ARC Review: The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody

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Title: The Chaos of Standing Still
Author: Jessica Brody
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
Stars: 3/5

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

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The Chaos of Standing still drew me in right from the start. It is the story of a girl stranded in an airport, but with a twist. There are so many interesting side characters and some super cute moments throughout the book. While I enjoyed the story, I found the constant interruptions for flashbacks to get annoying, and I wish I could have enjoyed it more.

This book is cute, funny, and heart-wrenching all at once. It tells the story of a girl stranded in an airport on New Year’s Eve, which also happens to be the anniversary of her best friend’s death. She ends up befriending a boy because of a strange coincidence, and she finally starts to move on. I loved reading about Ryn and her new friends’ adventures together and their way of ringing in the new year. There is a good amount of comic relief and a couple of plot twists in the story, which add some more excitement. I’m not normally a fan of super depressing books, so I was glad to see that this one isn’t actually that bad.

I adored the cast of characters in The Chaos of Standing Still, or rather, the side characters. I’m still not entirely sure what I think of the main character. I found Xander to be so sweet, and I loved how patient and encouraging he is with Ryn. He has a great sense of humour and problems of his own, making him a pretty complex character. I also really enjoyed the quirky characters Ryn and Xander meet at the airport, such as Siri (the barista) and Troy (the fourteen year old genius). They make the book more fun, and I loved reading about their humorous interactions.

Since the book takes place during one day, there are a lot of flashbacks that tell the story of Ryn and Lottie’s past. I appreciate a good flashback every once in a while, but in this case, the flashbacks seem to occur right when the story is picking up. Just as I’m getting invested in the story, there is an interruption, and it really takes away from the action. I would have preferred it if the flashbacks occurred at the end of the chapter, instead of right in the middle of an interesting scene. That and the pretty unrealistic events at the airport lowered my rating of what could have been an amazing novel.

The Chaos of Standing Still is a complex novel about coping with the death of a loved one. There is plenty of comic relief and some pretty adorable moments, so the book isn’t pure sorrow. I loved the unique side characters throughout the story, but the flashbacks became annoying for me. I didn’t hate this book, but I definitely believe that it could have been better.

I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

14 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody

  1. Cynthia R says:

    Thank you for the honest review. That’s too bad the flashbacks were a distraction from the story, still it sounds like there are enough good things about the book to give it a try.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Marie says:

    Lovely review! This book sounds like something I could enjoy – I love the synopsis and have read a few books from this author already. Glad to hear you overall enjoyed it 🙂 thank you for sharing! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kozbisa says:

    I don’t know if I found the flashbacks disruptive or that I just didn’t like Lottie. She was sort of selfish and self destructive, and I questioned why Ryn wanted to be her friends. I loved all the present day interactions though. The airport scenes were the best and that is why the book was able to get 3.5 stars from me. I thought the ending was really strong too, and a going out on a high note is always a good thing for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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