Miles From Ordinary | Carol Lynch Williams
St. Martin’s Griffin
Hardcover | 197 pp.
"Imagine Anna Quindlen or Sue Miller turning her attention to writing a young adult novel, and you have an idea what [Williams] has done for early teen readers…" —Audrey Couloumbis, author of the Newbery Honor Book Getting Close to BabyBrent’s opinion of the novel:
Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother's ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control....
“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 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.
I was introduced to the writing of Carol Lynch Williams last summer, when read her verse novel, GLIMPSE. I loved it so much, and was amazed by how authentic Carol’s voice was. I’ve been waiting for MILES FROM ORDINARY since the minute I saw Carol Lynch Williams’ name on the cover.
Lacey just got a job at her favorite place in the world—the library. She’s so excited to start volunteering at a comfortable, familiar place. Lacey crosses her fingers she can manage to keep the job the entire summer, even though that seems unlikely since she has an ailing mother to take care of on her own. At age thirteen, Lacey has to make adult decisions for both herself and her mother.
With her job at the library, and budding friendship with a boy she just met, Lacey feels as though things will be okay, if they just stay the same. But, of course, nothing ever stays the same. Lacey’s mother’s mental health plummets, and Lacey is the one who has to take the brute of the blow.
MILES FROM ORDINARY follows one of the most terrible days of 13-year-old Lacey’s life.
This book. is. wow. If you saw me when I had this book in my hands, you were wondering why there was a pained expression on my face. I felt so bad for Lacey, through the entire thing. She was a character I admired—three years younger than me, but just as mature. The book builds up until the very last chapters, where the tension is at its peak and your gut is wrenching. This is a great story.
I could write more about MILES FROM ORDINARY, but the whole story is: Carol Lynch Williams is an extraordinary writer. She goes where other writers don’t. She writes powerfully, and her storylines flow perfectly. MILES FROM ORDINARY is a youngerish-YA that anyone can enjoy.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars