Review: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Review: Falling into Place by Amy ZhangTitle: Falling into Place
Author: Amy Zhang
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Check it out on Goodreads: HERE
Rating: three-half-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? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

Falling into Place has a lot of fantastic reviews going for it and some sprinkling of bad ones on Goodreads. I was pretty excited to start this book and was expecting an If I Stay like feel to it, which you do get. However, I will say right now that Falling into Place does not do it better or even close to the way that If I Stay rips your heart out, stomped on it, put it back in only to repeat the process over and over. No, in Falling into Place you go from kind of feeling bad for the main character (Liz Emerson) to just hating her immensely.

Liz Emerson is basically your typical popular mean bitch who goes around and enjoys getting drunk and ruining peoples lives for no reason really. She’s lonely at home since her father passed and her mom is always somewhere else working. No excuse to me, at all. I’m sure she was lonely and did hate herself however, she could have changed what she was doing and who she was becoming at any time in her life but she didn’t want to enough. She wanted help but didn’t know how to ask for it. Fair enough. There are a lot of people out there like that and I get it. Life is a hard thing to get through.

Her friends were pretty horrible people too and they didn’t really have many redeeming qualities. In fact, you could say that I really didn’t care for much of the characters in the book however the way it was written, it was well done and I was sucked into the story and couldn’t put it down. This book won’t be for everyone. It brings up a lot of issues but it doesn’t really deal with them at all. Drugs, alcohol, rape, abortions, suicide, bullying, fighting, neglect. All of this is in the book, touched upon but there’s no real resolve to it.

The “secret” narrator was quite easy to figure out who/what it was if you pay attention to the story but it was a different twist on it that was good. I believe this book will be on a lot of people’s favorite lists and it was good but I think it could have done a whole lot better.

Review: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

Review: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz CzukasTitle: Top Ten Clues You're Clueless
Author: Liz Czukas
Publisher: HaperTeen
Publication Date: December 9, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Check it out on Goodreads: HERE
Rating: four-stars
Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

This is the second book by Liz Czukas that I’ve read and the second one did not let me down. I loved it as much as I loved Ask Again Later. This book had me hooked from the get go. I say that a lot, I know but, this is true. If I don’t feel hooked from the beginning of a book it just puts a downer on the reading experience.

We start with getting to know the main character, Chloe. Chloe loves lists and I love that about her. She also works at a grocery store and is working on Christmas Eve for the half day the store is open. Since it’s a busy day all the employees are scheduled and that means the other young kids her age which on her list she has made she wants to find out facts about them. More or less she wants to make some friends. I liked the setting of it being in the grocery store because I’ve never seen that done as a setting. There was a lot of customers that they talked about such as the coupon lady and the health lady that is always coming in wearing her work out clothes.

The characters themselves were very diverse and it was refreshing to read. You have Chloe who is the shy red head that has diabetes but she doesn’t let anyone know because she doesn’t want them to act like she is fragile and watch out for her. You have Tyson who is the all around super friendly guy that is black. There is Zaina who they don’t know what nationality she is until later on it comes out that she is Lebanese. Micach is the homeschooled super genius that does the right thing no matter what. Sammie is the tough chick that has the attitude and doesn’t take any mess personality (I liked her a lot). Then there was Gabe who is the oldest one of them all at 18 years old and the guy who messes around and is the rich kid. Just the diversity alone was great and fantastically done, I thought.

All these kids are accused of stealing charity donations from the store and are kept after the store is closed for the day. What I didn’t understand is how none of them questioned in the beginning why they were the only ones to be kept after to talk to the police but, a lot of kids their age don’t really know all their rights. During their time being stuck together they get up to a lot of things and become pretty good friends. The events in the book go quick and you really get sucked into the story. This is a good book if you want something light and good to read. Liz Czukas is an author that I’ll definitely read no matter what from. She hasn’t let me down and she’s a great author.

Book to Movie Review: The Fault in Our Stars

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The Fault in Our Stars has been out for awhile in book form and it was very exciting when the news was that it got picked up as a movie. Fans couldn’t wait for the movie to come to the big screen because the book was pretty amazing. I absolutely adored the book when I […]

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Review: Blackbird by Anna Carey

September 16th 2014

The synopsis of this book and the cover caught my eye when I looked at the review copy on Edelweiss. Then when I finally was going to read it, I read a lot of mixed reviews. A little skeptical going into it, I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t start out with good thoughts though as […]

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Kiddie Corner Reviews: Babar’s Rescue by Laurent De Brunhoff

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I have to start this by saying that I’m not a huge fan of Babar. I don’t really have a reason why but, I just don’t like the elephant at all. I tried to get the kid to pick a different book in the library but he really wanted this Babar one. Begrudgingly I read […]

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Review: Lost in Me by Lexi Ryan

lost_in_me_lexi_ryan

This was a free book on Amazon when I got it and the synopsis sounded very interesting. Amnesia, love triangle, a bit of mystery thrown in and it makes a good story. Hanna has fallen down the stairs, so it seems, and is struck with amnesia that has her not remembering the last year of […]

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