Thursday, April 30, 2015

Falling into Place

Book 9 of my 2015 Reading Challenge
read from Jan. 28 - Jan. 30

Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Summary (via Goodreads)
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 Opinion
It was gripping from the beginning because while I'm no longer a young adult (this is a YA book), I'm not so far removed that I can't remember and relate to adolescent pain. However, there were some issues that kept me from giving the book more than 3 stars.

The description says it's told by an "unexpected and surprising" narrator so I was disappointed when I thought I knew who the narrator was right away. By the middle of the book I was doubting myself. When the actual reveal came at the end of the book I didn't like it; I felt it was an unnecessary step and disconnected me from the story. 

Also, Liz was entirely unlikable. It felt like the author was trying so hard to make her human and not angelic (as many authors treat characters that die at a young age) that she went too far in the opposite direction. I had no sympathy for her, another aspect that disconnected me from the story. 

A Few Quotes from the Book
"Because Liz Emerson held so much darkness within her that closing her eyes didn't make much of a difference at all."

"Funny things, aren't they? People. They only believed in what they could see. Appearances were all that mattered, and no one would ever care what she was like on the inside. No one cared that she was breaking apart."

"Force. Liz. She looked around and saw all of the broken things in her wake, and then she looked inside herself and saw the spidering cracks from the weight of all the things she had done. She hated what she was and didn't know how to change, and half an hour before she drove her car off the road, she saw that despite all that, she didn't have enough force to stop the world from turning.
But she had enough to stop her own."

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