Okay, before I give you the synopsis, can we just ogle the cover for a moment? It’s beautiful. The cover honestly made me request this book, because I *do* judge books by their covers, even though I know I shouldn’t. Okay, here’s your synopsis from Amazon:
Meet Odd. Audrey “Odd” Ashworth is an exceptionally bright girl with a sympathetic heart. She’s in the top 4% of her class. She’s obsessed with getting into Manhattan School of Music, committed to following the “signs” the universe delivers, and infatuated with the boyfriend of her recently deceased best friend.
Life is a little strange for Odd.
Until she finds her best friend’s diary in her crush’s car, and decides to do the bucket list tucked inside the pages. As Odd seeks closure and a way to honor her friend, she discovers there’s nothing wrong with a little strange, especially if it helps you discover who you were meant to be. Along the way, Odd falls into trouble, adventure, and finally love.
1. Okay, first I really need to gush about the writing style of Crutcher.
Paige Crutcher, you beautiful wordsmith. This book is definitely a coming-of-age story, which I am more inclined to enjoy these days. But, the way it is presented is a work of art. The writing is so incredibly beautiful that I kept forgetting that this is a YA book. (You all know I love YA. I just mean that sometimes, the writing style can lack a little so the story can move along). Not with Crutcher, oh no. I honestly can’t even tell you how gorgeous the writing was, so you’ll have to read it yourself.
2. The main character was beautifully tragic, naive, hopeless, and heroic, all at the same time.
Audrey is amazing. First, she broke my heart. Then, she annoyed me. Finally, she broke my heart again in all the right ways. The whole basis of the book is that she is attempting to complete a list that her best friend (who dies before the events of the book take place) has set forth for herself to become the girl she wants to be. The only problem is, both Audrey and Meredith (the aforementioned friend) are both lost on who they want to be. Audrey finds the list and attempts to emulate her best friend – which obviously leads to shenanigans ensuing. She’s amazing.
3. The world is believably real and wonderful and sad, all at once.
I’ve been really into realistic books lately. There was no paranormalcy in this book, nor was there magic. Well, I amend that last statement. There was magic, but it is more along the lines of the miraculous, wonderful things that happen in real life rather than supernatural magic. Audrey’s friends do drugs, and her whole town is steeped in kids who are bored who smoke pot – among other things. There is a particularly funny scene with acid, and I was honestly cracking up for ten minutes, but I won’t ruin it for you. As someone who was addicted to drugs and works in a city that has high schools with drug problems, it is incredible to see a realistic take on the drug problem that teenagers face. It takes courage to stand up to your friends and believe in what is right. Audrey does that tenfold. She always stands her ground, even though she gets crap for it from her friends.
4. The book’s look at loss is beautiful and it spoke to me.
Recently, we lost my boyfriend’s mother (who was like a second mother to me). Her death was sudden and unexpected and we are still dealing with the loss of our mom. The book deals with the loss of Meredith through the entire story. There is one quote I’d like to share with you all that honestly brought tears to my eyes, because it is exactly how I’ve been feeling. “Life is unpredictable. It’s messy and confusing, and sometimes I want to give up. But other times, like in the middle of the worst moment in the history of moments known to mankind, something amazing happens and it all makes sense. It all comes to a point. It’s those times I live for, for the seconds I wish would last forever and for the people who make them feel like magic.” (Also, see what I mean about the writing?) Anyway, this book honestly helped me deal with the loss of my mother in a way I hadn’t even thought of before. It really did help, Ms. Crutcher, and I thank you from the bottom of my aching heart.
OVERALL: I am giving this book five stars because it is absolutely stunning. The story was fantastic, there was heart, there was loss, there was love, and there was dignity (or loss of, at some points). I don’t think I’ve enjoyed writing this much in a long time. Seriously, go grab this on your Kindle. It released today.