Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review: Falling Into Place

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: September 9th, 2014
Source: Library
Date Read: 11/28/14 to 11/30/14
304 Pages

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.

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I started the beginning of this two days ago, and then completely breezed through the rest of it this morning, which was about 250 pages. 

Falling Into Place is a very fast read, but it deals with the heavy topic of suicide. The chapters hop between different time periods, from before Liz crashes her Mercedes to after and then before again. For example, one chapter will be titled "50 minutes before", while another would say "one day after". 

I loved the execution of the novel as a whole. Usually I'm not a fan of books that jump from here to there and everywhere, but it worked in this case. Also, the unknown narrator. Who is this unknown narrator?? It reminded me of Death from The Book Thief, but with less of a personality. Anyways, the narration made it so that I, the reader, was looking over the whole situation.

As a character, Liz was extremely well-developed. I can't say that I liked her, because throughout the novel she's depicted as a bully. But this was only on the surface. On the inside, she regretted everything she did when it ended up hurting others, although this brings up the question of "Why did she do it in the first place?" Because honestly, some of the things she plans with her friends are downright cruel. 

But Liz isn't that sort of person. She just does these things because I don't know. Which is why she fakes a car accident to cover up her suicide, because she's hurt so many people. 

Surprisingly, I was emotional at the end. I thought I wouldn't be, because of the person Liz was, but IT HAPPENED. I just had tears spilling down my cheeks for some reason. It just felt like I was in the waiting room with everyone, waiting to hear the results. Also, that epilogue is really moving, just saying. It wasn't even long or anything, just powerful in its own way.

So to sum up, I picked up Falling into Place on a whim, and I ended up being extremely moved by it. I'm a huge hater of bullying and how it's handled at schools, because as Liz says in the novel, those anti-bullying campaigns don't work. This hasn't happened to me personally, but in my opinion I think students and children will never speak up when they're bullied, because they're afraid of the teachers not caring, or just getting into trouble. I'm really glad I've never gotten bullied, but just reading about it makes me feel sick.

IT WAS A GREAT BOOK. But I don't recommend it to anyone who dislikes reading about bullying. 
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