Release Date: September 9, 2014
Add it: 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.
As you can tell by the blurb and quite possibly the cover, Falling Into Place is a book about a girl who crashes her car in an attempt at suicide. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it, because when this topic is touched upon, I think the author has to be very careful and considerate with what they write. Amy Zhang did a fantastic job at showing Liz’s thought process and what led up to the crash, and also what the other characters (pretty much the whole time) were feeling on the run up and in the aftermath.
For once, I was actually a fan of the whimsical writing. Usually that kind of writing style is very hit and miss with me, because I find that it can take away from the story and distract me. But Amy Zhang did a fantastic job with Falling Into Place; she balances pretty writing with tough subjects perfectly.
I also very much enjoyed the non-linear timeline, with all the flashbacks and present day stuff and… yeah. It was great to flashback and see what was going on and what led up to Liz feeling like there was no other way out.
Liz was, well, not meant to be very likeable, but I did really like her as a character if not for her personality. Yes, she’s a bully, and she has done some really horrible things, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t deserve to live. I like how this book looks into the impact that Liz had on people’s lives, the dangers of bullying, why bullies bully, etc.
I didn’t enjoy a couple of things about Falling Into Place and the main thing was Liam. I think he could (should) have been left out, or at least his role in events could have been amended. Amy Zhang tickled the edges of Nice Guy (or, He Watches You From Afar And Then Suddenly Everyone Ships You Together Because He Deserves You) territory here.
I was also lacking the feels, which is never good. I enjoyed the story, I enjoyed the characters, but they left little to no emotional impact on me to really feel anything for them in the end.
I do agree with the If I Stay connections, although Falling Into Place is much better and more interesting and there isn’t any pretending people are musical instruments. Because that shit was weird. Overall, Falling Into Place is a good book, but it didn’t manage to punch me in the gut, which is something that I really look for in my reads because I LIKE PAIN.