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Miles from Ordinary: A Novel Hardcover – March 15, 2011
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“Absorbing....[Williams] has crafted both a riveting, unusual suspense tale and an absolutely convincing character in Lacey. The book truly is miles from ordinary, in the very best way. Outstanding.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“In a novel spanning a mere 24 hours, Williams takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride....Poignant.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Gripping....Provocatively dark and at times downright scary, this novel will have readers rushing to the unforeseen, achingly authentic conclusion.” ―Booklist
“A powerful and heartbreaking novel of love and hope.” ―Meg Cabot, New York Times bestselling author of The Princess Diaries and Airhead, on The Chosen One
“Fiction can offer emotional truth where other tools fail.... Williams unveils life among the Chosen with spare, evocative writing and an honest sense of character that helps bridge the rift between Kyra's world and ours.... The cinematic drama of her life...is a means to reach a quieter truth, revealing that moment in childhood when you recognize your thoughts as your own and discover forces in the world that your parents cannot--or will not--protect you from.” ―The New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice) on The Chosen One
“Intensely gripping and grippingly intense.” ―Kirkus Reviews on The Chosen One
“Extraordinary....The Chosen One is brave, its plumb is true, it's a masterpiece.” ―Kathi Appelt, author of the National Book Award finalist The Underneath, on The Chosen One
“Makes the heart race, the teeth grind, and the brow bead up in sweat.” ―Gregory Maguire, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked and A Lion Among Men, on The Chosen One
Top Customer Reviews
While I was very interested in the premise and it's certainly a fast read, I think there is perhaps a disconnect between subject, style, content, and intended audience. The novel is very short and the plot is somewhat simple, and because it only touches on the surface of the topics of mental illness, potential foster care, etc., it seems more suited to middle grade fiction or very young YA readers. But then again, I see why this is categorized as young adult fiction, because the first person narrative and book's focus on Lacey's state of mind really would make this appealing to that audience.
This isn't the first time in which mental illness and a horror/thriller have gone hand in hand, but since there was so much focus on the former, without scenarios and solutions that seemed more sound, it became a bit more difficult to stay invested in the story. Some of the dialogue also seemed more juvenile and the events rather overly dramatic, though they certainly contribute to getting a sense of Lacey's possible paranoia and being out of control.
I'll tell you what made this book for me, however: in the last third or so of the book, Lacey's emotions reach a fever pitch in a way that suddenly and masterfully draws in the reader with an unrelenting grip.Read more ›
Lacey had too much responsibility for a girl her age. She was carrying her mother's burden with no help, and I really felt for her. It seemed her best moments took place in her mind and that was sad. It was also sad how she blamed herself for things that weren't her fault.
The author writes about mental illness; mostly depression, but it seemed to me Lacey's mother was schizophrenic. Aaron Ririe was a godsend, because Lacey sure needed a friend. And it was nice how Lacey loved the library and reading. Other than that, there was nothing about this story that made me feel good. It was sad mostly. And when the story took an unexpected turn near the end, it got downright creepy. Actually, it was like watching a horror movie. I am not into horror, so I wasn't sure I wanted to keep turning the pages, but I did.
One summer's day, Florida teen Lacey and her mother set off together: Lacey to a volunteer position at the library, and Angela to work as a supermarket check-out chick. It's a big event that could improve their lives immensely.
The day does not go well.
This Gothic psychological thriller could almost be considered horror if it wasn't so believable. Short and snappy, this riveting read is five-star quality. Buy now and save to read during a summer night's storm.
Despite the affecting subject matter, MILES FROM ORDINARY didn't grab me as I had hoped. The topic squarely put the novel in the young adult category, but the writing and the young voice seemed more appropriate for middle grades. Because of this, I'm unsure of whether the book will find the right fit with its intended audience. Pacing was slow throughout much of the novel, but the final 30 pages became fast-paced and downright terror-filled. Though engaging, this quick shift in tone and style didn't mesh with the rest of the book. Events became unexplainable during these final pages too, in a way that made the events unbelievable. When the story does wrap up, it does so too quickly and too easily. Further, while the book accurately portrays that mental illness can lead to horrible ends, it does so in a way that I fear may unfairly stigmatize mental illness as being a condition that frequently leads to hurting others.
On the positive side, I appreciated that Williams was willing to tackle an important issue like mental illness and how it affects children.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Miles from Ordinary is a book that can be read in one sitting. Just 197 double spaced pages I flew through this book. Read morePublished on June 22, 2014 by Kathy Habel
"Aaron," I whispered. Not so sure why. He seemed like the only normal thing I knew. And I wanted something, anything, normal. Anything. Read morePublished on March 23, 2012 by Nicole's Book Blog
Lacey (14) is dealing with her bipolar mother, trying to hold it all together while mom falls apart. Read morePublished on February 23, 2012 by Maggie Knapp
I had no idea what to expect from this novel. I hadn't even read the description before entering the giveaway I won this from - I just saw it was contemporary YA and entered. Read morePublished on September 5, 2011 by Hannah @ Paperback Treasures
I really liked The Chosen One: A Novel by Carol Lynch Williams, but I had some serious issues with her first novel in verse Glimpse. Read morePublished on August 25, 2011 by HersForTheReading
Quick Thoughts: mental illness. libraries. summer. hope. fear.
Lacey has so much hope when the day starts. Read more
Momma isn't right. She stays in bed for days on end, doesn't eat, wanders the streets in her housecoat, and--talks to her dead daddy. Read morePublished on August 16, 2011 by Cheri Williams