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Falling into Place

Cover: 'Falling into Place'

Staff Review: "Falling into Place" by Amy Zhang

★★★★★

Liz Emerson planned her car “accident” carefully. She was determined not to be found by a loved one or provide any indication that her accident was actually suicide—she did not want the people she cared about to carry the burden of wondering what they could have done. Despite the fact Liz executed her plan, Newton’s laws of motion had escaped her and she survives the crash—barely. Through the eyes of an omniscient, mysterious narrator, we learn Liz’s story, which cuts between past and present, and how the internal weight she carried became overwhelming and the moments (and regrets) big and small that led her to crash her car. Zhang provides a searing portrait of depression and the sense of isolation from the world and even one’s self that Liz experiences. Though Liz’s motives may remain concealed, the shockwaves of her accident reverberate through the family, friends, and school in a realistic way. Liz is not always likeable—she was a popular girl who had used her status to tear down others—but she is a sympathetic character, and I found myself joining her friends as they will her to fight to live. Fans of "If I Stay" by Gail Foreman, "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher, and "Looking for Alaska" by John Green are likely to appreciate this book. I listened to the audiobook, which is excellent.

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

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