Published by Harper Collins on September 9th 2014
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.
I received this book for free from edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I had seen this pop up on numerous lists of really good books to read, especially in regards to its subject matter (suicide). For some reason, I just never picked it up to read! I’m glad I finally decided to do so! I liked this book and it was definitely a unique read. It’s format was different than anything I’ve read and the story line was definitely nonlinear.
Liz is hard person to like when we first meet her. Throughout the novel we see all these bad things she’s done and how they’ve affected her (not just the victims). I could see her struggles, but I never really understood why she decided to commit suicide. It never really connected for me. I did enjoy seeing her kind of realize what she had done and actually feeling guilty over them. I wish there was just more of a connection between her actions and how she’s portrayed in the novel. Having her be somewhat disconnected didn’t really help the story.
It was interesting seeing her two best friends as well, Kenny and Julia. They definitely reacted differently than each other in regards to what was happening. It was sad to see how Liz affected them and basically helped them on their paths of destruction. I’m hoping that if there were to be a sequel that they would all be on a path of recovery after all this. I’m also super curious about Liam and how he’ll fit into Liz’s life in the future. I actually really liked him.
One of the things that I’m still not sure about is who was the narrator. I think it was like an imaginary friend or a young/innocent version of Liz. At times the story flowed, but there were times where the narrator made things just seem off. The story didn’t quite flow the way the rest of the story did in those moments. I did enjoy the nonlinear aspect of the plot, but I wish it didn’t jump around quite as much. I also enjoyed the physics parts, but I wish it was more of a focus. When it was included, I feel like it really worked.
Overall, I enjoyed this. For being a book about such an emotional topic, I expected to have a more emotional response. I didn’t find it spectacular, but I am definitely intrigued to read more by this author.