By: Celine | August 12, 2014 | (25) Comments

Review: Falling Into Place by Amy ZhangFalling Into Place by Amy Zhang
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase

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?


That was my first thought when I finished Falling Into Place and I have a feeling it’s a thought that will remain for a while. It’s been a while since I’ve read such an incredibly powerful, sad, amazing novel. It manages to give you both a sense of complete hopelessness and hope. It’s a story that will gove you goosebumps because of the way it’s told. Most of all, it’s incredible.

Falling Into Place is what I call a “silent” novel. Not because it doesn’t have anything to say – oh, no, it has plenty to say – but because the sense you get while reading it just that. Silent. When I read, the world around me ceased to exist and my head just became… empty. Filled with this story and nothing else. Some stories just give me a certain sense of calm, quietness. Falling Into Place is one of those stories. It’s why this review won’t be filled with fangirling or elaborate sentences – though Falling Into Place deserves both. For me, I feel like I should review this book in the same sense it gave me: quiet. It’s probably strange, but I feel like it fits the book more. Besides, for me the books that silently creep up on you and then impact everything are often the best ones.

And impact you it will. I can’t imagine anyone not impacted by this quiet little masterpiece of a book. The story is just so powerful. Just about anyone who reads this will cry (everyone but me, because we all know I’m that strange person that doesn’t cry). I didn’t, but this did leave me so sad and depressed and above all, so, so impressed with the author. Zhang’s writing style is one that fits this novel perfectly. It’s quiet, subdued, powerful. I honestly believe that 70% of this novel’s impact is due to the writing style.

The other 30% are the story and the way it’s told. Falling into Place is told in present, past, and everything in between. From the aftermath to the events leading up to it, until finally we reach the climax, and what a climax it is. Everything was perfectly put together and I feel like I’m repeating myself, but I was just so impressed with everything. Not to mention depressed, because what a sad book this is. Liz Emerson doesn’t feel like the world is failing her, she feels like she is failing the world. The way the author described her was just so magnificent: I could feel all her pain and sorrow, and I’m sure I will be thinking about this book for days, if not weeks. Falling Into Place is here to stay.

Above all, I really, really hope Falling Into Place won’t be overlooked due to how subdued, how quiet it is. There will be shinier and louder releases out there, but please, please don’t forget about this little novel. It deserves to be read by everyone. It deserves to be loved by everyone. And it deserves to be remembered by everyone.

~Thank you, Greenwillow Books, for sending me a review copy~

5 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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25 Responses to Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

  1. Oh yay, I loved this one too! Completely agree with you. =)
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  2. Tanja says:

    My friend Zemira has read this one and like you she was really blown away. I love this kind of book that occupy your brain and it’s the only thing you think about. Also this sounds like a really emotional and powerful story which is another thing I love. Great review, Celine 🙂
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  3. To be honest, when I first saw this book, I was a little hesitant just because of the cover. I know, I’m so superficial when it comes to books. D: But then I started seeing so many positive reviews and now I really want to read it! Awesome review Celine!
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    • Celine says:

      Haha, no worries, I totally judge books by their covers as well. *cough* I only picked it up because of the synopsis, because I love issue/suicide books – they’re almost a guaranteed success for me, and they pretty much always pull on my heartstrings. I hope you do end up reading it, though 🙂

      Thanks, Laura <33

  4. Nara says:

    I LOVED THIS BOOK. I definitely agree- the writing style is what makes this book. It’s such a creative way of showing the story (although it kind of reminded me a bit of The Book Thief actually…)
    And I cannot freaking accept how young the author is. Seriously incredible…
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    • Celine says:

      I loved the writing style. Not only the narrator, but the prose itself as well. It was just so powerful and emotional and asdfjkl; I haven’t read the Book Thief (I know, I know) so I wouldn’t know about that 🙂

      And yes, I’m just going to forget the author’s age because it makes me feel I should be WAY more accomplished by now, haha.

