Wow, this book was absolutely incredible. I wasn’t really sure what it was about when I opened it up…I actually for some reason assumed it was a fluffy Contemporary, because the cover does look cute until you actually look at it and realize what’s going on. But as soon as I read the first page, I realized that this was going to be a great read. And I didn’t put it down until I’d finished the last page a few hours later.
What first struck me was the gorgeous prose of this book. The whole thing is just beautiful, but at the same time also had really realistic dialogue. There were so many pages that I marked down passages in — my copy is filled with little bookmarks for words that I’d love to go back and re-read sometime.
I also thought that the characters were really well done. All three main characters, and especially Liz, are so layered and relatable. It was really easy to understand Liz’s downward spiral as the whole story unfolded around itself. I loved how it was told kind of sporadically and not in chronological order. The nonlinear storyline mirrored the dizzying and all-over-the-place intense feelings experienced by Liz throughout her life.
While I liked the unique narration style, I did have two small problems with it…one being that, because it wasn’t told in first person, I had trouble fully connecting with Liz. I understood where she was coming from, but I still felt like she was kept slightly distant from us, because we weren’t experiencing everything with her first-hand. I wish that the book had gone more in-depth as to her thought process and what she was exactly feeling, because while we hear about her feelings, with such an impactful subject matter I wish we’d been more privy to what was going on inside her head. I also felt like the narration shouldn’t have been treated as a mystery. It’s clear that the person is being purposefully vague as to who they might be so that you’re wondering who it is, but I had figured it out very early on in the book…it wasn’t really that hard to guess. So when the big “reveal” happens at the end of the book, it sort of created this cheesy effect because it had been so obvious all along. I wish that they’d just left out the reveal and let everybody just assume…I think that it would’ve worked better if it’d been less direct.
My final problem with the book is that it got a tiny bit slow about 2/3rds the way through. I honestly can’t tell if this is just because I ended up reading it in one sitting or not, but, to me, it at one point started to feel like certain things could’ve been cut out of the story. There were a few chapters that felt sort of unnecessary to the storyline and I started to get bored with the side plots because I just wanted to get back to the main story and find out what was going on with Liz. But that only bothered me for a few chapters or so and then it picked back up again.
Overall, though, this novel is amazing. It’s shocking to think that this was actually written by a high school student — it’s a very impressive book for somebody that young. Falling Into Place deals with so many tough subjects and handles them with such a graceful hand. The writing is absolutely beautiful and this book has easily become one of my favorite reads of this summer.