Book Review: Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
“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, with Miles from Ordinary, 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.
Miles from Ordinary was recently named to The American Library Associations 2012 list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. The Chosen One was named one of 2012’s Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults by the ALA.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Aaron,” I whispered. Not so sure why. He seemed like the only normal thing I knew. And I wanted something, anything, normal. Anything.
Williams, Carol Lynch (2011-03-15). Miles from Ordinary: A Novel (Kindle Locations 2189-2190). Macmillan. Kindle Edition.
To put it simply, “Miles From Ordinary” is a powerful novel.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started “Miles From Ordinary”, mainly because I’d yet to read a novel by Carol Lynch Williams at that point. While it isn’t what I was expecting, I did genuinely enjoy it.
It’s a story about Lacey, a young teenage girl, and the far from ordinary day she experiences when she and her mother begin new jobs. From the get go it is clear that something is wrong with Lacey’s mother, but you’re not sure how bad things are. And as the story moves along, and more information is provided, it becomes clear that Lacey is the adult in this mother-daughter duo. She’s forced to care for her mentally ill mother on her own (after her mother forces Lacey’s aunt out of their home).
Williams does a fantastic job of slowly building up the story, all leading up that haunting and terrifying ending. There were times that I found myself wanting to cry while reading this. And then there were times where I wanted to scream. It isn’t because this is a bad book, but rather because it’s so difficult to read – it’s easy to lose yourself in these characters and Williams’ words.
In all honesty, this is a story that will haunt you long after you finish reading it.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a review copy!