October 3, 2015

Wicked Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Published: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Acquired: Borrowed Paperback

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?

First, I would like to thank my Misfit Queen, Jayvee, for lending me her copy. I wouldn't be devastated if it weren't for her.

She wished to be happy, and fell asleep with an entire sky above her.

Liz Emerson was popular by nature. She hung out with the cool crowd and went to the coolest parties. And yet, her life was bleak, meaningless, and empty. Suddenly, her status doesn't matter because she feels empty inside. She hate silence. She hates coming home to an empty house with the silence consuming her whole being.

Liz spent her life ruining others. She brought them down and she was too late to remedy the wounds she has inflicted. I felt sad for her really. I am a self confessed mean girl. At times, I would stay stuff I would regret but then obviously, I'd be too late because the damage is done. I've hurt everyone and it leaves a hollow feeling inside.

Liz looked back and counted the bodies, all those lives she had ruined simply by existing. So she chose to stop existing.

The book alternates from before Liz crashed her car to events that happened after she crashed her car. Normally, I'd get confused with point of view alternation, but not here. Amy Zhang did a wonderful job with writing this story. At every turn of the page, emotions pour out. I mean, seriously. I had a hard time keeping myself in check because I don't want to embarrass myself in public while I'm reading this.

She wanted to go back. She wanted to be a little girl again, the one who thought getting high meant being pushed on the swing and pain was falling off her bike.

People think that talking about feelings is easy. But it's not. Especially when you grow old. At 21, I still wish pain was just like falling off of my bike or having a paper cut. It's easier said than done. This is where Liz and I connected in a way. You see, I understood her pain. I understood why she hurt. As much as we really want someone to talk to about it, we really can't. It's one of the hardest things to do. We humans are such fickle beings. No one can really understand what goes in our heads.

It is then, when she releases her need to understand, that everything falls into place. 

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.

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1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear you loved this one too! For me, it was really the prose that captured the story but I agree- Liz is a character to connect to, even though she was the way she was. Though we're in no way alike, I really understood the emotions she felt. :)