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.
My heart holds a special place for books about grief, loss, and coping, and The Chaos of Standing Still did not disappoint in making me cry and laugh. This book focuses more on the coping aspects of grief and all the chaos that encompasses that helpless feeling. Many times I found this story heartbreaking, but the ending is like a breath of fresh air and a warm hug filled with hope.
In regards to the main character, I oftentimes found Ryn to be very stubborn. She is stagnant in her grief of losing her best friend one year ago. While Ryn is cautious and an introvert, her late-best friend Lottie was a very outgoing and free-spirited teenager. But as Ryn’s story unfolds and we learn more and more about that terrible night that Lottie died, we find out how Lottie died and the heartbreaking scene of Ryn coming face-to-face with that reality. It is in these scenes, where Ryn allows herself to swim in memories of loss, that I began to understand that I’m not frustrated with Ryn’s approach to coping; instead I am heartbroken and shattered with her.
While the story focuses on Ryn’s 24-hour layover in an airport due to a blizzard, shenanigans ensue. She meets people who not only challenge her to step outside her own skin but they also challenge her to emotionally mature. I love that in less than a day, Ryn befriends people based on her phone case, fake names, train surfing, a midnight party, and the sudden burst of singing The Bangles.
Although sadness is a main emotion tackled in The Chaos of Standing Still, the reality of living–really living–brings so much hope to Ryn’s ability to accept life’s challenges even if they don’t have a definite answer. This book may be overwhelmed with Ryn’s grief and sadness, but it’s her ability to challenge herself and the overwhelming support of friends that makes this story unforgettable.
WIN 1 copy of THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL by Jessica Brody
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 Economics 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 including 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 development 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 Summer (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!