Anything But Ordinary

Monday, September 03, 2012

Title: Anything But Ordinary
Author: Lara Avery
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Genre: YA, Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Ebook received via NetGalley from Publisher for honest review
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis:
An inspiring, bittersweet love story about making every day count.
Bryce remembers it like it was yesterday. The scent of chlorine. The blinding crack and flash of pain. Blood in the water.

When she wakes up in the hospital, all Bryce can think of is her disastrous Olympic diving trial. But everything is different now. Bryce still feels seventeen, so how can her little sister be seventeen, too? Life went on without her while Bryce lay in a coma for five years. Her best friend and boyfriend have just graduated from college. Her parents barely speak. And everything she once dreamed of doing—winning a gold medal, traveling the world, falling in love—seems beyond her reach.

But Bryce has changed too, in seemingly impossible ways. She knows things she shouldn’t. Things that happened while she was asleep. Things that haven’t even happened yet. During one luminous summer, as she comes to understand that her dreams have changed forever, Bryce learns to see life for what it truly is: extraordinary.

My Thoughts:
This story is not what I expected when I requested it from the publisher. I was expecting a straight forward YA Contemporary Fiction book that dealt with the hardships of waking up from a 5-year coma. But what I discovered was it dealt with so much more than that. 

Here is what I loved: I loved that the family dynamic was not perfect, that the issues that came about when Bryce woke up seemed realistic and heartbreaking. I loved the love story that was built subtly throughout, until the every end. I loved that the story didn't stay in the same fine line that most YA Com temporary Fiction titles seemed to do, it gave a curve ball that I didn't see coming. And most of all I loved that I could feel the heartbreak throughout the novel. Lara Avery knew how to express her characters feelings in a way that made me care and become invested in her story. 

Here is what I did not like: I did not like that the secondary characters were a little flat and undeveloped. I wanted to see more of them, but at one point I got so frustrated with their behavior I just stopped caring. I did not like that there was an element of the supernatural thrown in. I was looking forward to reading a book that was devoid of that kind of thing but alas, it was there. And lastly I did not like the ending. I thought it ended abruptly and without much closure for the reader. I wanted more from Bryce by the end of the book, she had become so strong and independent by then, but the end lacked that characteristic for me.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read, and a heartbreaking read at times, and I think for someone like me that tends to reads fantasy more than anything else, this book was a good diversion. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Sarah Dessen or Alyson Noel. 

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