Falling into Place

Falling into Place

by Amy Zhang

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One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. This haunting and heartbreaking story is told by a surprising and unexpected narrator and unfolds in nonlinear flashbacks even as Liz's friends, foes, and family gather at the hospital and Liz clings to life. This riveting debut will appeal to fans of Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, and 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.

"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 did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? The 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? Amy Zhang's haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062295064
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/09/2014
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 243,531
File size: 621 KB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Amy Zhang was born in China, grew up in Wisconsin, and currently lives in New York State.

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Falling Into Place 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
SezjbSB More than 1 year ago
Falling Into Place has received a lot of buzz and hype from publishers and bloggers alike, with books with this this much praise I sometimes become a bit hesitant to pick them up on case I end up disappointed, however in this case I was so enamoured with this story I fell completely in love. Kat Zhang has created a story that will have you feeling so many different emotions, the effect and impact that bullying has on not only the victim but the instigators themselves, it's always been said that bullies are people who are unhappy with themselves and so pick on other people to make themselves feel better, that is true in this book. Liz the most popular girl in school is a bully and has destroyed many a schoolmate's lives, we come to find that Liz is just a broken, lonely and insecure girl who comes to feel remorse for all of the people that she hurt, and so instead of asking for help she decides that the world would be better off without her in it and decides to kill herself by crashing her car, but things don't go to plan and Liz doesn't die on impact. Throughout the book with the stories of her cruelty, her unhappiness, the events leading up to her decision and her plans to take her own life, we go from disliking Liz to feeling sorry for her and wishing that she gets a second chance. This story had me in tears quite a few times throughout this book, Kat has such a beautiful writing style that had me captivated, that will also have my buying anything that she releases in the future. One of my favorite contemporary books of the year, this was fabulous. So highly recommended.
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
I finished this book last week, reading the entire thing in one day, and I’m still not sure how I’m going to rate this one. I think the writing was beautiful and I really thought the story packed a punch, yet I had very little sympathy for the main character. She was a HORRIBLE person to so many people! I see how this book was meant to protray bullying, and I can totally respect that fact… but at the same time I had a hard time feeling bad for this girl that knew she was doing mean things, yet continued to do them over and over again. Because of disliking the main character so much, I failed to have any positive feelings for her whatsoever, which honestly isn’t me. I usually feel very bad for the lost girl that’s behaving badly becuase of something in her past… but this time, that whole sympathy aspect was missing for me. The writing was beautiful. Seriously beautiful. I have a lot of trouble reading books involving people trying to kill themselves, so this one was a bit emotional for me. Emotional in a good way though. I definitely felt quite a bit… and with not liking the MC that means a lot. This story is along the lines of Before I Fall and If I Stay. If you liked those stories, you will most likely adore this one. It addresses several very intense topics that many teenagers are facing these days, including addiction, teen pregnancy, bullying, and suicide. Definitely a story full of emotions, but one worth reading. I have to say I’m a bit bummed about something. While reading this book I caught sight of a review that had what I would consider to be a “spoiler” in it. It mentioned who the narrator was. I think this story would have been better had I not known, since that took a lot away from the story for me. Maybe other people wouldn’t mind knowing that little tidbit, but I thought it was such a unique narrator it really would have been a shocker to most. So I WILL NOT be mentioning who the narrator is. It isn’t revealed until the very end, and I think it should remain that way. I’m having a difficult time rating this book. For the writing alone, I would give it 4 stars. But since I didn’t much care for the characters and at times wanted to just be done with the story already, I don’t think I can give it a full 4. I think I’ll compromise on a 3 star rating. Again, this is purely my own opinion regarding this book. It has several 5-star ratings to show how much it is loved. I guess it just didn’t wow me like I had hoped. Overall a very profound, moving story with gorgeous writing. I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTS I went into this book fully knowing that I would cry, and cry I did. I cried tears of sadness, because this book is so sad for every character, but this book was also so raw and beautiful. Liz Emerson tries to take her own life by driving her car off the road. She miscalculates and ends up in the hospital in critical condition and will most likely survive the