Wednesday, September 24, 2014

REVIEW: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

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.

My Thoughts:

Liz Emerson had dished out a lot of sadness in her short and catastrophic life, and no one had ever done anything about it.

Oh boy!! I'm so completely torn about different aspects of this book. There were things that I absolutely loved, and then there were other parts that I completely struggled with. I'm going to try to coherently put my thoughts into some sort of order without rambling on too much.

Firstly, let me say that this author knows how to write. I absolutely adored her words. Despite the story dealing with some pretty tough and horrible subjects, such as Suicide, depression and bullying, Amy Zhang's writing is beyond wonderful. There is a real and honest beauty in the way that she writes. I really found myself unable to put this book down and I actually read it in one day, which is a real achievement for me at the moment, given the crazy, hectic life I'm living.

Out of the seven billion people sharing the planet with her, not one of them knew what was going through her head. Not one of them knew that she was lost. Not one of them asked.

For me, I actually always tend to base my enjoyment of a book on how much I love the characters. Do I feel a connection to them, or am I able to relate to them in any way. But I can't do that with this book, so throw that idea completely out the window. You see, that's where my main struggle is with Falling into Place. The characters. I didn't like almost all of them. There were almost no redeeming qualities that I could grab a hold of. The main character Liz Emerson is completely horrid. She is a horrible bully. I did not like her at all. She destroys people with the help of her two best friends Julia and Kennie. She plots and executes the humiliation and downfall of her schoolmates for the most ludicrous excuses imaginable. And I think what made it worse was that before she set a plan into motion, she stopped and thought about what she was about to do and how wrong it was, but then she went ahead and did it anyway. 

The only character that I completely adored was Liam. He was sweet and kind and caring and considerate. He's had a crush on Liz for the longest time. A crush that has never been acknowledged or returned. But even though I loved Liam, I didn't understand him. Why did he feel the way he did about Liz? After the things she does to him, how does he get past that and still care for her? Is it just that he's a good and decent person? I just don't know.

Falling into Place as a story, jumps around quite a bit. We go from present day, to months ago and then we go to an hour before Liz tries to kill herself with the countdown to the actual moment. Even with all this jumping back and forth and getting the perspective of different people, the story flowed incredibly smoothly. It was never choppy or disjointed.

Realistic fiction is one of my favourite Young Adult reads. I love it. It's probably kind of creepy to admit how much I love reading about mental issues and tough situations. But there it is. On that level, the author did an amazing job. Even while I was disliking Liz so much, there was a part of me that really felt for her over the depression that she found herself dealing with. It takes a very good author to make me sympathise with a character that I feel no empathy for. But there were definitely times that I felt my heart hurting for Liz. But unfortunately in the next breath, she would do something so terrible that my heart was hardened to her again. 

Told from a really original point of view, Amy Zhang's Falling into Place is a story that I find I've been thinking about long after finishing it. Even though I had issues with the characters, it was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, and would have no hesitation in recommending.

She needed someone, anyone, to touch her and remind her that she wasn't the last person in the world.

4/5 Wonderfully Written Stars.

Received from the publisher via Edelweiss for my honest review.

1 comment:

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