Miles From Ordinary - Carol Lynch Williams

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....

This is a gorgeous, heartbreaking novel that is, above all else, about love. 

It's so hard for me to describe my feelings towards this novel.  It's so unlike so much of the YA fiction out there right now, but it manages to completely embody the life of a thirteen year old girl who is going through what no thirteen year old should ever have to.

Covering the course of a single day, we learn about the relationship between Lacey, a lonely thirteen year old girl who is struggling to take care of her mentally ill mother as she attempts to have a life for herself.  In an attempt to both give her mother a light shove outside her comfort zone, and to keep them financially above water, Lacey has found her mother a job at the local grocery store.  Her plan is that while her mother works there as a cashier, she can volunteer at the local library.  But, as with many things involving Lacey's mother, things do not go as planned, and Lacey is left to pick up the pieces.

Told in alternating scenes between the present day, as Lacey begins her job at the local library, and flashbacks throughout Lacey's childhood, the reader gets a deeper insight into Lacey's life, and we learn just how damaged her mother really is.

While I wouldn't recommend this for younger readers--I found the novel to be quite tense at times and even a little bit frightening, especially towards the end--I thought this was a wonderful, moving read, and the relationships between Lacey and the other characters were nothing short of beautiful.

Miles from Ordinary releases today, and I highly recommend you pick it up.

Happy Reading!



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  2. This looks like a really good book! I really like books about troubled teens and the struggles they overcome. Thanks for the great review.


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