Monday, 11 May 2015

Book Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Goodreads Description:
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.

Title: Falling Into Place
Author: Amy Zhang
Genre: Contemporary, Mature Young Adult, Coming of Age
Format: Paperback
Pages: 296
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Purchased from Popular Bookshop

I usually don't like to read about books that have a very depressing scenario like mental illness, depression, self harming or even eating disorders as I've seen too many of this things in real life and want to escape to a 'happier world' in books, but the last contemporary I read came out overly sugar coated (*cough *cough Girl Online) and need something emotional and deep as a 'detox'. Gosh I never thought I'll see myself  saying this words in my book reading life! lolz

Emotional, haunting and honest story about a mess up popular girl.

Told trough a mysterious narrator, it jumps trough time before and after Liz Emerson tried to crash her car by driving off an icy motorway.


The characters here are all very flawed, complexes and messed up but also some of the best and most realistic people I've read.

Liz was a character that I thought I'll hate especially with some of the things that she does but the more I read about her the more empathize what she's going trough. She's a very flawed character. Stereotypical popular mean and Queen B who parties and binge drinking her problems away (this is one of my biggest life pet peeve!). I hated reading about her bulling and what influenced her to bully others. Though what makes her feel real was the fact was that she see the aftermath of all her deeds and feels the guilt. Liz bottles up all her secrets and guilt to a point it drives her to depression (and off the cliff).

Liz friends Kennie and Julia are both as mess up as she is with their own issues in their own ways. They were well though out characters but like Liz very flawed and messed up yet of all of Liz's friends they are the ones who will stick by her side no matter what.

As for their class mate Liam Oliver and Liz's mum, they were a great addition and I liked their point of views especially Liam's but I wish that we got to read more about them. 


The story follows not just Liz but everyone in her life and how her crashing her car effects them. 

I love how the author intertwines the different timelines of before and after the car crash and multiple POVs especially the mystery narrator. It flows really well and it makes me think a lot trough and after i was done with the book. 

It deals with all sorts of issues like high school drama, bulling, family problems, teen pregnancy, drug addiction, mental illness like depression and eating disorders but also the side effects/ outcomes.

When I was reading the story I keep thinking I've read something like this in the past. Then while clearing out my high school books it clicked! The story reminds me a bit of An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley which I studied in for SPM in From 4/5. 

As for the writing, I was blown away as its sarcastic and snappy but also very beautiful, complex and deep to the point I was staring at the ceiling thinking of this book after I was done with it! Its well written and paced out! I love how honest and haunting without going too overboard!

The plot twist were really good especially about the mystery narrator!

Which we later learn that the mystery narrator was Liz's childhood imaginary friend.
As for the ending was bittersweet and was not what I expected yet I still like it. I was actually caught off guard with how it ended but like the direction it took. 

The romance element in this book is very light but the friendship and family elements is strong and I think its very fitting with the scenario as if they added too much romance it will have turned out cheesy.

Other than that, this book is a great example that a book can have a very unlikeable and flawed cast of character to make a good story! 

While I'll say check this book out, I won't recommend this to everyone as some of the stuff that happen is quiet emotional and graphic (I mentioned in my review for This Song Will Save Your Life that I can't deal with book with super graphic scenarios especially if it involve cutting ). 

Recommended to those of you who can handle mature YA topics and if you like a refreshing and provoking storyline. 

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