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 brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.
Four stars: A book about grieving and learning to live again with an interesting setting and entertaining characters.
Ryn clutches her phone tightly. It is her life line to sanity. She is flying home on New Year’s Eve, desperate to get there before 10:05 AM New Year’s Day. One year ago, Ryn lost her best friend, Lottie, in a drunk driving accident on New Year’s Day. Since then, Ryn has been lost, falling apart, looking for a hand to hold. The only thing that has kept her from going insane is googling questions on her phone, and one unread text message from Lottie. When Ryn finds herself suddenly stranded in the Denver airport due to a horrendous blizzard, she is on the verge of coming apart. Will Ryn survive?
What I Liked:
- The Chaos of Standing Still was an amazing and intense read. This is a book about grief and loss and struggling to put the pieces together again. I was swept up in this tale, and enraptured by Ryn’s unique voice. A must read.
- Ryn is a intense character. She is shy, reserved and suffering from severe Survivor’s Guilt. She is obsessive compulsive and completely lost without Lottie, her sun. It was a head trip to be in Ryn’s mind, but the more I read, the more I liked her and understood her. It was interesting to watch her try and come to terms with her grief and her guilt, and it was enjoyable to watch her take some small baby steps forward.
- Xander is a joy. I loved the way he took Ryn in stride and he wasn’t put off by her strange behavior. He was fun and adventure and about risks.
- The secondary cast was just as entertaining as Ryn and Xander. There is a genius unaccompanied minor boy who believes that the Denver Airport is the home of conspiracy, he was interesting and funny. Then there are Siri and Jason, two people who work in one of the restaurants playing an hilarious game of Stranded Passenger Bingo. Siri was loads of fun, and I liked the way she dragged Ryn into adventure.
- Lottie was probably the most fascinating character of all. She might be dead, but her voice is very much present. She is light, fun, adventure and spontaneity. I could easily see why Ryn got sucked into her orbit. I liked the way the story moved back in forth in time as the reader got to relive Ryn and Lottie’s past adventures. The more I read about Lottie, the more I understood why Ryn was lost without her.
- I enjoyed the setting. Twenty four hours stranded in Denver Airport doesn’t sound exciting, but believe me it is. There is so much to uncover from Stranded Passenger Bingo, Train Surfing, Airport Conspiracies, and a New Year Eve Party. I thought the author did an amazing job with the setting, and by the end, I was wanting to google the Denver Airport and learn more about the conspiracy theories. Who knew???
- This book was a fascinating read, and I was completely sucked into the story. I loved the way the author took on grief and coping with lost. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and Ryn illustrates that. It was an eye opening read, and I am glad that I went on this journey.
- The ending was solid, even though I wanted more. I wasn’t ready to let the story go. However I thought it ended in a good spot and I was left hopeful. It also felt realistic.
- I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Amy McFadden. Ms. McFadden is outstanding. I thought she did a brilliant job with all the character’s voices, especially Ryn and Lottie. I can honestly say that I don’t think I would have enjoyed this as much if I had read it versus listening to it. I cannot recommend the audiobook version enough. It is brilliant.
And The Not So Much:
- Once Xander’s big secrets are exposed, I was left wanting to know so much more about him. I found myself wishing for his view point.
- What was up with the whole airport conspiracy theory? I was shocked by the information in the book, and I really need to more. Where on earth did the author learn of these strange details?
- I found that I also wanted more of Lottie’s voice. At first, she comes across as the daring, flirty and brilliant girl, but then as the story goes on, she has some dark secrets. I was left wanting to know more about her home life and the situation with her dad.
- The ending was open ended. Yes, it ended in a good spot and I was left hopeful, but part of me wanted more. I wish that there was an Epilogue so I could catch up with Ryn a year or so down the road.
The Chaos of Standing Still was a brilliant read. I was completely sucked in by the characters, the story and the setting. This is a real and open look at grief and the fear of learning to live again. I couldn’t get enough of this story. Definitely grab the audiobook if you can!
I borrowed a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.