The Chaos of Standing Still
Genre: Contemporary, Grief, YA
Publication date: November 28th, 2017
by Simon Pulse
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.
The first discovered Jessica Brody with 52 Reasons to Hate My Father. She immediately had my intention and I really wanted to read everything she wrote but I quickly found out that perhaps everything she wrote wasn’t for me. Which is unfortunate because I really enjoyed her writing style. But then I came The Chaos of Standing Still, a book that demanded my attention.
At 403 pages The Chaos of Standing Still is not a short book but don’t let it fool you. Those 403 pages FLY BY. There are books I’ve read where even 300 pages feel like they are too fucking much but Jessica Brody knows how to pace a story well. In fact she probably deserves an award because there have not been many times in my life where I’ve read 403 pages in one single sitting without moving at all. I can read 400 pages in a day, no problem but in one sitting? Slightly harder to do.
Okay so maybe you’re not here for me to write an ode to Brody’s pacing skills butttttttt I HAD TO TALK ABOUT THEM, OKAY?
The Chaos of Standing Still is a story about a girl who lost her best friend and has survivor’s guilt and a whole lot of grief. I think Brody deals with these issues very well and even though there is a romance, the romance never overshadows Ryn’s experiences. This is Ryn’s story and its her story as she learns how to move on and how to continue living even though her best friend, the light in her life no longer is.
I’ve spent my fair share of time at airports and travelling so when I first read the summary of The Chaos of Standing Still, I was immediately hooked. There are not a whole lot of books that involve being stranded at airports and that’s MY JAM. The overarching plot of the book obviously deals with Ryn’s emotional coming of age but I LOVE the subplots with the airport. There are so many secondary characters to meet and they are all FLESHED OUT. They feel like real people with real stories. And a lot of secondary characters can be fleshed out but I don’t always care about every single one of their stories. I did here and I loved the way we got to see them develop too (if only it was ever so slightly) over the span of 403 pages.
The Chaos of Standing Still is worth reading not just because its a good exploration of grief but also because it is adorable and it is such a feel-good read for a warm winter day.