Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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~
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