Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Blog Tour: The Chaos of Standing Still - Jessica Brody

The Chaos of Standing Still
Jessica Brody
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel from the author of Boys of Summer.

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.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us—and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way.


The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the entropy is always increasing, or in other words, we are always tending towards chaos. This was what came to my mind, as I considered the main character of this book, Ryn, and the title of this book. Ryn was stuck. She couldn't move on after the death of her best friend, and as she continually tried to keep her grief under control, she slowly started to unravel, thus moving towards more chaos.

I have to confess, I am a lover of grief books. When I read the synopsis for this book, I immediately wanted to read it, and work through the grieving process with Ryn. I absolutely loved the way Brody wrote this aspect of the book. Ryn was dripping with sadness and pain. She acquired the name "mopey girl" during the course of this book, because she was in fact, a mopey girl. She had withdrawn from life, had stopped doing things she enjoyed, and was living in some sort of limbo, where she was clawing at small bits and pieces to try and keep Lottie alive. I felt that pain with her. Well done, Ms. Brody!

Despite this being a grief book, there were lots of fun and light parts, which I really enjoyed. Ryn may have been trapped in the airport due to a storm, but at least this airport was filled with some colorful and interesting characters. I absolutely adored Siri and Jimmy. I believe they were the comic relief and they really rose to the challenge. I enjoyed quite a few laughs thanks to these two. There were also some very interesting encounters with a child prodigy, Troy. When he spoke science, I listened.

But my favorite character, and probably one of my favorite things in this book, was Xander. From his muppet shirt to his charm and sense of humor, he was the one I was drawn to every time he was on page. He was fun, sweet, and genuine. There were some fantastic things he did or encouraged Ryn to do, which brought a smile to my face.

There was one thing that kept this book from being a home run for me, and it was Lottie. We were presented with quite a few flashbacks, as Ryn recalled some moments in her friendship with Lottie, and I hate to speak ill of the dead, but she was a hot mess. She was obviously in a lot of pain herself, even if she never explicitly stated it. She exhibited so many self destructive behaviors, and didn't seem to mind dragging Ryn into troublesome situations. It was hard for me to care about her. HOWEVER, this did not deter me from caring about Ryn, because it really mattered to me that she confronted her grief. I wanted her to get past this, move on, and experience all the wonderful things that were waiting for her, and I was so happy she found some people one night in an airport, who were able to help her do that.

I also have to commend Brody on the ending. That is something I appreciate in general, and something I have found Brody does well. It was a lovely and touching ending, which may have cause me to shed a tear or two. I was really happy with where she left Xander and Ryn, and Ryn was definitely no longer standing still at the end of this story.

Overall: A heartfelt story of loss and finding the will to push through the pain.

"We prefer the term 'prodigy'. 'Genius' was tainted when those morons at the Apple Store started using it. Ooh! Look at me! I can do a hard reset on your phone! I'm a genius!"
"but I never drew in color. I preferred the simplicity of my black sketch pen. It turned everything into black and white. Right and Wrong. Truth and lie. It uncomplicated a complicated world."
"Because that's what good girls like me do when they lose their anchor. They get lost at sea."
"His hand reaches for my face. His fingertips trace a line from my cheekbone to my chin. His skin on my skin is like the life raft I've been floundering for."
"Well, anyway, Albert Einstein once said, 'Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.'"
I squint. "What does that mean?"
"It means everyone's problems are relative. Even mine."
"I was the planet to her sun. I lit up because I was near her."
"The English language has over one million words in it, and none of them are good enough for Lottie. None of them will capture what I saw when I looked at her. What I see now when I remember her. How she will forever look through my filtered view of the world."
"That she preferred my drawings to her own reflection because I mercifully chose to leave out all her flaws. I never told her that I just didn't see any."
**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. Quotes are from an ARC and may change upon publication.


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Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape.

After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Economics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

Since then, Jessica has sold over fifteen novels for teens, tweens, and adults including 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and the three books in the Unremembered trilogy, the first of which is currently in development as a major motion picture by the producers of The Vampire Academy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Slumdog Millionaire. In 2016, she released two new contemporary novels, A Week of Mondays (which is an official selection of the 2017 Texas Lone Star reading list) and Boys of Summer. In February 2017, her debut middle grade novel entitled, Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up, hit bookstore shelves, and later this year, two more contemporary YA novels will release: In Some Other Life (August) and The Chaos of Standing Still (November).

Jessica also writes books for the Descendants: “School of Secrets“ series, based on the hit Disney Channel Original movie, Descendants!

Jessica’s books are published and translated in over twenty foreign countries. (Click here for a full list of foreign sales and publishers.) She currently splits her time between California and Colorado.


