Saturday, January 12, 2019

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang might not be to everyone's taste, but I do recommend it to anyone looking for a well written story that isn't the usual rainbows and unicorns of Young Adult reads.
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Title:  Falling Into Place
Author:  Amy Zhang
Release Date:  September 9, 2014
Publisher:  Greenwillow Books
Source:  ARC provided via Amazon Vine

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. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Liz is a high school student who deliberately crashes her car, hoping to die.

The story tries to show how Liz got to this point.

Falling Into Place opens at the scene of the crash, with an unknown narrator watching everything unfold. Flashbacks are woven in between the chapters, but are easy to keep track of thanks to the chapter headings. Every now and then the author drops in what she calls a Snapshot, little vignettes from Liz's life.

To be honest, Liz is not a very likable person. Neither are her friends. I got flashes of the movie Mean Girls at times while reading, which may or may not have been a coincidence.

Liz is one of the popular girls and has ruined some of her classmate's lives for no real reason. I remember mean girls at high school, but no one planted drugs on a guy for making fun of one of her friends or humiliated another because her friend wanted to be first chair in band instead of second.

She seems to know that she's a bully and has some regrets, but doesn't know how to stop acting out. She doesn't even try. I couldn't dredge up much sympathy for her and had a hard time caring.

The story flips back and forth between the hospital after the crash and all of the flashbacks. I preferred the flashbacks, as they were more interesting and gave much needed background.

Despite all of this, I still enjoyed reading Falling Into Place. The author does have a way with words and even with the unlikable characters, I wanted to find out what happened next! And kudos for tackling difficult subjects like bullying, eating disorders, drugs, and teen suicide.

While it might not be to everyone's taste, I do recommend it to anyone looking for a well written story that isn't the usual rainbows and unicorns of Young Adult reads. I give it a 4/5 rating.


  1. Hmm! Interesting.

    Whilst obviously not likeable characters it does sound like the author has a way of writing characters that (I'm guessing) get under your skin.

    It sounds like this is a refreshing read (I love your it 'isn't the usual rainbows and unicorns of Young Adult reads'). I do enjoy a gritty read will relevant topics but only if they are done well and with some sensitivity.

    1. You're right, these characters definitely got under my skin!

  2. Sometimes it's a struggle to jump between now and flashbacks. But it's nice that you look forward to the flashbacks. :)

    1. It's funny how many books I've read lately that jump back and forth in the timeline. You're right, some authors do it better than others and it can be a struggle.