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19 Dec 2015

Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

This book was sent to me by the wonderful team at Harper Collins in return for an honest review!

Goodreads synopsis: 

    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 experience with Falling into Place: 

Please note: this book deals with a lot of triggers including suicide, depression, and drug use, please be aware of this before picking up Falling into Place!

I decided to write a review on this book because when I finished it, I honestly had no idea how I really felt about it... at all. First things first, I have to say how much I loved Amy Zhang's writing style. I know I say this all the time, so if you've been dedicated and have read all my reviews, you'll know this, but I really am not a fan of books that jump back and forth in time and that change points of view... Well, Falling into Place was one of those kinds of books and I adored it. Usually, when a book follows that kind of writing, the reader finds it hard to connect with the characters and can find parts of the book to be incredibly information dumping, but surprisingly, this wasn't the case with this book.

I found that I really didn't like the main character, Liz Emerson, but not due to how she was written but because I'm not sure that you're meant to. Throughout the book you're constantly shown a lot of terrible things that this character does, and even when the character shows remorse or realises that she shouldn't be doing those things... I couldn't help but think "Well, no shit, bullying is bad" and I just couldn't really feel sorry for the character, I ended up feeling sorry for the people around her.

Even though the characters within Falling into Place were unaware that Liz Emerson ended up in Hospital because of a suicide attempt, the book did a fantastic job of showing what happens to the people around someone who attempts suicide, people that you wouldn't necessarily think would care, definitely did. Zhang even showed how pretending to care, like a lot of Liz's schoolmates did, helps no one.

One of my favourite aspects of this book, and I'm hoping it's not a spoiler because I realised pretty early on, but my apologies if you think you didn't or wouldn't see this, is that Liz's sections of the story were told by her imaginary friend, who she no longer believes in. I loved the 'snapshots' within the book, which were one page descriptions of past event's in Liz's life, and how honest the imaginary friend was, even showing disappointment towards Liz.

Falling into Place is the perfect book for those who love short, sharp chapters. Each chapter within the book was very too the point and kept my interest up throughout the novel. It made saying "Just one more chapter and I'll go to bed" a very easy sentence to say! I devoured the book in just over 24 hours, but I did leave it feeling confused. I'm not sure whether or not that was because it touched on a very sensitive subject, and it's quite a devastating book, or because of my dislike of the main character, but I do think that I enjoyed Falling into Place immensely.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a realistic contemporary Young Adult book, lovers of John Green and Gayle Forman, will definitely enjoy Falling into Place. Overall, I gave this book four out of five stars (★★★★☆) it's a book that I'll recommend, but maybe not shout about. Thank you so much to Harper Collins for sending me this beautifully written book.

Where you can find the book:
Amazon US // Amazon UK // Amazon AUS // Booktopia (AUS/NZ)  // Book Depository // Wordery // Mighty Ape (NZ)

About the author:
Amy Zhang used to have lots of imaginary friends. When people told her to grow up, she turned her
imaginary friends into characters and started telling their stories. When she isn't writing, she can be found playing piano, hitting balls on the tennis court, or struggling through her weekly existential crisis. She lives in Wisconsin with her family.
"Hello! I’m Amy. I write books. My debut, FALLING INTO PLACE, will be published by Greenwillow/HarperCollins in the fall of 2014. I like laughing and parentheses. I love watching soccer but can’t play it to save my life, and I love playing tennis but don’t like watching it. I hate those little toothpick/dental floss combos. I’ve always wanted to visit Prague. I paper-mached my desk using old book pages. I have a typewriter named Mattie Ann. I write on my walls. I don’t have my driver’s license. I’m scared of failure and eyelash curlers. I have very silly thumbs. The past fascinates me. Books, tea, architecture, words, and pie make me very happy. Let’s go on a quest."

Keeping up with the author:

Website // Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Goodreads

Thank you so much for reading this review, I hope that it sparks your interest in Falling into Place and that you pick up your own copy soon! Let me know in the comments below if you've read this book and what you thought of it! Will you be reading Zhang's next novel (out 2016), I definitely will be!


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