A few weeks ago, I read Faking It by Elisa Lorello and freaking loved it. So when I saw there was a sequel, I was all about it. And, just like I suspected, it was awesome. Not in the same way that Faking It was awesome, mind you, but awesome nonetheless.
Err…if you haven’t read Faking It, but plan to, you probably don’t want to read this review. I didn’t read the back blurb of Ordinary World before purchasing it, so I wasn’t quite prepared for the severe left turn that the plot from Faking It took and I don’t want to spoil anything for you so STOP READING HERE.
Okay, are they gone now? Good. Let’s get down to business.
Ordinary World takes place six years after Faking It ends. Now, I’ll admit that I wasn’t too psyched on Faking It’s ending, but it was fitting so I was satisfied.
And then the first chapter of Ordinary World left me wondering if I’d accidentally picked up a Kristin Hannah because it was full of ALL THE SADS. Basically, and this isn’t a spoiler because it’s in the blurb (if you choose to read it, which I didn’t), Andi is a widow.
Yes. A widow.
The opening chapter has Andi trying to write Sam’s eulogy, which is promptly followed by his funeral. Yeah, I really meant it when I said it was full of ALL THE SADS.
To say that Andi doesn’t take Sam’s death well is a serious understatement. At first, her grief is all-consuming and just when she thinks she has it together, she kind of...well...loses her shit in the worst possible place and basically makes everyone around her think that she’s one small move from falling off the cliff of sanity that she'd been desperately clinging to with her fingertips. Nope, it’s not good, people. Not good at all.
Did I mention that I was on a plane while reading this book and had to stop more than a few times to actively force myself not to cry because I was in public? Well, it happened, so you’ve been warned. This is sooooooo not a book to read in public.
Anyway, just when I thought I couldn’t take anymore of the sads, the book turned around. Not all the way around, but things started to look up. Mind you, this is when it got heartfelt and if there’s something that I just can’t help by cry about, it’s heartfelt scenes. So basically, the book made me cry during the sad scenes and left me borderline hysterical during the heartfelt ones.
To sum up, I bounced from this...
and then back to this...
But it was worth the sore nose and pile of tissues. For reals.
Andi goes through a whole lotta changes throughout Ordinary World and Elisa Lorello is smart enough to recognize that profound changes mean one step forward and three
hundred steps back. When Andi meets back up with Devin, in the most
unlikely of places (literally) my poor heart nearly leapt from my chest. I was
all: THANK GOD THEY’RE BACK TOGETHER, but that joy was short lived because Andi
was way too much of a hot mess to simply slide into a relationship with him and although I was half-disappointed, it made complete sense.
After I finished Ordinary World, I read some reviews and more than a few stated that Andi was too much of a sad sack (I’m paraphrasing) for them to connect to her but I couldn’t disagree more. I’m fortunate enough not to be a widow, nor to have any widow friends, but I found Andi’s reactions to Sam’s death to be more than appropriate. And Ms. Lorello’s talent was proven over and over because there’s not a whole lot of action in the first third-ish of Ordinary World but I was so emotionally involved in Andi’s plight that I couldn’t have cared less. Plus, it would have been very easy to make Andi’s grief too difficult to relate to, but Ms. Lorello walked that line like a pro and I never found Andi to be a non-sympathetic character (which is saying a lot because the grief is so thick at times that it was difficult to breathe).
So here’s the deal: you should totally read this book. Actually, you should read Faking It first and then read Ordinary World. The tone of the two books is totally different, as you won’t laugh while reading Ordinary World because you’ll be too busy crying your eyes out (seriously, I’m a bit of a Grinch in that department and I was a disaster) but the writing is superb and the story is one that hits so many emotional high notes that it doesn’t matter you wind up partially dehydrated by the end.
Happy Friday, everyone!