Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Pages: 304
Source: Edelweiss/HarperCollins
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Dear Lord, this book was gorgeous.
I wasn’t even that far into the story, maybe 15% in, when I knew this book and the characters inside of it were going to tear my heart into shreds. I am more than impressed with teen author, Amy Zhang, for writing such an effective novel that sure packs a punch. It deals with so many issues teens (and everyone) need to be aware of, and I loved the way Zhang told the story and integrated it all. Falling Into Place is special, poignant, and for lack of a better word, just plain BEAUTIFUL.
There are so many unique aspects in this book that made it truly standout, but I think the prime factor is the way the story is told. Each chapter is told in snapshots (you’ll find out what I mean once you read it), present time, and even events leading up to Liz Emerson’s suicide. What’s even more interesting, is that throughout the story, there is this “I”. I love that the reader doesn’t know who this “I” is. It creates an air of mystery, almost similar to If I Stay. Although this story is told with multiple time periods, never was it confusing in any way. Zhang was able to keep everything clean cut and clear.

Furthermore, I loved the integration of the physics aspect. As one can see from the cover, there’s a falling car, and physics equations in the background. Liz Emerson, the main protagonist, does in fact, attempt to commit suicide by driving herself off the road. The addition of physics brings in a sense of normality and a relatable idea to teens who have/will take physics sometime in their high school career. It also, obviously, relates to her suicide.

As for the characters in this novel… holy guacamole. The characters are all wounded in some way by Liz Emerson, and we see how they are affected by her attempted suicide. Each character that was involved in Liz’s life were so well-rounded and really strongly developed. Even more so, I love how the characters support the overall themes and messages this novel gives. Liz’s best friends, Julia and Kennie, were especially prominent in proving that bullying, drug use, and suicide are all things to look out for and to be aware of as teenagers. There’s a lot to take away from Falling Into Place. 

The tiny disappointment I experienced in this novel was the ending. Maybe it was because I was having such a good time reading this novel, but I felt like the ending came up SO FAST and BOOM the story was over. The reader learns so much about the characters and suddenly the story just… ends. I wish that Zhang dragged it out a bit more so that readers can experience all the feels and emotions, ya know?

As a whole, Falling Into Place was filled to the brim with deep and relatable connections among each character, highlighting the issues teens usually deal with: depression, suicide, drug-abuse, and the consequences of bullying. Readers will be intrigued by the way the story is told–a mysterious narrator. Readers will be impressed by Zhang’s vivid writing style. Readers will be influenced by the themes that are delineated in this novel. Falling Into Place is going to be a book that I recommend to all readers in the future without a doubt. It’s one that everyone needs to read, for it will drive your heart off the cliff with the emotions it exudes.

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