Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Miles From Ordinary, by Carol Lynch Williams

Miles From Ordinary
Carol Lynch Williams

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date:
March 15, 2011
Contemporary, Young Adult
Paperback, 197
4/5 (Avg 3.5/5)
Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother's ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control....

“No one can get inside the head and heart of a 13-year-old girl better than Carol Lynch Williams, and I mean no one," said James S. Jacobs, Professor of Children's Literature at Brigham Young University, of her breakout novel, The Chosen One. Now this award-winning YA author brings us an equally gripping story of a girl who loves her mother, but must face the truth of what life with that mother means for both of them.

I didn't know what to expect from this story. Having no prior reading experience of Carol Lynch Williams, I was intrigued with praises of her writing but still clueless. After reading Miles from Ordinary, I can say that I will be singing her praises as well.

Whatever I may have been thinking this book was, it was not. The story is beautifully written and so moving. It was also set in only one day's time, which was amazing to me. You'd think something like that wouldn't be able to live up to such high expectations in such a short timeline, but it far exceeds that with flashbacks of Lacey's past helping to guide you and help you understand. Did I mention it's nothing like I thought it would be?

Lacey's story goes from heart-wrenching to haunting in the span of the book. Despite everything, you can't help but feel sorry for her and wish that she could have a typical carefree, happy childhood like all the other kids her age. Nevertheless, she's a strong character with an equally strong voice. I was hesitant at first with the main character being younger, but Williams did an incredible job with her voice. Lacey's aunt was a character I also thought was completely selfish, but when the flashbacks reveal more of the story, we see more of why each of the characters are the way they are. I'm not saying I completely agree with every character's actions, though the flashbacks help to understand them better than what I had originally thought.

At the very beginning, I struggled a little to get into the story. I think maybe it was the accent of the character and the way she talked? I'm not sure. But my attention was caught very soon after and it wasn't long before I was finishing the book with white knuckles and a sore heart. This book is eerie, to say the least. It's contemporary - and a fine one at that - but I'd also put it in the psychological thriller category as well. If you like either of those, I'm positive you'll love this book.

Find Carol Lynch Williams
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Purchase Miles From Ordinary
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


Savannah said...

Great review! I have been wanting to get this book. I love a strong character and strong voice.

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