The Fountain by Suzy Vadori
*Review copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was my first approval I got from Netgalley, and once the squealing stopped, I made sure to contain myself and start reading – only for the squealing to start again. However, somewhere in that squealing, I may have confused myself because for some very odd reason, I kept thinking the fountain was a well.
And I know what you’re thinking – um, Mandy, there’s a fountain in the title. There’s also a fountain in the summary. And oh, I don’t know, there’s a fountain on the cover. Also, they get pretty descriptive about how it looks in the book and I mean, there was no mistaking – it was a fountain.
My brain still thought it was a well. So, yeah, that happened. I blame Saturday Night Live and their skit about the sensitive boy’s well.
Anyway, let’s start off with the basics: The Fountain is about Ava Marshall, who has just transferred to the boarding school that her parents used to go to. She’s super excited to be in the halls her beloved mother used to roam, especially with her still struggling with her death, until a girl named Courtney starts to make her life miserable with taunts, pranks gone wrong, and more drastically affecting Ava’s life. When Ava finds a fountain in the woods, she thinks nothing wrong of it and makes a wish to change her life for the better. However, once that wish comes true, Ava realizes that she should have been careful what she wished for…
It’s been a super long time since I read a YA book about boarding school. A few years ago, it seemed like you couldn’t throw a stick without hitting one. I used to really be into them, but with so many in the market and not much difference separating them, I kind of assumed all of the YA genre was just at the same massively large boarding school. It was refreshing to see this atmosphere here again, and I definitely enjoyed reading it.
I also really liked the plot. Vadori really made sure to think about all the little details that would go into Ava’s wish and the ripple effects that would occur because of it. A few issues that cropped up, I didn’t see coming, and it really made Ava’s decision a lot harder to reverse what she had done. I liked that complexity and it made me eager to find out what was going to happen next.
I also liked Ava as a main character. She had layers to her, and I liked how we saw the guilt kind of eat away at her. So many times, we will see a main character say, “OH, I feel so guilty” and then go eat a cheesestick or something. We don’t see how it affects their sleep, their thoughts, their relationships, etc. I thought Vadori did a great job presenting that, and I wasn’t expecting something so deep from this book.
Although I liked Ava as a main character, the truth is…I’m not really sure why the other characters liked her. I know that sounds super harsh, but for most of the book, Ava was depressed about her decision and feeling guilty. She didn’t contribute to a lot of conversations or activities, yet everyone loved her. I liked her with Ethan, but really, I didn’t get how they fell into a relationship because she didn’t contribute enough to make him like her, in my opinion. As I said, I liked her, but she didn’t display any of that characterization with other people. There would be a couple of times she would have a conversation with her friend, Jules, and she would literally say nothing and they both seemed to think it was a relationship building thing. I would have liked a bit more on that end.
Also, the ending was definitely interesting. I liked how it didn’t fit with what I thought was going to happen and it was something a little different. Although, it did feel a bit abrupt and I was kind of concerned that Ava forgot some of her concerns. I liked it for the most part, though.
Overall, this was a quick and speedy read that provided me something a little difference. It had its slight issues, but I did enjoy the story overall. I waffled back and forth between what rating to give it and I’ve decided on a 3.5 (although it might as well be rounded up to a 4 star since there are no halves anywhere except in my mind) rating and we will say hello to Jasmine again! Thanks again to the author for providing me with this copy!
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read it? Have you ever totally pictured something in a book that is so clearly one way but you can’t get another image out of your head? Let me know!