Lisa Kilgariff's Reviews > The Fallback Plan

The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein
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's review
Dec 17, 2011

bookshelves: reviewed

The Fallback Plan was a weird, but enjoyable, novel. I could even say it was weirdly enjoyable but then you might look at me funny.

I spent a great part of this book under the impression that it was autobiographical, which seemed odd because the protagonist and authors names were different and I, personally, would not being sharing all this stuff with the world. I guess it’s because the book reads so fast, kind of tugging you into it’s crazy, that it took me so long to notice. Once I got that minor detail down though (that it’s not at all autobiographical, or at least no more that your average book) things kind of fell into place and I stopped feeling lost (I did however, feel like an idiot…).

The Fallback Plan could be the story of any recent college graduate. After expending years of time and energy, throwing hopes and dreams into the future every five minutes, you graduate. And that’s it. What the hell are you supposed to do next?! Esther moves back in with her parents and in a desperate attempt to make her do something, they get her a job babysitting the neighbor kid while she tries to figure out what happens next. Amy and Nate lost their baby a year ago and Esther becomes impossibly entangled with their other daughter May as the family tries to put their lives back together. What ensues is sweet, charming, funny and bizarre as Esther faces the clash between her left behind teenage angst and her new adult identity.

After saying all that, I can honestly say that, while I enjoyed reading the book, I’m not sure if I actually liked it. I can appreciate the story, the humour and most of all the honesty, but I never got that spark that connects the reader to the character. I’m just going to say: you should give this book a shot. It may or may not work for you, but it’s more than worth the effort. I’ll definitely be reading The Fallback Plan again, now that I actually know what is going on!

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