Enter the teen world in small town Meridian, where who your friends are can define you.
But sometimes, as our MC Liz Emerson discovers, that world can be stultifying and can turn you into the kind of person you hate. Hating herself, after years of being the popular, pretty one, Liz decides to crash her car, to kill herself in what looks like an accident.
You know what they say about best laid plans. Falling into Place weaves between the past and the present in a somewhat unpredictable fashion: Five months before the crash, # hours or days before the crash, etc. But as the story circles back and forth, we are offered a glimpse of who Liz was, who she has become, and what events in her life created her.
Yes, she was definitely an unlikeable character, as were most of her friends. Looking at their world, I was reminded of my own teen years, but back then, we had different challenges. Different obstacles. But the core of them is the same. We all long to be liked, we wish we could change the mistakes we’ve made, and we suffer in silence rather than share our feelings.
Sometimes I just wanted to be done with this story. It was sad, it was frustrating, and in so many ways, it reminded me of every other YA book I have read (not that many, to be sure). Troubled kids, bad choices, and mean streaks a mile long.
Bullying comes up, too, and then I realize that Liz’s moments of introspection have led her to believe there is no redemption for her. And now I begin to empathize with her. I realize that she feels helpless in the face of all she has done…and doesn’t believe that anything can change that for her.
An interesting twist: the story is narrated by an unknown someone.
In the end, we are left with questions: what will Liz do? Is there hope for her after all? Definitely a book that will leave me thinking about the big issues in life. 4.0 stars.