Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Liz Emerson wants to die, so she intentionally crashes her Mercedes off the side of a road to make that happen.  The events leading up to her demise are complicated.  You see Liz is a popular girl... and being popular has turned her into something she doesn't like at all.  Her home life is lonely and she's been looking for a reason to stay alive, but has failed to find that reason.

This is the story of how 1 + 1 = suicide.  How the things we do have an effect on other people... and sometimes realizing the effect you have can make you hate yourself.

This was definitely an interesting, emotional book.  I got it at BEA and it's the first book I decided to read... mostly because I heard the author was in high school when she wrote it, and I think that rocks!!!  This story is told by a "mystery" narrator, which honestly I didn't think was necessary (and I also figured it out pretty quickly who/what the narrator was).  The third-person pov was fine, but it didn't allow me to FEEL the stuff in this book the way I usually do when it comes to these types of themes.  Bottom line- The way this was narrated just wasn't my fav.

Liz herself was an interesting character.  She definitely needed to get a grip.  I wanted to shake her and say "If you don't like the way you treat people, then change it!!".  I don't think it's that hard to turn over a new leaf and try to be nicer??  Also some of the things she blamed herself for really weren't her fault.  Her friends have their own brains and can make their own decisions.  I mean I get that Liz is the queen bee of their high school, but I think that the choices the friends make transcend the high school social order.

I also didn't like how Liz wanted other people to give her a reason to live.  And when they didn't, I felt like she blamed them for what she was about to do.  If you want help, ask for help, but expecting someone to swoop in at the last minute and say the just perfect thing to "save" you... yeah that's probably not going to happen.  And it was a little TOO much with all the pretentious feelings.

Now we get to Liam.... ehhhh.  I wasn't feeling him that much.  The flute playing boy... how very Dave Zilka of him, that's all I could think of (Dave Zilka is this boy who was in my grade who played the flute and pissed me off because he was usually better than me).  I wasn't digging the stalker-vibe he was putting out, but I also thought maybe Liz needed a guy like him, so I guess I liked him okay.

One thing for sure, this book was a page-turner.  While I obviously didn't love it, I really did like it.  Looking back, my review seems kind of harsh.  I mean, I had some issues with the characters and narration, but overall I would recommend it.  It was not perfect... not even close, but I could see this becoming someone's favorite book, just not mine.

Quote I Liked: "Liz Emerson got drunk too easily, and on just about anything: alcohol, power, expectations."

OVERALL: A book about a girl looking for a reason to live and not finding it.  The aftermath of her suicide attempt puts everyone in her life in a frenzy and this is the story of how they deal with that, and how they got there in the first place.  I didn't LOVE the book, but I read it really fast and enjoyed it for the most part.  I recommend to anyone looking for something fresh and emotional.

This Book Contains:
  • A hospital setting
  • A smashed up Mercedes
  • Sadness
  • Loneliness
  • Drinking
  • Drugs
  • Parties
  • Screwed up relationships with boys
  • A black eye
  • Newton's Laws and other Physics stuff (I got a D in Physics FYI)

Rating: 3/4

How I got this book: I received and ARC at BEA... thanks Harper Collins!!
Date Published: 9/9/2014


  1. I liked this book a lot. I almost loved it, i guess.
    It was so unique and i liked Liz but hated her sometimes. It was a love-hate relationship'
    Great review, Michelle
    Your rreader,

  2. this one has me real curious. I am not sure if it will hit the spot for me or not. I like tough issues books but they are a hit or miss. They need to be done right. Sometimes they can just get a bit too whiny. part of it I think is my age. Im over much of it, but when its done right, it hits me hard. Glad you liked. may need to give it a go.

  3. I finished the book and still can't figure out who the narrator is :/ Maybe I'm overlooking some details, but I'd really appreciate it if someone could tell me!

  4. I finished the book and still can't figure out who the narrator is :/ Maybe I'm overlooking some details, but I'd really appreciate it if someone could tell me!

    1. I will definitely tell you, you can email or tweet me.... I don't want to spoil it for someone who hasn't read the book yet.