Hello! Welcome to my blog tour stop for The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody. In today’s tour, I’ll introduce this newly discovered author of mine, book info, my review & favorite quotes and 2 giveaways (1 for the U.S. residents and 1 for international readers). If you’ve read my previous post , you’d know that I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a while because c’mon, look at that COVER! So I can’t wait to share more about this gorgeous book with all of you. 😀
About the Book
THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL by Jessica Brody
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 28th, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel from the author of Boys of Summer.
Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.
She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.
But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.
And his name is Xander.
When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.
Ryn can’t move on.
But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.
As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us—and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way.
Add it on Goodreads!
My Book Review & Favorite Quotes
***Actual rating: 3/5 R(V)eginald Stars***
If Lottie hadn’t died, I never would have known Xander.
The Chaos of Standing Still is mainly about how Ryn learns to move on after her best friend, Lottie, died in a car accident one year ago. Long story short, Ryn was stuck in Denver International Airport due to a blizzard and she accidentally bumped into a guy named Xander when she tripped over her own feet while googling frantically on her phone. That was how the story began.
Throughout the book, I’ve learnt a lot about Ryn:
＊She was extremely obsessed with her smartphone because 1)there was the last, tiny piece of Lottie—an unread text message from her—for her to hold on to whenever she wanted and 2)there was Google. I kid you not, Ryn googled literally everything she could think of, from how a blizzard was formed to why someone died and others didn’t.
＊She was addicted to finding answers. Ryn believed that everything happened for a reason…except Lottie’s death because Lottie was such a sweet friend and she didn’t deserve to be killed by a drunk driver, who barely got a scratch in the accident.
For the past year I’ve been searching for answers that I may never find. That may not even exist. No matter how many times I look at all the information, no matter how many times I replay January 1st, 10:05 a.m., in my head, Lottie’s death may never make sense to me.
＊She’d been underestimating the power of drawing/sketching/art all this time when she should’ve grieved Lottie properly. Since she was stuck in the airport for a night, she met a child prodigy, Troy, who was a scientist looking for answers most of his lifetime and he was figuring out the meaning of some murals in the airport. Apparently, Ryn gave him some profound interpretations that at the same time, showed him how much art had impacted on her life.
Throughout the story, I also learnt quite a lot about Xander:
＊He was actually a rebellious teenager when most people considered him to be the opposite. His relationship with his parents wasn’t exactly as perfect as people thought and I admired him for who he was.
＊He was destined to be with Ryn. The moment they accidentally took each other’s phone because as unlikely as it was, they had exactly the same phone cases, made in the same country as well (duh = =). Anyway, what’s the odd of two people with the same phone cases bumping into each other in the same place, at the same time?
My favorite part of the story was probably when Ryn shared her thoughts on the murals in the airport with Troy. Troy may be a 14-year-old genius, but he was mature enough to read Ryn’s mind. I loved the way he explained how unreasonable, unanswerable things were sometimes and how people should just move on without seeking the absolute solution to Ryn, because again, 90% of the book Ryn was trying to rationalize Lottie’s death.
I blow out a frustrated breath. “But we can’t just stop here. Don’t you want to know? You said this was one of your big problems. Don’t you want to solve it? Get to the truth? You’re a scientist! Aren’t scientists obsessed with finding answers?” And there they are again. Those inquisitive eyes of his. That calm, observing gaze. Except this time, there’s something else in there too. Empathy. “Yes, we are,” Troy says in his usual blunt tone. “But as a scientist, you also need to know when to let go and accept the fact that sometimes there are no answers.”
What’s more, I really, really liked Ryn’s new friends in the airport because they always provided her with different perspectives on her personal matters (for example, constantly googling stuff that shouldn’t be a problem for most people and ignoring her talkative friends). Her new friends were funny, humorous and so down-to-earth that I wish I could befriend them as well. Of course, one of the friends was Xander, whom I adored the most among all the characters since he was the one who truly understood and sympathized Ryn the entire time without complaining about her certain behavior. Most importantly, I appreciated how he brought Ryn to her senses in the end. I mean, just because she couldn’t let her best friend go and lead a normal life doesn’t mean she could push those who cared about her away. Although I didn’t 100% agree with what Xander did to make her read—or NOT read— that unread message, I still thought he did the right thing after all.
”Just read the message, Ryn. Stop avoiding your feelings and read the damn message! Look, it’s easy.” His finger plunges toward the screen, and it may as well be a knife plunging into my heart.
