Author: Amy Zhang
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Date: September 2014
Source: ARC from publisher
Buy the Book • Goodreads
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.
Amy Zhang started the book off in an amazing way and I was immediately pulled into the story. I sincerely wanted to know why everything was happening and what lead to Liz driving her car off of a cliff. The ultimate reason I stuck with the story was to find out who was narrating.
The way Amy Zhang wrote the book was beautiful. I haven’t felt they way about a writer’s writing style in a while. What I did not expect was how all over the place the story was. The timeline of the story went from past to present and switched points of view with each chapter. I was really confused and a little frustrated with that. I felt that made the story hard to follow and I was lost interest a couple of times. One chapter would talk about Liz’s friend’s drug addiction, while the next jumped to the topic of the boy who had a crush on Liz.
I found myself struggling to finish this book but wanted to find out the ultimate mystery – who was narrating??!! The mystery narrator was ever-present but unnamed until the very end. It seemed that all of Liz’s friends and mom seemed to figure themselves out and solve their problems during the first day she was in the hospital. Not sure I truly believed that. It just seemed too sunshine & rainbows and not really doable by the way the story was going. Liz’s friends were really too messed up to solve their issues in such a short time. When it came time to reveal out who the narrator was, I was more than let down. I sat the book down and said, “REALLY?! That is who was telling they story?! Ugh.”
Overall, I was let down with the one. I was super excited to read the ARC but was left wanting. The writing style was amazing but not the timeline of the story. It was hard to follow and I wanted to quit at least three times. With that being said, I am still excited to read what else Ms. Zhang publishes and will give her another chance.