Title: Falling into Place
Publication: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
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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.
Liz Emerson is a girl you want to hate but secretly be her. She's popular, beautiful and depressed. No one knows the internal battle Liz is going through. A force of her own, she zooming quickly on downward spiral of chaos and destroys anything or anyone in her way. So, she decides that everyone would be better without her toxic presence and in seven days she frees them. Liz has it all planned out to appear as an accident but the laws of motion may change that.
I liked how Zhang writes this character in such a way that it's hard not to root for her no matter how horrible she is to her classmates. We get a glimpse of the possible moment that everything changes for her; she seems to have lost her childhood innocence and happiness. She feels that it's better being the one in control than letting events happen to her. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. Everything she does is a cry for help but no one is there to see her falling apart. Her mother is always away and her father is no longer living. Her friends have their own issues, which hinders them from realizing her pain.
"She had been desperate to feel something, anything. She needed a window, because she had broken her heart throwing it at locked doors."
The narrative perspective is different and I liked being on the outside of Liz’s struggle. I played a guessing game for a little while trying to figure out who was telling the story and had a wild suspicion, which gets confirmed at the end. Also the way that Zhang does the timeline up until the incident in a way to give detailed insight of the moments that lead to her decision and when it all began is great. I liked how it flowed. Overall, I think this story is very real and broke my heart for the characters. Anyone that enjoys realistic or contemporary fiction will like this one.