night. Throughout this book we get to see the perspectives of her friends, family, and peers. But we also see the moments leading up to Liz's decision and why she decided that she had to take her own life. I can go on and on about how tragically beautiful this book is, but I'll start with the writing. The writing takes a bit to keep used to, but I adored it. The story jumps around in the timeline, in short chapters, as well as following numerous different people. The jumping around in the timeline let us showly understand Liz. It slowly lead into the crash as well as giving flashbacks of her life and regrets. We also see the multiple people that Liz affected in her life, both good and bad. All the jumping around seems really confusing, but it also makes the book more raw, emotional, and, strangely, makes perfect sense. I would also like to mention the narrator. We are never really told outright who the narrator is, but it's fairly simple to guess as the story goes on. The narrator is not only very unique, but it adds so much more meaning to the book! Despite the narration, Liz is the main character of this book. The entire story focuses on her life and her decision to end it. Liz is the popular girl in school and everyone sees her as untouchable, and invincible, so they're shocked to know that sees possibly dying. By the way, they don't know that she attempted suicide. The truth is that Liz has realized that she has become the person that she despised, the person that she promised to never be as a child. Yes, Liz is a mean girl. Liz realizes that she has ruined many people's lives, even those closest to her. Liz is most definitely a flawed character, all the characters in this book have flaws, but this is make makes this book so realistic.  IN CONCLUSION I really can't do this book any justice! I read this book in one sitting, reading this horribly beautiful story, and I cried. If you don't like books that make you cry, then you might not want to read this, but I strongly suggest you to rethink that! This book is a new favorite of mine and I will recommend this book to everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book really dove into what it was like to be inside Liz Emerson's head. Above all the book was realistic, a young girl who was overwhelmed and couldn't find a way out. The imaginary friend added in was perfect.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
I’ve gotta admit that when I read the opening sentence to author Amy Zhang’s Falling Into Place, I was a bit skeptical about how much I would like the novel. It starts out stating one of Newton’s Laws of Physics and (like most teenagers) physics is something you usually aren’t very excited about. Regardless, I swallowed down my fear of the equation f=ma and continued reading. I can tell you that Falling Into Place is a lot more than what meets the eye. This is a beautifully written contemporary read that I got addicted to instantly. Falling Into Place is all about Liz Emerson. She’s beautiful. She’s perfect. She’s her school’s golden girl. Everybody knows her name, nobody wants to get in her way. So when Liz attempts suicide by driving her car off the road everybody is shocked. The boy who secretly loves her, her mother, her best friends and her peers—nobody can begin to understand why Liz would ever want to end her life. Not even Liz herself really understands why she wants to die. But with her life hanging in the balance it becomes evident that there is always more to a person than what meets the eye. I’ve never read anything close to Falling Into Place. Yes, I’ve read contemporary in the past and yes, I’ve read some novels that were pretty to read—but Falling Into place felt like whole new territory. There have been tons of novels where the main plot revolves around a protagonist who is, for all intents and purposes, an antagonist. Liz Emerson is exactly that. Liz is a horrible person. But why is she the way she is today? What drove her to try and take her own life? Those are the questions that every page of Falling Into Place tries to answer. That being said, Falling Into Place is a novel that is essentially about how a bully becomes a bully. It isn’t all about how Liz was a person who was mean at times and made mistakes that impacted those around her, but it’s about a vicious cycle that she was pulled into. Every little choice made by Liz changed her future and the futures of the people around her. Told with multiple points of view, we see exactly what Liz’s choices have done to almost everybody she has come in contact with. The characters in Falling Into Place are realistic. Teenage readers are going to love the cast that Zhang’s pulled together for her novel. Considering that the novel is about an overall bleak topic, its refreshing to see how she manages to place bits of comedy and light through flashbacks and her characters. Readers are going to enjoy a realistic story with realistic characters acting in realistic ways. Zhang’s writing is beautiful. That’s part of what had me so addicted to Falling Into Place. I finished it in one sitting and had no regrets. I smiled at some portions of the novels and boy, oh boy, did I cry. Everything about Zhang’s writing is lyrical. It’s beautiful. It takes strong writing to make me burst out into tears while reading—but she captures Liz’s slow-building misery correctly and she manages to put it into words that work perfectly.  I would recommend Falling Into Place to readers who are fans of YA contemp. Any readers who are looking for an emotional read that isn’t based so much around plot as it is about life should give Falling Into Place a shot. Readers who want a novel that is beautifully written in prose and want a bit of wetness added to their eyes should also be giving Falling Into Place a look.
