Falling Into Place
Author: Amy Zhang
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Source: ARC received from publisher at BEA
Rating: 5 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I had heard great things about Falling Into Place before reading, so I was pretty excited about starting it. Contemporaries normally don’t reach 5 star ratings for me. Not that I don’t enjoy them, I just don’t tend to love them like I love my fantasies/sci-fis. But this book gripped me from the first page, brought me to tears, and made me really think about actions and reactions. There are so many quotable moments in this book and I’m going to buy a copy for my mom (who teaches 7th and 8th grade) to put in her classroom.
This book is about a girl, Liz Emerson, who no longer wants to live. We follow the story of how Liz came to this decision and her struggle for survival in the hospital post-car accident. The narrator is unknown to us throughout the entire book up until the end. We see glimpses of the lives of Liz’s friends and families. We see the hardships they have gone through/are going through. We see the way they have coped. And we see Liz’s thoughts and feelings. We see the guilt that lays heavy on her heart. And all of this just broke my heart. Liz’s internal thoughts and emotions made me want to reach out and hug her. I wanted to tell her that it’s not too late to change, to be better. I wanted Liz to fight so badly. This book brought me to tears multiple times.
I think this book is really relatable for teens and middle-schoolers. It tackles issues like bullying, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy. But this book doesn’t just show one side of consequences. It shows how someone’s actions can have consequences for multiple people, even the person who acted negatively in the first place. It shows that sometimes you think you know a person, but you don’t. It teaches you to pay attention to the people around you, to support your friends and family. Most importantly, it teaches you to ask questions. If you think there’s something wrong with someone, ask the question. Don’t always let people keep their secrets. Because secrets fester and grow and the consequences of those secrets can be grave.
Read this book. It’s one that will stick with me for a long time. That I will continue to think about and analyze. And it is certainly one that I will reread. This is definitely a book that needs to get into the hands of young adults out there. This book isn’t just good, it’s important. Beautiful and poignant, this story will open your eyes to the world around you and force you to stop focusing on yourself and start focusing on the people surrounding you.
Have you read this one yet? Did it bring you to tears like me? Did it force you to really think about actions and reactions?