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The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody, #109 review

Publication date: 28 November 2017

“I fell hard for this story of love, loss, friendship, and bad airport food. I loved it!” —Morgan Matson, New York Times bestselling author of The Unexpected Everything

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 “laugh-out-loud funny, deeply stirring” (Julie Buxbaum, New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things) 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 brilliantly 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 Chaos of Standing Still: Grief, Airport Shut DoWn, Set In 24hrs, Conspiracy, Collecting Friends As You Go.

“Any system, if left unattended or isolated, will eventually result in entropy. Or chaos.”

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody

Ryn is Lottie’s best friend, sorry, Ryn was Lottie’s best friend. Lottie was killed in a car crash by a drunk driver a year ago. Grief is delt in many ways. For Ryn, she is standing still in time.There is one unread text message in her phone from Lottie before she died and Ryn is convinced that she can hear her dead best friend talking to her in her head because of the text. The one unread piece of her best friend is her lifeline. By not reading the text, Lottie still lives, as long as Lottie is still talking to her in her head, she isn’t truly dead.

Now, still grieving for her best friend, Ryn is trapped in Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve due to the biggest blizzard Denver has ever faced. It will soon be the 1 year anniversary of Lotti’s death, and she can’t be anywhere except safe at home to cope with her anxiety and loss. As fate would have it, she is confined in the airport. By destiny or by clumsyness, Ryn and Xander bumped to one another and accidentally swap phones due to having the same phone cover!!! MEET CUTE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or CHAOS.

There is so much I love about the book.

Ryn, our anxious bubble of rational thoughts that constantly asks her phone questions because she is convinced there is answer for everything except Lottie’s death. 

Xander Hale, total goofball and charming piece of bullshit, son of two best selling child psychologist authors.

Jimmy and Siri from the hidden burger gem fast food restaurant at the Airport.

Troy, child prodigy scientist investigating the conspiracy of Illuminati proof hidden within the airport.

All the fun wild teenage adventures, the nonsensical conversations that led to nowhere. Stupid foolish choices that could be a NO yet YES, I WANT MORE. Reading this book made me miss airports (pandemic = stay at home) and the youthful times as a teenager I took for granted. Back then, I wanted to grow up as soon as I could to live, I wasn’t living, like how Ryn wasn’t. I was chasing after the next day and the next just to stay alive until I could be old enough to Live. Like what Ryn is going through. I loved that she met Xander and she experienced the joy of spontaneous rendezvous.

The anxiety, grief, closure represented in this book was *chef kiss*. We have some flashbacks when Ryn was in a session of denial with her therapist and some awesome moments of Ryn and Lotte in action.

Note: Some people might say this is a Love at First Sight Romance. I argue against this. It is a book about grief and coping, it is about finding new friends in unexpected circumstances and making do with what you have, taking it day by day. The little romance part was a bonus, the characters didn’t just fall in love. It was collected slowly in the borrowed time of the blizzard. They didn’t instantly fall in love when they met, they had conversations, they did activities, they got to know one another on a deeper scale.

I highly recommend you give this a try, there aren’t enough books set in a 24 hours span or in an airport, You may also want to try putting on an Airport Terminal Sounds on youtube to maximise the feeling of reading this book at an actual airport. Bonus: Turn on your AC to make it cold as if it is Winter.

By elysianbooksish

The Bookish Faerie who loves to read and write, and bake too

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