I was hoping to read at this point in my reading journey.

The novel was very well put together. The writing was wonderful and the characters were incred
Karen R
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a smart and compelling story about a human’s capacity for coping, healing and hope.

Two middle-schoolers in the same place at the same time - one is abducted and one is left behind. Meredith is traumatized and struggling with survivor’s guilt in the tragedy’s aftermath. Meredith’s mother, Claire is flawed (what human isn’t?), but she is a sympathetic character and my heart went out to her, her feeling of helplessness and fiercely trying to protect her daughter. Although I didn’t agree wi
Oct 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The main problem with this book is that it's misrepresented by its description. There is in fact zero suspense factor in it and, while there is indeed an abduction that takes place, this is not at all an abduction story. It's a drama, pretty bleak one at that, neither particularly interesting nor original, about the abduction's aftermath, primarily revolving around the teenage girl who didn't get abducted. It's all as poignant, overly sincere and compelling as an acoustic folk song...which for m ...more
Rachel León
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
(Maybe 3.5 stars and I'm rounding up out of gratitude for getting to read this novel early?)

Thanks to Netgalley I was able to read an advance copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes a book's marketing can do a disservice for readers and those who hear "thriller" and comparisons to Emma Donoghue's ROOM will ultimately be disappointed with Susan Perabo's forthcoming novel, THE FALL OF LISA BELLOW. Those who ignore such comparisons and pick up this book--which I'd describe a
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book should have disappointed me. But it most certainly didn’t.

After I finished reading it I checked out some of the reviews on Goodreads, which is something I never do before I’ve written my own… lest I be swayed, second-guess myself or inadvertently let others’ words seep into my head.

And there were a few negative comments from those expecting a whodunnit of sorts. But… this isn’t one of those books. And I didn’t mind.

And indeed, it’s more about the ‘fallout’ of the event than the event
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Initially, I was quite taken with this one, which revolves around the survivor quilt of an adolescent girl, Meredith, who was allowed to live following a hostage situation. The author has nailed the prevailing emotions of those early teen years! Although the term ‘middle school’ was after my time, I do remember the savagery of the ‘popular girls’, the cliques, the humiliations and feelings of inadequacy. The author captures how abruptly things change when a child crosses that threshold!

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Susan Perabo's novel, "The Fall of Lisa Bellow," will be released March 14, 2017. Perabo is also the author of two collections of short stories, "Why They Run the Way They Do" and "Who I Was Supposed to Be," and the novel, "The Broken Places." Her fiction has been anthologized in "Best American Short Stories," "Pushcart Prize Stories," and "New Stories from the South," and has appeared in numerous ...more

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