“Nooooooo!” I scream, causing a few sleeping passengers around us to stir. But it’s too late. He’s done it. He’s clicked it. He’s reading it. It’s read. It will never be unread again.
The last thing I absolutely loved in this story was when Ryn finally, truly moved on one year after Lottie’s death by sketching the Lottie she remembered and cherished in her heart. Ryn refused to do the only thing she enjoyed most—drawing and creating a piece of art—because she felt wrong doing it when her best friend was dead. Therefore, it was a huge step in her life when she made up her mind to pick up a pencil and paper just to reminisce the beauty of Lottie for Xander. In other words, I had to thank Xander for finding back who she was before Lottie died and for helping her look forward.
But this isn’t drawing. At least not like any drawing I’ve ever done before. This is an outpouring. This is a release. These are all the lines and all the shadows and all the shapes that have been trapped inside me for almost a year. That have been following me around wherever I go. Waiting to be made real. This is like something moving through me, piloting my hand, emptying my mind until everything around me disappears. The room. The snow. The people. Even Xander. This is trying to catch water from a pitcher in a thimble. This is a year’s worth of demons channeled into a fragile piece of paper. This is me finally breathing life back into Lottie.
Enough with what I liked in the book, let’s go on to the disappointing part. As much as I was satisfied with Ryn’s character development and her interaction with her new friends from the airport, there was something that’d been bothering me the whole time when I was reading this book: The fact that Lottie was on Ryn’s mind 95% of the time in the story almost drove me crazy. I was totally fine when Ryn missed Lottie a lot and shared some of their precious memories before that dreadful night with us, but I simply couldn’t stand the way Lottie occupied most of Ryn’s thought in real life. For instance, when Ryn was in a predicament with her friends/Xander, Lottie was there to tell her what to do and what not to do and Ryn would seriously consider Lottie’s advice instead of making her own decisions. Although Ryn eventually realized that she was not Lottie and she would never be Lottie in the last 5% of the book, I personally thought it was still too late for her to come to her senses. I knew it was hard to fully let her beloved friend go and that she missed Lottie all the time, but I’d appreciate more if Lottie wasn’t dictating to Ryn so often.
”And I thought I could hang on to her forever. I thought if I could just keep one tiny piece of her alive, then everything would be fine. She would never really be gone. But now that piece is gone too, and I feel so alone. I feel more alone right now than the day she died. I thought if I could just control the rest of the world, then this one uncontrollable part of it wouldn’t matter. Or it couldn’t hurt. But it turns out, I was wrong. Because it hurts like hell.”
All in all, The Chaos of Standing Still is a rather quick read for me and despite the disappointing element in the story, I’d recommend this to everyone who’d like to have a winter read because the overall plot was pretty well-thought-out. This book showed how much Ryn had come from the person she was after Lottie’s death to the one she is now thanks to her friends and Xander. And also thanks to that unexpected blizzard which got her stuck in Denver International Airport in the first place. The Chaos of Standing Still will be a wonderful read in the holiday season and hopefully you’ll love it more than I do.
What if life is predictable? What if people leave for no reason? What if losing is just another part of living? What if the universe can’t be controlled? What if chaos is good? What if some questions can never be answered? What if that’s okay?
I think that’s okay.
***Thanks to the publisher and FFBC for sending me an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.***
About the Author
Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape.
After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Eco-nomics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.
Since then, Jessica has sold over twelve novels for teens, tweens, and adults in-cluding 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and the three books in the Unremembered trilogy, the first of which is currently in de-velopment as a major motion picture by the producers of The Vampire Academy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Slumdog Millionaire. In 2016, she will release two new contemporary novels, A Week of Mondays (August) and Boys of Sum-mer (April), and in 2017, her debut middle grade novel entitled, Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up, will hit bookstore shelves.
Jessica also writes books for the Descendants: “School of Secrets” series, based on the hit Disney Channel Original movie, Descendants!
Jessica’s books are published and translated in over twenty foreign countries.
She currently splits her time between California and Colorado.
Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody before December 7th! U.S. only.
This giveaway is not a part of the blog tour but since the author is hosting such a massive INTERNATIONAL giveaway on her blog, why not spread the word?
You’ll get a chance to win one of the three amazing prize packs from the author, including signed books, bookmarks, bookish swags and more!
This is the end of my tour. Thanks for stopping by! You could follow more of the blog tour HERE to take a look at other participants’ posts or find more info about this tour!
What do you think about this book? Will you read it?
Feel free to let me know in the comment below! 😀
Have a nice weekend!
See you later,