jenniferstrand More than 1 year ago
Excuse me while I write this review through the tears that are almost done falling from my puffy eyes.  Man, the last third of this book were intense. Intense enough for me to substitute out the next book I'm reading with something fluffy. You know, like, Atlas Shrugged. Not gonna lie, it took me two tries to get into FALLING INTO PLACE.  I picked this up a few weeks ago and put it down at about page 25. The point of view was confusing the heck out of me and it simply didn't suit the mood I was in.  Boy, oh boy.  Am I ever glad I'm a firm believer in giving a book a second chance because this book is one that just can't be missed.  It's beautiful. Reminiscent of Tease, this story gives the reader a look at bullying from the bully's perspective.  The big difference here is that you'll feel empathy for Liz, the main character in FALLING INTO PLACE.  Zhang makes sure of that by starting the story with the ending. We are first introduced to Liz while she's lying on the ground dying from a suicide attempt and realizing that there IS beauty in the world and  maybe, just maybe, death isn't what she really wants. Color me intrigued. I liked Liz right away.  You'll learn that she's far, far, far from perfect as you read on, but that opening scene stuck with me for duration of the story.  I read the story hoping that my empathy was not in vain.  You will, too. Oh, and about that point of view that confused me?  Don't worry one little bit if it confuses you, too.  Just sit back and enjoy the ride. It'll all come together by the time you hit the last page.  It's basically genius.  Zhang is going to be a big name in the YA community, folks.  Mark my words.  She's got mad skillz and is a young adult herself.  She doesn't have to research or try to remember what it was like to be a young adult.  She LIVES it.  Doesn't get more authentic than that. Now do yourself a favor and go pick up this book today and read it this weekend.  Then, come back and tell me how much you love this book, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cried and cried and cried some more. Great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth the read. This one will stick with me for awhile
Christine_Kohler More than 1 year ago
A raw honest look at an unsympathetic character (Mean Girl) who is depressed and contemplates suicide. A stunning debut. I read this book on an ARC tour.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. In my opinion its absolutely amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has the most damned unlikeable main character, but hell if I didn't come around by the end. Nothing about the conclusion is terribly surprising, but the journey there definitely has a few twists. Worth a read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really good. It was wonderfully eritten with chapters taking place at different times but it all came together in the end. I personally was not surprised at who the narrator was but i wont spoil it. Read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this one. Beautiful, unique style of the writing, with a lovely portrayal of the facade teenagers put on for one another. If you're a fan of Gayle Forman, John Green, David Levithan, or Jay Asher this book will soon be favorite. I read it all in one long 6 hour sitting because I just couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
    Okay, so first off. The jumps in time, the different characters that are focused on, and the point of view are all pretty non-traditional for this one. It messed with my head and I was confused if the "I" in the book was her spirit/conscious/a ghost, and maybe that's part of the mystery that drives the story. While it gripped me and I just had to figure out how all these pieces fit together, I can certainly understand where it will turn off some readers.      So that out of the way, I think that this wasn't originally on my radar because it had a different synopsis, and at first it didn't necessarily catch my attention. But then I read about the suicide attempt and the interpersonal questions of how we effect each other and the relationships that is posted above got my attention so when I was sent this one, I decided to give it a read.       Liz is also a hard person to like, I was okay with her in ways I could forgive until the Melody incident and even though she was so young and there was peer pressure it just seemed like the iceberg started to crack there. I know that it also sets up a foreshadowing and lets us see inside her mind at the moment, and see the struggle that was there. Oh and the physics aspect didn't do anything for me, constantly with the newton's laws.       I wasn't pleased with the epilogue but the ending before that fit the book. I imagine though that more people would be displeased because it would be more of an open ending.  Bottom Line: Unique perspective and timeline. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang Publisher: Greenwillow Books Publication Date: September 9, 2014 Rating: 1 star Source: eARC from Edelweiss Summary (from Goodreads): 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? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher. What I Liked: This debut novel came highly recommended by like, everyone, so of course I snatched it up from Edelweiss when I saw that Harper had uploaded it, months ago. It's contemporary, and "tough-issue" contemporary at that, but the synopsis intrigued me. A book that is told in three stages - before, during, and after the car crash? That's different. I've never read any of Forman or Asher's books, and I hated any Oliver books I've read, so I didn't really have high expectations for this one.  