Author: Amy Zhang
Synopsis: 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?
Huge thank you to Greenwillow Books and Edelweiss for this ARC!
When I first heard about this book I knew that I HAD to read it. Call me morbid, but I love books that deal with suicide. I love books where pretty-ugly people get their just deserts. So this seemed right up my alley. I randomly started it (it’s not even on my schedule until August) the other night and could. not. stop. reading. The writing is AMAZING. And I’m not just saying that because the author is/ was a high school student (didn’t she just graduate?). The writing is beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. And the pacing was perfect. It speeds along just like Liz’s Mercedes and we’re able to see the past, the moments before she drove her car off the road, and the present. You also get to see things from different people’s points of view. NOT different first person POVs, just the narrator tells you different stories from different character’s perspectives. I loved it. It was a nice mix of back and forth. Not all of it was about Liz herself, but those who she directly touched.
I found myself getting really caught up in everyone’s issues. Not just Liz’s. Her friends, Julie and Kennie, both have pretty serious problems and they all deal with their problems by drinking, drugs, and avoidance. They’re all bullies, they’re all awful people. And they don’t even want to be. They push and force each other and don’t stand up for themselves or do what they truly want.
I was able to figure out the narrator about half way through the book. I had three suspicions and was right. I liked the way this was done though, it was very well thought out, and powerful.
I really don’t know what else I could say about this… just read it! And if you have an ARC bump it WAY up your list.
Fans of The Truth About Alice, Tease and any Courtney Summer’s book will love this.
This book. Seriously. When all my ladyfriends who I trust their reading recommendations said I had to read this book, they really weren’t joking. Why I only got to it now is beyond me, but I’ve finally read it and let me just say I was emotionally invested and drained from start to finish.
The pacing of this book has a unique flair to it, and one that’s hard to pin down. We get sections of Liz Emerson’s life before she crashes her Mercedes, but we equally get glimpses of her past, her relationships, and she’s actually an interesting character. She’s not likeable, but she’s not malicious either (or when she is, she’s got motive), and I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know more as to why someone who attempt to kill themselves, and Liz had some significant draws in why she believed she should go.
Furthermore, the multiple perspectives were really well done in this book. It never felt confusing, though you only get glimpses through the narrator and it never entirely feels like a full picture until the end, which even then, has some troublesome but thoughtful moments. I felt completely swept up in Julie and Kennie’s problems — I mean, they hang out with Liz, they are equally as mean as she is, and yet they have this bond that allows them to stick together and be really good friends TO each other. They care about each other’s issues, though I wanted to smack Liz at one point related to Kennie. Still, it was hard for me to entirely hate these girls because I was just so compelled by their problems.
This book is beautiful written and it will definitely get you thinking as you turn the pages. There’s a lot of difficult topics in play and yet it’s so easy to want to know more about every life present within the book. If you have an ARC of this, read it. It’s worth the time sink. If not, you’ll sadly have to wait until September, but it’s worth pushing up on your TBRs!