One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. This haunting and heartbreaking story is told by a surprising and unexpected narrator and unfolds in nonlinear flashbacks even as Liz's friends, foes, and family gather at the hospital and Liz clings to life.Read more...
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One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. This haunting and heartbreaking story is told by a surprising and unexpected narrator and unfolds in nonlinear flashbacks even as Liz's friends, foes, and family gather at the hospital and Liz clings to life. This riveting debut will appeal to fans of Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, and 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
"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 did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? The 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.
- ISBN-13: 9780062295040
- ISBN-10: 0062295047
- Publisher: Greenwillow Books
- Publish Date: September 2014
- Page Count: 304
- Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-07-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Zhang debuts with the haunting story of a suicide attempt gone awry as high school junior Liz Emerson drives her Mercedes off the road, winding up in a coma. The reasons for Liz’s actions and her substantial self-hatred emerge in chapters that alternate between the present, as friends and family gather at the hospital to find out whether Liz will pull through, and the weeks leading up to the car crash, along with examples of Liz’s cruelty over the years. Among the sources of guilt and pain swirling around Liz’s brain are her father’s death, her mother’s absentee parenting, her friends’ drug problem and abortion (both of which Liz had a hand in), her own struggles with bulimia and loneliness, and the many classmates’ reputations she has helped ruin. At times, the story takes on the feel of a novel-length guilt trip, all but entreating readers to recognize how they could be kinder in their own lives. But Zhang writes with confidence and finesse, and many readers will be moved as Liz recognizes the lives she has damaged. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)