November 27th: The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club & Pink Polka Dot Books- Welcome Post
November 28th: Tales of the Ravenous Reader - Interview
November 28th: the bookdragon - Review
November 28th: Her Book Thoughts - Review
November 28th: The Mind of a Book Dragon - Review + Playlist
November 29th: The Clever Reader - Guest Post
November 29th: Quite The Novel Idea - Review
November 29th: A Bookish Abode - Review
November 29th: We Live and Breathe Books - Review + Favourite Quotes
November 30th: The Heart of a Book Blogger - Review
November 30th: Savings in Seconds - Review + Favourite Quotes
November 30th: Wishful Endings - Review
November 30th: Amanda Gernentz Hanson - Review
December 1st: Confessions of a YA Reader - Review
December 1st: Donnie Darko Girl - Review
December 1st: Belle's Book Blog - Review
December 1st: Latte Nights Reviews - Review + Favourite Quotes
December 2nd: Literary Meanderings - Interview
December 2nd: Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf - Review
December 2nd: Here's to Happy Endings - Review
December 2nd: Life of A Simple Reader - Review + Favourite Quotes
December 3rd: Vicky Who Reads - Review + Playlist + Dream Cast
December 3rd: Supercalireader - Review
December 3rd: Books, Boys, and Blogs - Review + Dream Cast
December 3rd: The Inked In Book Blog - Review + Favourite Quotes
December 4th: BookCrushin - Guest Post
December 4th: Library of a Book Witch - Review
December 4th: Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile - Review + Favourite Quotes
December 4th: Storybook Slayers - Review

Have you ever been trapped in an airport?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. I swear, I get such a chuckle every time I see you review (or even mention) a "grief book." It's almost like that's your identifier. And if anyone can "specialize" in reviewing these type books, it is you, my friend. While I don't gravitate toward grief books, I always enjoy getting your take on them. How realistic they depict grief, do they add humor to balance the sadness, how is the ending... I know you'll cover it all. While this isn't one that I would necessarily pick up, I loved reading your review (as always). And that first quote about genius being ruined actually made me laugh out loud. :)

    1. It's such an odd thing to love, but I do. The character in the book who ranted about geniuses was pretty funny all the time. I really liked when he popped in and out of the story. I am all about balance in books, when there are heavy topics. I don't want to be brought so far down, that I can't get up, and Brody always does a good job balancing the emotional content in her books, and leaving us with a hopeful ending.

  2. Re-reading those quotes from Troy still make me chuckle. He was such an insightful 14-year old. Anyhow, I'm so glad you liked this one as well! I loved how Jessica brought the second law of thermodynamics into this. Like you said, it really described Ryn as a character. I also agree about the ending. Usually, I love a nicely tied up ending, but the open-ended feel here worked for me - I felt that both Ryn and Xander where in better places then they began. Great review, Sam!

    1. I was shocked that I really, really liked the ending. I think it was just this feeling of relief for Ryn, and maybe that there was enough closure regarding other things that left me really happy with it. I loved Troy. Him. Siri, and Jimmy definitely enhanced my reading pleasure.

  3. I do enjoy grief books as well and I am a fan of this author. I need to check this one out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. There was really only one thing that didn't work for me, but the emotions and the relationships Ryn developed in the airport were well done, and left me with overall positive feelings about this book.

  4. When I am in the right mindset only a grief book will do. It is something to watch a character go through something and see the other end of the spectrum at the end. This one sounds great! I am glad you enjoyed it.

    1. I really enjoyed this book. The present day parts were fantastic, and I really was able to share the pain and struggle with Ryn, and when she got unstuck, I was filled with such a joy, that a few tears escaped my eyes.

  5. This book was definitely a tear-jerker, but there was so much comic relief in this one that it really was a great balance. I think that for me, the flashbacks became annoying. I am glad that you found it enjoyable and that the ending really does pack a powerful punch. :)

    1. Brody did a great job balancing the happy and sad. I can't do a full on sad, sad, sad book. I find it hard to climb out of the hole of sadness. I didn't find the flashbacks annoying, they just made me not like Lotti more and more, and because I didn't like Lotti, it took a little away from my reading experience.

  6. It's been a while since I read a sad book and I LOVE Jessica Brody!!! I can't wait to meet Xander. I love the boys in Jessica Brody's books :) Great review-- and thanks for being on the blog tour!!!

    1. Brody is interesting for me. Overall, I enjoy her books, but there is always this one element that keeps me from LOVING it. With this book it was Lotti. With My Life Undecided it was her BFF and the way they resolved that issue. Did it ruin the book for me? No, because Brody does create great characters, writes awesome banter, and gives me an overall good reading experience.

  7. I do like the sound of this book. I completely get not wanting to move on. Xander sounds like a really great character.

    1. I really liked Xander and he brought out the best side in Ryn too.

  8. This cover is soooo adorable!! I immediately added it to my TBR. LOVE IT!!

    1. I loved so many things about this book, and I will say, the ending was really strong. I remember feeling really good about it.