sábado, 23 de mayo de 2015

Falling into Place

Author: Amy Zhang
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction.
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Year: 2014
Ranking: 4/ 5

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?

The Author

Amy Zhang was born in China, grew up in Wisconsin, and currently lives in New York State. When she isn't writing she can be found playing the piano or hitting balls on the tennis court. Falling into place is her debut novel.

Personal Experience with This Book

I do not remember where or how I decided to read this book but when I saw it as #1 on my TBR list in Goodreads I had to read it. As I said ... I'm a fairly methodical person and I like to do things in order. So I try following my TBR list as much as I can in the order that I have added the books. Anyways...

I was skeptical at first with this book because as they say it looked a lot like "If I stay" in the narrative and that book bored me a lot so, I was a little worried that this would also be bored. However, I cannot say that for this book. I read it very quickly and I was not bored reading it. I liked it.

The plot of the book is quite sad and serious. Although I did not cry in any moment in the story but, suicide always leaves an impact on people who are close to the person who commits it and this is always sad. The whole issue of Liz’s depression, the problems she have in her family, her friends and everything she carries inside is something that makes you think a lot. I reflected a lot from this book, especially about how my actions have consequences in the lives of people who are close to me, my family and my closest friends. And every person that crosses your life, you leave something, whether is good or bad does not matter.

In Liz's case, everything she left in her way was bad. It is one of those typical characters that closely resemble the girls in the movie "Mean Girls". A popular girl who gets what she wants above all things. She lives a life of excesses: seeking refuge in alcohol to forget her internal problems; seeking to make life miserable for others when she doesn’t like something and having no desire to go ahead because for her, life has no meaning at all. Liz could have given me a lot of anger but she did not and that can be attributed to many things:

  1. The narrator of the story has a very nice image of Liz and is always explaining everything she does.
  2. It is a very complex character. I think this is what I really liked about her. Because she knows that what she is doing is wrong and she still does it and then she feels bad about herself for doing it.
  3. I think that in some sense I understood her sadness. It came a time when I really did not want her to end up dead. Because as the story progresses you get to feel that you know her very well.

About the secondary characters in the story I can highlight mainly Julie and Kennie. These two girls made a big difference for me in this story. You'd think with all that Liz has done to them, although they are her best friends, these girls would have some resentment within them, but it's not like that. The friendship between the three of them is unique and very sincere. You cannot say they are complete honest with each other because they feel that there are lines that they cannot cross, but when the "Liz’s accident" happens these two girls show a lot how much they love Liz, how important she is for them and how much they are willing to change and to forgive and to move forward. I loved this book about the book.

Liam and Monica have their moments in the story but not as many as Julie and Kennie. Liam is a lovely guy, but I saw him quite unreal and masochistic. How can you love a girl that made your life practically miserable at school? But that very fact is also cute so… Because he saw something in her that it seems no one else could see. Monica meanwhile... my mother should certainly say a thing or two to this woman. And I imagine their conversation. Especially by the fact that she admits being afraid of being mother and only when she sees her daughter dying is that she gets to feel bad about "leaving her alone". Really that such thing made me angry. I have a Dad who works like crazy but I have never felt his absence as a father in my life.

The narrative of the book is excellent. You do not know who the narrator is but you can get the picture of it. Moreover, the narrative of a third party allows one as a reader to know much more about the feelings of the characters without being influenced by them. I really enjoyed this because you feel you know all the characters mentioned, you feel you know them very well. Besides, we have a story that is not told following a timeline but that does not confuse or frustrate the reader. Although I think is more for the fact that the chapters are very short and the writer is not about merely describing things and situations that could have made the book feel more tedious and boring. She goes to the point.

I think the only complaint I have about the book is the epilogue. I wish that the author wrote a longer epilogue. I do not deny that was the best way to finish the book but I wish I knew more.

The book I recommend it to everyone who the synopsis sounds interesting to. The book is suitable for all age groups and gives you a very good feeling to read it. I sincerely remain very thoughtful after finishing and still am. I think although is not the best book of the year; it left me something much more important and necessary. The final message: All our actions have repercussions, whether in the lives of others or ours.
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