Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

published on September 9th 2014 by Greenwillow Books
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 looked back and counted the bodies, all those lives she had ruined simply by existing. So she chose to stop existing.”

Liz Emerson made so many terrible things in her life and one day, everything just caught up to her. So, she planned her suicide. She crashed her car and made it look like an accident.

This was not a bad book. No, not at all. In fact, I do recommend it. But.. it wasn’t a favorite of mine. I might probably not read it anymore.

First, it was because I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. I felt sad for Liz. Really. But that’s about it. No deep feelings other than that. Sometimes, also my sad feelings towards her also went away because she was really mean. I was never a fan of bullies. Actually, after I read this book I was like, “Oh. Uhm okay.” and shrugged. For me, it was one of those you admired while reading but will probably forget when you’re reading another good book.

“I wish second chances were real.”

Second, I don’t agree that it’s too late for Liz to correct her mistakes. She thought she deserves to just cease existing because she had done so many horrible things but that’s just plain wrong. No one is there to told her that though. They didn’t really see a dying soul inside her. They didn’t bother. And it made me angry for some reason.

Lastly, the ending really confused me. I actually read the epilogue for like, three times for it to make sense. I had so many guesses about who’s telling the story but I don’t think I got it right because I STILL DON’T KNOW EXACTLY WHO IT WAS. Or I wasn’t so sure.

Here was my list of guesses:
1. Maybe it’s Liz’ conscience.
2. Maybe it’s Liz and it was like a diary written by her and is told because she will live after all the surgery stuffs (though how is that possible if she’s in a coma?!)
3. Maybe it was like another lovesick guy and he was being stalkerish and that was really creepy
4. Maybe Liz has a twin and she died and she’s still around to tell the story and this theory is really insane
5. Maybe it’s Liz’ father?

I don’t know. I still don’t know. -_- And if anyone would just be kind enough, please tell me in the comments section who it was. haha.

People who read this book can’t deny that it’s absolutely well-written though. It has the feel of having the hairs on your arms stand up. Of making you really think about many things about life. One thing I loved about books is if it makes you think.

The lesson to be learned from this one is this: Always, always be mindful of your actions because you’ll be surprised how their consequences affect you or other people around you.

“She finally figure out that she, Liz Emerson, was the equal and opposite reaction. She was the consequence.”

This was a very beautiful debut but I think it just wasn’t for me. I can see why so many people would love this one but I guess, I’m just looking for something different.


Skulls 2.5


About Margarita

Margarita loves writing reviews to let out her feels and rants. She can be very shy but when you get to know her better, she’s really a pretty outgoing person!

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28 thoughts on “Review: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

  1. Yeah this isn’t for everybody! I personally loved it. :)

    Do you still not know who’s telling the story? xD

    It’s Liz’ imaginary friend from when she was young.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There really seems to be two kinds of people when it comes to opinions of this book! There are those who really dislike the writing style/hate the main character and then there are those (like me) who love the unique narrator and find the writing beautiful :)
    I can understand where you’re coming from though- it’s definitely a quirky sort of writing style.
    It’s funny, because I actually guessed the narrator within the first few chapters :P And yeah, as the person above said, it’s the imaginary friend :)


  3. Haha! It was her imaginary friend from childhood. I agree with you, though-I couldn’t connect with the characters at all beyond a perfunctory sadness. Guess I missed out on something biiiiiiig as well.


  4. The others have told you in comments who the narrator is, so I don’t need to say it again. When the book deal for Falling Into Place was announced, it was included in that, so I already knew going into it. But I wish that had been a bigger deal, like a big reveal kind of thing. Sad you didn’t like this more, because I loved it! But hey, everyone’s different :D


  5. I agree with a lot of the things you said here, Marga! I personally loved this book because of the unique POV and the writing, although I did not enjoy the characters at all really, and the actual story itself wasn’t the BEST. However, I’m glad you read this even though you didn’t LOVE it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and a wonderful review. :)


  6. Ah, shame you didn’t like this one that much! I absolutely loved it; however, one of my main issues with the novels was the narrator, which was so, so, so vague. And it annoyed me to no end. I think the novel could’ve been ever better if it’d been more clearly stated or revealed in the end… but oh well. This does seem like a novel that has reviewers divided, though! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have this one on my TBR but am tempted to get the audiobook because I listened to a sample and it was just so haunting and atmospheric when narrated. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one; it’s a half/half crowd for this. Liz does sound a little inconsiderate, even at the end. Sorry it wasn’t a hit! But fantastic review, regardless x


  8. Sorry you didn’t really connect with Liz. It’s the most important part of reading a book–to connect with the protagonist–and when it’s not happening, well, that’s bound to make it hard to be bonkers over a book. Funny though, because mostly I’ve seen crazy good reactions to her character. We’ll see how I’ll feel about her. Hopefully soon :) Ha! Ok, I’m wondering about the epilogue now. Oh yeah! I’ve heard loads of amazing things about the writing. Can’t wait to explore it! I’m glad you gave it a try ad didn’t hate it, but sorry it wasn’t your cup of tea. Great review, Margarita!


  9. Great review Marga, I had similar thoughts to you in that I really didn’t like Liz and she was just so mean. EVeryone was so self obsessed they didn’t realise the problems she was having, it was such an unhealthy environment for her. Oh, the narrator ended up being her imaginary friend when she was still young and innocent!


  10. Oh no. I actually won this a few weeks ago and have been really looking forward to reading it. It sounds as though it’s a fine line between loving this one and hating it, depending on how you connect with Liz. Looking forward to giving it a go though. I’m sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this one more, but awesome review Margarita <3


  11. I have this one sitting on my kindle and honestly it really interested me. Sometimes bullying books are good, sometimes they’re not, so I guess this is where the mixed reviews come from. I’ll have to read it myself to see! However the quotes you shared really show the author’s wonderful writing. Great review, Marga!


  12. I’m interested in this one for the content, because I just relate to all of the bullying books. But I think this is the first review I’ve seen that didn’t think highly of it, because most of the ones I skim through are positive ones. I’m kind of double-thinking on this one now.


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