Liz Emerson gives up on living, and decides to plan her suicide. She will crash her car, far away so no one will find her, in the afternoon/evening, in an "accident" that will look like an accident, but it's really a carefully planned suicide. But what went wrong? Why did Liz want to kill herself? Obviously I didn't like this book. But one of the redeeming qualities I found was the writing style of this book. More like, the structure of the book? Or perhaps both. Zhang's writing is very clear, very smooth, not quite lyrical, but somewhat poetic. I enjoyed READING this book, even if I didn't enjoy what I was reading. The structure is kind of cool. It flips between during the car crash (what Liz is thinking as she is about to crash her car), before the crash (how everything spiraled out of control), and after the crash (at the hospital, at school, etc.). I know it might seem random and broke-up and weird, how Zhang does this, but really, it's genius. Zhang places every scene, every chapter, ever "before/after" with purpose. This is really well-done! Now, read on, to see what makes me of the unpopular opinion. What I Did Not Like: First, I don't usually like "tough-issue" contemporary novels. I've enjoyed a few, like Patty Blount's books. But for the most part, key things about these books piss me off. Usually, it's the heroine, or the bulls*** that the heroine does or makes up or suffers in her mind. Usually, it's all in her head. And it's such bulls***. In this book... well, I'll just go ahead and say it: I HATED Liz Emerson. I HATE girls like her. Liz Emerson ruined the lives of basically her entire school. She humiliated the one boy who actually liked her, by turning the whole school on him, and turning him into a joke. Who the f*** should get away with ruining a boy's life, having everyone starts rumors that he's gay, or weird, or mentally unstable, or perverted. She caused a girl to not go to college, and to work at a crappy store or restaurant (yup, this is no joke). She got one best friend addicted to weed (or is it crack?), and didn't defend another as boys took that friend upstairs at parties. And boy, there is so much more. What. An. Awful. Person. I don't forgive Liz for anything she did, for any of the pain that she caused. People like her deserve everything that they did right back in their face, in my opinion. I know that's not great to say... but what she did to others was beyond CRUEL. There is no adjective for her actions, her decisions, her apathy. It's so unbelievable infuriating ESPECIALLY when she KNEW she was doing the wrong thing, making the wrong choices, ruining someone else's life, but she kept. On. Doing. It.  I can't forgive people like that. I can't LIKE people like that. Call me heartless, call me soulless, but I will NEVER, EVER defend someone like that, forgive someone like that, be buddy-buddy with someone like that. No one "contributed" to her suicide, like SHE contributed to other people's suicides or ruination. She directly and indirectly ruined other people's lives, but no one directly or indirectly ruined hers. No, she did that all by herself. She ruined her life by making s***ty decisions and dragging everyone down with her. She had SO MANY CHANCES to stop, so many chances to remember her humanity, so many chances to stop doing the wrong thing... but she never did. It's like she half-hated what she was doing, half-reveled in it. B**** DOES NOT EVEN COVER WHAT I THINK OF HER. Honestly, girls like these, I don't say anything to, and I don't interact with. Because as soon as someone else lashes back, the girl contemplates suicide, or harassment, or shuts down. You have to be strong and withstand all of her harassment and the humiliation, but as soon as she feels some, she crumbles and everyone must feel sorry for her. This ISN'T what happens to Liz - she crumbles under self BECAUSE of herself and her decisions, but this is just an observation of mine. I said something on Twitter about cruel people in general - cruel people aren't ever "sorry" or "regretful" of what they do to others until others are physically hurt, on the outside. The thing is, Liz wasn't even sorry then. She wasn't sorry when she ruined the reputations of others, the credibility of others... or when a girl got hooked on drugs, another committed suicide, etc. She never stood up for anyone (except that ONE time, and OMG, Liz is a hero now).  I hate Liz. I hate the "romance" (there is none, the attempt at it was atrocious). I hated the supporting characters. I hated the ending. Oh my gosh. I hated the ending so much. Literally the worst ending ever. And the "mystery" of the narrator? So obvious. I knew from the start. UGHHH, SO MUCH PENT-UP RAGE!  (I'm writing this review days after reading the book. I thought I would be less angry at the book, but I'm not.) Would I Recommend It: No. No no no no no no. I know a lot of people are super excited to read this book, and a lot of reviews are super positive, and I'm probably going to get bashed because OMG YOU DON'T FEEL SORRY FOR A GIRL WHO TRIED TO COMMIT SUICIDE?! *narrows eyes* Rating: 1 star. That 1 star comes from the great writing style and the structure of the story, Amy Zhang's got talent, I must say that. But this book... it really hit a nerve. I feel disgusting, just thinking about it, sadly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Better than the Fault in Our Stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago