Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang
Publication date: September 9th, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: ARC provided by publisher and eARC provided by Edelweiss
Goodreads link: (click here)

What's it about?

One cold, icy winter day, Liz Emerson decided to apply what she'd learned in physics class to the real world. Liz drove her car off the road in an attempt to kill herself. She was convinced that the world would be a better place without her in it and willingly fulfilled her plan to plummet to her untimely death. But things don't always go according to plan. There are always variables to consider. 

Liz does not die on impact as she had hoped. A classmate discovered the wreck and called for help, so she teeters on the brink of death in the ICU instead of going to sleep forever. The last thing she wanted was to prolong the grief of the few people who still cared about her. She actually saw her exit from the planet as a favor to all the people who she ever knew. She wasn't exactly the nicest person, she was never a model daughter, and she feels responsible for ruining so many lives. On the outside, Liz was popular and pretty but on the inside she was a lonely mess. Some feared her, some respected her, some hated her and some were jealous, but not many really knew her. There were a few people who truly cared, but she kept so much inside while taking out her anger and sadness on others who truly didn't deserve it. Liz felt that she had already caused too much pain and destruction, and by removing herself from the equation, everything would balance out. No cause, no effect. Basically, she gave up. She tried to find a reason to stay, but she lost hope. So Liz drove her Mercedes off the road hoping to make it look like an accident and she accidentally survived...but there are no accidents. 

The story is told by a mysterious, omniscient narrator and it is nonlinear, flashing back throughout Liz's life. What made Liz into a person she despised so much that she wanted to end it all? Why did she do it? Will she get a second chance...and does she even deserve one?

My Thoughts

Honestly, nothing I say can do this book justice. I was beyond blown away by this heartbreaking and emotional novel. I read it in one sitting because putting it down was just NOT an option. I haven't done that in a long, long time. I finished it two days ago and I'm still thinking about it. The first thing I want to discuss is Amy Zhang's writing. It is beautiful, gorgeous and practically flawless. She tells this story like a master who has been writing for decades, which is one reason I nearly passed out when I saw that she is IN HIGH SCHOOL and this is her FIRST BOOK! What?!? No way! I am impressed with, awed by and kind of jealous of her incredible talent. I am also thrilled that she is here to write amazing things. As for the book, the nonlinear concept is artfully executed and even though it goes back and forth throughout the span of Liz's life, as far back as her childhood, it flows seamlessly. I didn't quite know what to expect from Falling Into Place at first because the premise sounded similar to two other books, which also happen to be two of my favorite books (Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver and If I Stay by Gayle Forman), but it absolutely sets itself apart from them. No punches are pulled in Falling Into Place. It tackles difficult topics like suicide, bullying, teen pregnancy, death, family dysfunction and drug addiction. The maturity that Amy Zhang writes about these subjects with makes her seem wise beyond her years. Another thing that stands out about this book is the creativity behind the identity of the mysterious narrator. You will guess who it is in the first third of the book, but once you know, it only contributes to the uniquely magical feel of the story. Falling Into Place is now on my list of favorite books. All I have left to say is...




There is always hope.

<3 Michelle

1 comment:

  1. I think I fixed all my spelling errors, lol. I wrote this review on my phone, so it was hard to see everything until I actually posted it.