Samantha Young comes to the blog today with a story of growth, hope and finding your way in an often hostile landscape. Please read on for my review of
The Fragile Ordinary
Comet is counting the days until high school ends: she hates her name, wants to ignore the bullies, the popular crowd and the losers and just spend time in her poetry. Her anonymous blog is the only place she feels comfortable in Edinburgh – and she can’t wait to leave for University where everything, absolutely EVERYTHING will be different. Nothing here ever changes, and that could be a short track to hopeless and the never-ending circle of ‘cooler than’ that her schoolmates seem to be caught in. But there is a new kid from America, Tobias. Everyone is curious about him with his solid too cool for the room attitude, he instantly gravitates to the ‘bad crowd’ in school – the ones just on the edge of appropriate (with plenty of steps on the other side). She’s convinced she’s seen it all – and he’s got little to offer in terms of more.
But there is more to Tobias than one might think, and when he and Comet are paired together for an assignment, she starts to see just what he’s all about. Slowly, and with that constant pick and nag from friends who ‘don’t understand’ the connection and that takes true compassion and character to ignore, the two start to understand one another and form a connection that is unexpected, and not without repercussions for them both. Tobias, with his painful background chooses to act out in ways expected: brash and often mouthy, his instant connection to Comet as he drew her out of her world where she chose to escape in books an poetry rather than live felt a bit convenient, but worked to show more about Comet – and the changes he brought to her life. See, Comet’s family life is in shambles: she was the mistake her parents never wanted, and they weren’t shy about sharing that fact. She only wants to feel connected, valued and wanted, particularly in these troubled times and age where every major (or minor) question about yourself, the world, the future and purpose are up for discussion, examination and even obsession.
Comet is the voice in this story, and her growth as she finds herself in the midst of first love, finding herself and her true wishes, as she learns, with more than frequent nudges from Tobias, to stand up for her own beliefs and reach out toward the person she feels she can be once she’s out of Edinburgh and off at University. More of her inner dialogue and thoughts are provided with snippets of her poetry: a true facility with words and setting a mood comes forward, as we get to understand that bookish girl who no one notices. No one but Tobias, that is, and how she turns into someone people notice: perhaps not for the right reasons, and occasionally for the wrong ones, as she grows to understand loss, life, growth and love. Perhaps not as a happy ending, but a source of great personal growth – the kind you don’t always see right off. Character driven with plenty of moments that sing out loud, the resilience, hope and even despair draw readers in to empathize with Comet and allow an entry into a world that is not only rich with challenges but emotion and those feelings of ‘remember when’ that so many experienced.
Title: The Fragile Ordinary
Author: Samantha Young
Genre: Coming of Age, Contemporary Teen Fiction, Setting: Scotland
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Published on: 26 June, 2018
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 50 minutes
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From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a riveting new contemporary YA tale set in the author's homeland of Scotland, about an American boy in need of a fresh start and a Scottish girl who believes in second chances—perfect for fans of Julie Buxbaum, Stephanie Perkins and Jenna Evans Welch.
Tobias King has it all. He's a straight-A student, youngest starting quarterback at his high school in a decade, dating the head cheerleader and has more friends than he knows what to do with. But his world is shattered when the father he reveres dies in a car crash--alongside the girlfriend Tobias never suspected his father had. Distraught and reeling from betrayal, Tobias's mother uproots them from their comfortable life in Chicago to live near family in Edinburgh, Scotland, hoping for a fresh start. But Tobias quickly finds himself falling in with a troubled crowd at school. Even when he's paired in English class with quiet, shy, artsy Comet Caldwell, and discovers the first real female friend he's ever had, he can't seem to stop his life from spiraling out of control. But can Comet, who's used to living life unnoticed by her peers, find the courage to speak up to save Tobias from a path he'll regret forever?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: