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The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  304 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Merilee leads a Very Ordered Existence. V.O.E., for short.

Her schedule (which must not be altered) includes, among other entries:

School (horrendous)
Litter patrol (30 minutes daily)
Lunch (PB&J and a pickle)
Bottle return (Friday only at the Piggly Wiggly)
Dame Fiona’s meditation show (Saturday only, 6:00 AM)
The V.O.E. is all about precision.

Merilee does not have time for
Published August 21st 2007 by Greenwillow Books
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Dec 09, 2008 Lia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autism
For a first novel, this book shows promise. The writing is good. Crowley has a firm grip on her language, which is the saving grace of the book.

However, I had a lot of issues with this book. First, the cover has nothing to do with the book. The main character is a girl with some level of Autism, probably AS, who wears the same clothes every day, and they aren't the cute-and-trendy clothes of the barefoot girl on the cover. Second, there aren't any normal people in the book. It kind of seems to
Aug 12, 2011 Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book. The family of Merilee Monroe of small town Texas is a delight and she is a child I just want to hug, although I'm not sure she'd like her personal space invaded! Knowledge of Asperger's is clearly evident in Crowley's writing, making this a must read for every parent raising a child who requires the kind of boundries on his/her life that Merilee does to feel confident. As Merilee says, "There's a thin line between genius and bottom-barrel stupidness. I hover delicatel ...more
I have mixed feelings about this book. It took me a while to get into it, but by the end of the book I was reading quickly to find out how it ends. Unfortunately, it ended exactly the way I thought it would.

Merilee is a girl with Asbergher's syndrome. She is very addicted to her routine, and gets along okay at school and at home, with some rough spots. Her family is also odd, although they did the best they could with what they had. Many families have their share of odd family members they have
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Marta Morrison for

When I started reading this little gem of a book, I thought that it would be a fast read. I was mistaken. It took me awhile to read it because of the thought that had to be applied to comprehend the wonderful story. I selected this book to review because being a teacher, I have had the pleasure of having some autistic students in my class. I teach 10-12 year olds and I wanted to see some insight into the minds of my students. This gave me a lot to c
Oct 24, 2013 Emory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Merilee is a girl who is scared to experience change. She likes a schedule and never wants to change it. When a stranger, his father, and whole lot of trouble come into her small town, Merilee is forced to change in order to help herself, and her friend.
I liked the characters in this book a lot. I could empathize with Merilee and her friends, and I understood what they were feeling. The only problem with them was that sometimes I would get very angry with the characters, when they made terrible
Ummm... what to say.... This book felt like a 376-page version of The Higher Power of Lucky, which I wasn't thrilled about, either.

People in town kept calling Biswick retarded, but I didn't think that ever came across in the way he spoke or behaved. He was just...well, a weird little kid.

The same for Merilee. Asperger's? I don't know anything about Asperger's but she certainly deviated from her "very ordered existence" a lot without too much complaint. Her compulsions didn't seem like compulsio
Apr 03, 2016 Bailey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings on this book. It's one I read to my mom years ago and have reread several times since, so on the one hand I have a bit of nostalgia for it. There are even parts of it that mom and I got a good laugh from. On the other hand, I'm not really that fond of the characters... in fact, they give me an almost sick, nervous feeling reading about them (though I think that's because they kind of bring up bad memories for me personally). And the plot doesn't feel like it really goes any ...more
May 01, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Not only does this book fill a gap that has been in existence for a long time, but it's just darned good, too! Suzanne Crowley takes readers into the head of Merilee and allows the us to participate in life as she sees it. Small-town West Texas almost becomes a character in the book in its own right. I have shared this book with our counseling department, with teachers, and with librarians. It has merit for people of all ages.
Aug 31, 2013 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2013
The main characters in the book all have big secrets and Merilee is a keeper of secrets in her ordered life. Her VOE and Bis's interruption of her VOE helps her learn important things about herself and to sometimes break into the barriers she has placed around herself. FF's as Merilee calls them can help anyone.
Apr 16, 2014 Sruthi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
Beautiful book with a view into an innocent heart.A really moving book about a number of misunderstood people who do things their own way.
Really loved Biswick ,Uncle Dal and the rest of the larger than life characters of this novel.
This book really gave me food for thought.
Three cheers for Suzanne Crowley!!
Waiting for more as always.......

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Jan 09, 2009 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this look into how this 13 year old girl functions in her small town. Her very ordered existence (VOE) is thrown into disarray, but she discovers some things about herself in the process. This is a very great book for anyone interested in how people with Asperger's might view the world.
Aug 26, 2013 Brandi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a teacher, this book gave me more insight into some of my students with autism. While autism is a spectrum, and not all children are like Merilee, it still helped me get inside their heads for a little while and see the world from their eyes. It is very well-written. I highly recommend it.
Aug 13, 2014 Olivia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is unique and ultimately fulfilling. It demonstrates beautifully the effect that other people can have on our character and our lives. Merilee's transformation from the beginning of the book to the end, her journey learning to love and to believe, is breathtaking.
Apr 29, 2013 Jerianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very sweet book, and I like that the main character was autistic. It was very well done.

I just wrote a review like this under poor Liz's sign-in. Disregard hers, it was me.
Janna Thorsen
Jul 23, 2014 Janna Thorsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The characters and sub characters are very well developed and the story is captivating. I think this would make a great movie.
Dec 01, 2013 Maybaby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quality story, quality writing with enough sophistication to engage adult readers.

Jul 10, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like YA fiction, but I don't usually like to read about Autism Spectrum, feels too much like work. I enjoyed this. It's set in my beloved West Texas.
Wendy Robinson
Jun 03, 2015 Wendy Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern
Tender, quirky and bittersweet story told from perspective of a brilliant girl with Aspergers. touching. Elements of magic woven in.
Jun 08, 2012 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really touching book.

"Taped on the wall was a hand-drawn picture- a stick figure with a bow on the head holding a litterbag."

~Page 229-230

This part really touched my heart!
Aug 08, 2010 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aspergers book. Very well done. Small town setting is captured very well. Lots of problem topics and the book drags in spots but worth the read for the great characters.
Jun 07, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was pretty good to me. It explains the problems in Merilee's life, while also bringing in new adventures and friends that she has made. I suggest you read this book if you have not already.
Autumn Cook
Apr 07, 2012 Autumn Cook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very good book I would definitely read it again
Kyler aka KFW aka Sperry Jerry Wulff
Personally, when I read Crowley’s The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous, it mesmerized me with its intriguing aspects of Merilee’s personality. Do you people know anyone who is like thirteen-year old Merilee Monroe? “There’s a thin line between genius and bottom-barrel stupidness. I hover delicately on a tightrope between the two, wondering where I’ll land if I ever fall.” That is how Merilee describes herself. Merilee has no friends, but during the first chapter of the story, she meet ...more
Dec 02, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not good, I'm sorry, but it wasn't. I really never understood what story the author was trying to tell. The story is told from Merilee's point of view, but it's not really her story. It's Biswick's story, and Veraleen's story, and Gideon's story, and Jack's story, and just about everyone else's story.

The blurb tells us that the books will be about two people in particular coming to town and disrupting Merilee's life. The problem with this is that one of those people appears in the
The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous by Suzanne Crowley

Merilee Monroe leads a Very Ordered Existence (V.O.E. for short). She’s pretty much got everything in her semi-boring life in Jumbo, Texas all planned out, practically to the minute. For Merilee, there is no room for messing around, because that would only ruin her precise schedule. But what Merilee doesn’t realize is that while she can try to control her life as best as she can, she can’t stop others from intruding, namely little
Kathy Lane
Merilee collects secrets. She learns them through observation and giving people purple Tootise Pops. She doesn't share the secrets. Even when it might help.

Merilee reminds me of Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Her family and friends have some pretty big issues in their lives. I couldn't quite figure out her dad who seemed absent even when he was in the room, but Uncle Dal and Grandma Birdy play key roles in her life with their own pasts and struggles.

The Very Or
May 22, 2008 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Newbery Award committee
Shelves: children-s
This is one of those books that I feel was written for the Newbery Award committee. Pretty much doom and gloom all the way. I will say that it was well written, and I really felt a connection with the characters, but almost everything that happened was so darn sad! Merilee is a high functioning autistic girl living in a very small town in Texas. As long as she can follow her VOE (very ordered existence), she's OK, but when Biswick O'Connor (a young boy with fetal alcohol syndrome) and his alcoho ...more
Jenni Frencham
Feb 14, 2012 Jenni Frencham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tween, contemporary
This story is told from the point of view of the protagonist, a preteen with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has a "very ordered existence," and has scheduled out exactly what she will do each day. This way of living has worked well for her, until Biswick moves into town. Biswick, a young boy with problems of his own, is determined to be Merilee's friend. His appearance in her life disrupts her "very ordered existence," and she has to choose whether to go back to the safety of her schedule or t ...more
This book wasn't outrageously good nor outrageously bad - just kind of middle of the road. I feel as though the many "unique" characters were supposed to be amusingly exaggerated examples of small town personalities, but to me they were more of a mockery of small town personalities, and everyone seemed to have some kind of bizarre history or personality trait. Statistically speaking, to lend any credence to this population, at least a few of the townspeople should have fallen within the paramete ...more
Jan 05, 2009 Patricia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a girl with Asperger's although you are never even told this except in the descriptive note on the catalog record. There are too many people with too many problems in this book- I don't think there is a normal person in the story. I found it to be very wearing and the language got tedious. It seems like a "copycat" book after the style of the Newbery winner THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY and SO B. IT., with everything but the kitchen sink thrown in (or maybe that was in there, too. ...more
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Suzanne Crowley was born in a small west Texas town, not unlike Jumbo, where tall talles abound and life is lived close to the bone. She was raised in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Journalism. She worked briefly at an interior design magazine before staying home to raise her three children and write freelance articles for magazines. Suzanne is a well-known min ...more
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“There's a thin line between genius and bottom-barrel stupidness. I hover delicately on a tightrope between the two, wondering where I'll land if I'll ever fall.” 51 likes
“Mama says change is God's way of showing us a tender miracle, kinda like the chocolate inside a Tootsie Pop.” 8 likes
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