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Year of Mistaken Discoveries Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- Publication date : February 25, 2014
- Word Wise : Enabled
- File size : 3122 KB
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00DA98ZHS
- Print length : 288 pages
- Publisher : Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (February 25, 2014)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,132,283 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Avery is at a party when her path, once again, intersects with Nora's. After an immensely awkward breakup with her boyfriend, Avery is executing her escape from the party when, much to her surprise, Nora stops her. She tells her that she never gave up looking for her mother and that she thought she'd found her, until she discovered that it was really just a cruel stranger hoping to take advantage of Nora's weakness. Avery is distracted with her own problems and, brushing Nora off, thinks little about the conversation... until the next morning when her parents tell her that Nora has died from an overdose. Shocked by the news and feeling an immense sense of guilt for abandoning Nora - both in her time of need and as they grew up - Avery begins to reflect on her own life.
Teaming up with Nora's friend, Brody, Avery decides that, to honor Nora's memory (and, secretly, to achieve some of her own goals), she'll track down her own birth mother. But a journey that starts out to be more about others - and how other perceive her - soon takes on a more personal, internal meaning.
This is the third novel I've read by Eileen Cook and, while each has a very different premise, all have a very similar and distinct feel I've come to identify with this author. Cook is skilled at creating realistic characters and putting them in thought-provoking situations. In YEAR OF MISTAKEN DISCOVERIES, Avery, the central character, has concerns that make her easy for readers to identify with: a boyfriend that she doesn't love, but stays with out of convenience and comfort, regrets about the choices she's made as she nears adulthood, and concerns over getting into her dream school.
Adding to the realism, Avery is far from perfect. She pitches her search for her mother as a act done in Nora's honor, but, secretly, she has ulterior motives: it'd make a killer essay for her college applications. This may make Avery look pretty horrible, but, in the context of the novel, the reader empathizes with the pressure Avery feels after not being accepted early admission to her dream school. Though we might not like her actions, we understand them.
Though Avery has, in many ways, separated herself from her past and her adoption, her search for her mother reawakens much of the confusion and questions that have sat dormant as she lived her life. While I expected to sympathize with Avery's feelings, I was surprised by how much I empathized. Cook made it easy to imagine myself in a situation like Avery's... Even though Avery loves her (adoptive) parents, her past is still, in many ways, important. She wonders why her mother gave her up for adoption, if she thinks about her, what her biological grandparents were like... Though most readers may not directly identify with Avery's concerns, they will easily connect with the importance of family, both biological and otherwise, that she explores during her search.
YEAR OF MISTAKEN DISCOVERIES is another solid offering from Cook. Recommended.
On a journey with Avery as the narrator definitely answered the questions from her perspective. I think that she is an emotional teen, but the way that she grieves is so realistic, that she doesn't overdo it for drama as some, and she has an older soul that makes her look at it in a different light that some of her other classmates, or ones that didn't used to be close to Nora.
Nora herself is an enigma, because we only get to know her through Avery's memories, and also through Brody. I completely adored him by the way. He was weird in the perfect way, nothing perceivable that is so different but he doesn't exactly fit in the predefined circle of niches in school. He has real conversations, a quick wit, and he is easy going and giving in his friendship. At times, when Avery makes bad decisions she seems so unworthy of his friendship, but aren't we all. We all make mistakes and I would love to have a friend like Brody on my side because he is understanding and forgiving. But he doesn't sugar coat, he says what he's thinking, though with tact, but he doesn't just leave it unsaid. And he is so supportive it makes me want to hug him.
Avery's journey to find her birth mom, and hopefully to her, create a senior project to wow Duke, her chosen dream universary at the same time. And at first, she says more than feels that it is a tribute to Nora to get Brody to work with her, but I think that she begins to see the changes in herself, in the friendship with Nora, and about the search and about hope along the way, that she ends up completing something that Nora would be proud of.
In this book, we see the many different ways that family can look. Nora and Avery were adopted, and even their adoptive parents look different. Brody lives with his aunt and uncle. When Avery finds her mom she finds lots of things she didn't expect but she takes things that could be painful and ruin her if she let it, and turned it into discovering more about the love her adoptive family, and even her mom had as well as figuring out things about herself.
I appreciate the sequences of events and how this story stayed realistic. I think that I was all prepared for a slightly disappointing too easy happily ever after, but was pleasantly surprised by the messy but beautiful way that they figured out how to wrap it up. Still giving Avery a good name and managing to show what she learned along the way without her being a jerk and able to patch things up, and still hope that things could come together for her in some aspects and then already starting to click and we see how they will go in the near future for her.
Bottom Line: Avery was a good main character with a lot to discover about herself and I liked her more and more as she realized who she wanted to become.
Top reviews from other countries
Ohhh, Eileen Cook. Inzwischen habe ich vier Bücher von ihr gelesen und würde sofort weitere vier verschlingen. Ich mag ihre Art zu denken wahnsinnig gerne und es gibt in jedem ihrer Bücher immer diese einzigartig wundervollen Stellen, die mich inspirieren. Ich war das keine Ausnahme. Wenn man eines von Cooks Büchern erwarten kann, dann sympathische Figuren, eine niedliche Romanze und eine Lebensweisheit.
Hier ist das Thema des Buches etwas ernster, aber dennoch wurde die Balance zwischen Humor und Ernst gut gehalten. Averys Reise zurück zu ihren Wurzeln und die ehemalige Freundschaft zu Nora konnten mich am Ende sehr berühren. Und dann ist da ja noch Brody, der einfach süß war.
Obwohl das Buch realtiv kurz ist, ist es der Inbegriff von guter Unterhaltung für zwischendurch, dieses Mal mit einem Touch mehr Melancholie, die einen aber nicht erdrückt, sondern zum Nachdenken anregt.