Review: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

20306804Publisher: Greenwillow Books (September 9th 2014)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

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?


I enjoyed how the concepts of physics and an accident are connected in this book. However, like a lot of characters in this book I believed that it was an accident. Liz Emerson was an unlikable person. She got away with things when she wasn’t supposed to and I really wanted to see someone catch her, but that never happen. Instead someone always seem to take the blame in her place.  When we see what Liz’s life was like through a variety of POVs (I don’t think we ever see things through Liz’s POV) you get clues that she was miserable. There were times I felt sorry for her because Liz did feel remorse about the things she’s done to her friends and how she humiliated Liam when he didn’t deserve it. Her “best” friends were also victims of her despicableness despite their concerns over her. It’s not exactly a romance novel.

In a lot of depressing-ish novels romance usually saves a character’s life (hurray for the miracle of romance!), but romance is a hopeless cause in this book. It’s rather depressing. Her boyfriend, Jake, clearly is the douche king and despite everything she continues to give him way too many chances when you know that she should’ve just dumped him the first time he cheated on her. I liked that even Julia and Kennie cannot stand his douchiness.But, seriously, I don’t get why she has a thing for Jake. However, I do feel a bit sad that Liam still has a thing for Liz after the countless times she has humiliated him.

Liz is not only a difficult heroine to like, but it is weird that people let her get away with practically anything (like cheating on a test). This book is told from a series of flashbacks and the short chapters makes it frustrating to read. I am especially confused about this ‘I’ character popping up every now and then, which reminds me similar of The Book Thief.  I’ve got a bit of mixed feelings for the ending, but it was an interesting read.

Author: Jackie

0 Replies to “Review: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang”

  1. Yeah, I couldn’t relate to Liz as a character and I really didn’t like her, even though I did symphathise with her at times. I did end up enjoying it though, with the way the timeline happened. Great review Jackie!

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