  5. I read few contemp books especially when they are sad, but for some reason I was drawn to this one and I grabbed a copy. Your review makes me want to bump it up on my TBR.
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  6. Jasprit says:

    Celine this sounds like such a gorgeous read, I’m glad that I grabbed a copy when I had the chance, even though I didn’t know much about this book then. I really do love my emotional reads, so think I will really end up loving this book too! Fab review!
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  7. You absolutely summed it up: quiet but impacting! Although I do feel mildly stone-hearted now because I gave it 4-stars and I did like it I just felt very little empathy towards Liz. Like. At all. My bad. I thought it was beautifully written and the style was nice and I looooved that it was narrated by The Spoiler I Can’t Say But You Know What I Mean. That was really special and unique. xD
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    • Celine says:

      Ha! 4 stars does not make you stone-hearted 😛 I can imagine you didn’t really feel any empathy towards Liz. The way it was written really let me connect with her and feel for her though 🙂 And yes, I loved the narrator!

  8. Absolutely beautiful review Celine, it sounds like this is quite a reflective novel and it really impacted you in a big way. I love the way you reviewed it and definitely did the book justice from the sounds of it. I can’t wait to pick it up!
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  9. I don’t think I’m emotionally prepared for this book, girl… Point is, I’m intimidated by this book. Like, a lot. >_< I'm still going to read this one, and I do hope that it has as much of an impact with me as it did with you. Lovely review, Celine!
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  10. Zoe N. says:

    I’ll admit that while I definitely didn’t like this quite as much as you did Celine, I do agree that the writing and the characters were absolutely brilliant and well-done. This really made me think and provoked so many different emotions in me, and I’m happy it did the same to you. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, and BRILLIANT review! <3 So glad you liked it!
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  11. Wow — five stars?! (<– That's pretty much my reaction whenever I see a book that's rated five stars, haha.) I've only seen one other review for this book so far (from Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf), and I have to say that I'm really impressed with the author and really excited to read it! Apparently the author is still in high school, so I'm feeling kind of unaccomplished now, lol.

    I really love how beautiful your review was. It's not often I come across books, especially contemporaries, that make me forget everything around me. It's definitely a huge achievement that Falling Into Place managed to do that for you. I agree — the subtle kind of books are the ones that impact me the most. Even though I love action and exciting things, sometimes the silent calm is all a book needs to impress me.

    The idea for this book isn't ALL that original, but to hear that you influenced you so much… Amy Zhang must be a fantastic author. And pfft, I doubt you'll be the only one who didn't cry. I have a heart of steel, so I'm right there with you. I didn't even cry while reading/watching HP, and I'm a huge fan! D: Also, super curious about this writing style. The most recent book I read that had a very impactful writing style was The Half-Life of Molly Pierce — it's going to be hard for any other book to top that, in my opinion.

    Can't wait to read this! Thank goodness I downloaded the eARC when I had the chance. I'm not much of a contemporary-lover, but I have a feeling that I'll adore this one, too. Beautiful review, Celine!

    • Celine says:

      Haha, well, five stars *is* a pretty rare rating for me, so I can imagine that 😛 And YES, I am with you on that. I feel like I really ought to start doing something with my life *cough*

      Thank you! And yes, usually I can pretty distracted by all inds of things, but Falling Into Place just made me want to keep reading and reading and reading. There are books with big twists and revelations that I love (eg Crown of Midnight, anything by Abigail Haas), but it’s always the more subdued and quiet books that impact me most emotionally.

      I definitely thought Amy Zhang did a brilliant job with Falling Into Place 🙂 I’m with you on not crying during HP, by the way – I just never cry over books or movies. Some people think I’m crazy, haha. Glad to hear there’s another steel-hearted person out there 😉 And ooh, I loved Molly Pierce! I was really impressed by that one 🙂

      I really hope you’ll love it as much as I did, Megan! Definitely let me know when you’re reading this. Thank you <33

  12. Melliane says:

    Oh it sounds really different and interesting, I’m curious about the impact it would have on me I confess. I’m glad you had such a great time with it. Great review!

  13. Pingback: Why Falling Into Place is fabulous (+ giveaway + why you should read it) | YA Midnight Reads

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