Published by Greenwillow Books on September 9th 2014
Genre(s): YA Contemporary, Tough Subjects
Rating: 3.5 stars
On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.
Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.
Okay, before I begin, I’ll give you some time to read that last sentence again.
Yup, you read it right.
“…will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.”
Which are, like, three of my FAVORITE AUTHORS EVER. And their names are in the SAME SENTENCE.
Which means that it absolutely has to be one of my favorite books ever, right?!! Um…….
This book left me feeling SO CONFUSED! I was so torn on rating this one. Though I LOVED the writing style and the depth of the story, I didn’t like the main character at all!
The Characters: I disliked Liz so much throughout the story. I mean, normally I’m okay with “unlikeable narrators,” but I didn’t sympathize or relate to Liz at any point in the book. I never got to the point where I really understood or “got” her. She did so many terrible things, and instead of trying to fix them, she runs her car off the road? Really? She made many mistakes in her lifetime, and instead of learning from them, she just makes the same mistakes OVER AND OVER AGAIN. It was like she figured she was going to kill herself anyways, so why bother trying to become a better person.
The other characters were okay, but the only one I really liked was Liam, who in my mind deserved someone way better than Liz. He was so sweet to her despite all the mean things she did to him, and sometimes I just wanted to yell in his face, “HELLOOOOO?!! YOU DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER THAN LIZ!!! PICK ME INSTEAD!!
The Plot: This is a really dark book, which you’ve probably figured out already, and it obviously isn’t for everyone. The story is set in flashbacks, similar to If I Stay, and it described the moments leading up to Liz crashing her car. It was pretty emotional for me, and I cried a lot, especially towards the end. Even though the main character seemed mean and manipulative, depression is a real and extremely frightening illness, and I applaud the author for her raw, honest perspective on such a serious topic.
The Writing Style: Amy Zhang’s writing style was beautiful. It reminded me a lot about the prose in We Were Liars, which is one of my favorite books of all time. It was so poetic and raw, and so quotable! I was in awe upon learning that Amy Zhang was a high school student when she wrote this!
I already shared some quotes from Falling Into Place in my Quotes of the Week post, so here are some more, because Amy Zhang is just so quotable!
“Liz looked back and counted the bodies, all those lives she had ruined simply by existing. So she chose to stop existing.”
“We wonder what lies beyond.
One day, she will grow up and imagine death as an angel that will lend her wings, so she can find out.
Death, unfortunately, is not in the business of lending wings.”
“She was tired. Gravity pulled at her more aggressively than usual. When she closed her eyes, she could feel it, dragging her deeper, deeper. I would have pulled her back. I would have saved her from falling, but she didn’t see my hand.”
“Because Liz Emerson held so much darkness within her that closing her eyes didn’t make much of a difference at all.”
“Some people died because the world did not deserve them. Liz Emerson, on the other hand, did not deserve the world.”
Final Thought: Very mixed feelings on this one. My only issue would be the main character, which is a big one, but I loved all the other aspects in the story. Based on the review above, I would rate it 3.5 stars. Overall, it did have issues, but I’m really glad I read it.