Falling into Place

Falling into Place

3.85 (17,173 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 145 x 220 x 28mm | 385g
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0062295047
  • 9780062295040
  • 548,011

Back cover copy

Inertia, force, mass,
gravity, velocity,
acceleration . . .
cause and effect.

Liz Emerson doesn't
understand any of it.

But I do.

I understand how we fall.
Where we fall. Why we fall.

I understand her sadness
and loneliness and silence,
her shattered heart.

It doesn't have to be
this way, does it?

It wasn't always
this way, was it?

Stay alive,
Liz Emerson,
stay alive.
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Review Text

"The breezy yet powerful and exceptionally perceptive writing style, multifaceted characters, surprisingly hopeful ending, and pertinent contemporary themes frame an engrossing, thought-provoking story that will be snapped up by readers of Todd Mitchell's Backwards and Gayle Forman's If I Stay." School Library Journal
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Review quote

"Insightful . . . it's interesting to see the mean girl through the eyes of the people who love her, despite (and sometimes because of ) her flaws."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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About Amy Zhang

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

17,173 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 30% (5,211)
4 36% (6,102)
3 25% (4,293)
2 7% (1,157)
1 2% (410)

Our customer reviews

I’m still a little confused by this book. The writing-style was good, but I disliked the main character Liz. She attempts to kill herself and she is close to dying, but the medics manage to keep her alive. The only thing that will bring her back is her own spirit; her own will to survive. It’s the question if Liz is strong enough to come back. Slowly we unravel Liz story and why she decided to take such a big decision. Her mother is always on the road for her job, her father passed away and Liz is very unhappy with herself. Addicted to booze, she likes to go from party to party in the hope to forget everything around her. She is popular because of her snarky comments, her harsh behavior and overall meanness to others; Liz is a bully, but she regrets it. She is stuck in her role and that is when her plan begins to shape. Liz.. what can I say. I felt sorry for her, but at the same time it was so hard to understand her. I have low tolerance for bullies and it didn’t feel to me like she had no other choice. I think she was too broken to change herself, but there were times I wanted to slap her for the hurtful things she did. It was sometimes difficult for me to continue and she is not a likable person. Honestly, most of the times she is just a big jerk, but I wanted to see her change. I was willing to give her a second shot, because it’s obvious from her suicide that she was very unhappy. Once, Liz found comfort in me. Once, she found it in holding my hand and dreaming until our dreams came true. Once, she found it in simply being alive. Eventually, she could no longer find comfort in anything. By the end, she was just another girl stuffed full of forgotten dreams, until she crashed her car and she wasn’t even that. The writing-style is the main aspect that made me finish this book. There was something gripping about it and I read this book in one sitting. I don’t think I would have picked it up if I had put it down, but it’s good I finished it, because I was pleased with the ending. I also liked the narrator of this book. It’s not hard to guess who is telling the story, but it was nicely done and very effective. I didn’t enjoy the story that much, I tolerated it.. But based on a lot of ratings on Goodreads, this is a case of 'it's me, not you.'show more
by Melanie-
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.show more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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