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Out of Chaos: A Memoir

4.60  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  24 reviews
A harrowing true story of choices and consequences.
As a teenager, Elle Mott descended into hopelessness. Her life as a criminal and a vagrant led her deeper into the darkness. Balancing multiple identities, the more secrets she kept, the more lies she needed.
She sheds personas, rebelling against who she was and who she's becoming, but thousands of hitchhiked miles can't di
Published August 9th 2018
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Kayla Krantz
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Elle’s life is a journey. She experiences a lot of lows and very many highs. It was engaging to see the way that she combated every situation and how she came out on the other side. The book has some ugly moments and that made Elle a deeper character. No matter what she did/had to do, I found myself drawn to her, hoping that she would be able to make a better life for herself by the end of the book. It didn’t have quite the ending I was hoping for, but it was an emotional ride.
Liz Kuchel
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ahar
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Book Squirrel
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ahar
An inspiring story.

‘Out Of Chaos’ is a compelling autobiographical read, written with honesty in a matter-of-fact style that makes reading this somewhat discomfiting story still a quite comfortable experience. 

The title of this book is no lie: it is a story of family dysfunction, homelessness, crime and abuse experienced by a young woman who had the strength to then reclaim and rebuild her life. It is a cautionary tale about how easy it can be to fall so far that it’s hard to get back up, but it
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
3.5 stars

I will be the bad guy and be the first to give less than a 5 star review. Sorry.
Elle's story is intriguing and it's a quick read, but I have a few problems with it. I appreciate that she is trying to be honest with her past, her relationships, and her relapses, but at the end I still don't know if she is still chugging a couple of beers at the end of her day or if she is truly appreciating the awesome library job that she (supposedly) has and staying sober. She glosses over a lot of stu
J.B. Trepagnier
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Writing a memoir, I'm sure, is very difficult. Especially one like this. It focuses on a difficult like and many poor decisions made by the author. It's done in a way where no one is blamed for decisions to go on a crime spree or the other decision in the book besides the author herself. There were many times I sat there scratching my head about some of the choices that were made that seemed to lead to a seemingly worse situation than before.

The book does have a good ending, but I wish the endin
J.D. McClure
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ahar
If there ever was a book that the title fits perfectly, this is it. This story is a biographical account of the author's life, and her life is definitely chaotic. Her memoir keeps you involved as you follow her through her life starting as a wayward teen and up through the present day. Along the way she survives countless misadventures ranging from simple missteps through the horrific. Her descriptions of those situations are at times spellbinding and at other times thought-provoking. Sometimes ...more
Patricia Zashkoff
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing memoir! How a young girl could grow up in such a hostile environment and not only survive but thrive. Raised by her grand mother because her father was never in the picture and her mother was an abusive, selfish woman who really didn't want anything to do with her, Elle (nee Kym, later Samuelle) struggled with alcoholism and larceny. She was arrested for burglary and served time in jail, she lost her job and became homeless and she hooked up with various men who turned out to be ...more
Dorothy Garino
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ahar
Memoirs are tough. Tough to write, it’s like reliving it all over again. I also find that it is tough to read, it’s difficult to read about someone’s life and not judge.

Hindsight is 20/20. We all have things we would change about our past. Maybe someone reading this will look at her mistakes and see there are other ways life can take you and that you can change from who you used to be.

I would like to have known more about the author’s current thoughts on her past and what she learned from livin
Mark C.
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Why is she still alive? I was fascinated by the struggles that this author endured during her lifetime. She deserves to have a good life, after all of the trouble that she has caused, and had caused to her. She has survived home-life, prison, homelessness, struggled with alcohol and drugs, multiple marriages and identities, criss-crossing the country by hitch hiking, and somehow, come through it all to turn her life around to help others that are currently in those situations. This was a very in ...more
Thomas Davis
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ahar

A powerful true story about how life can just spin out of control. About how bad decisions can become your foundation and lead you down a path that feels like an impossible dead end. But more importantly, it’s a story about resurrection. About overcoming your demons and putting yourself back together as a better person. Highly recommended.
Porsha Deun
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a story

There were many times throughout this story where I wanted to just hug Kym/Sam/Elle and other times when I wanted to shake her. Oh how I feared things would end with Mike, especially after she went back. I'm so glad she found her way and a connection to family, both biological and not.
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Easy to read driving text that shoves you forward into time, while taking twists that loop you backward and then forward into the pages. Brave, honest, daring expose of oneself and selves that don't ask to be forgiven except perhaps by self. Ever evolving, metamorphosing story and character into the person at the end of the text. One knows by reading that there will be a continued saga as this character doesn't sit for long. Couldn't put it down.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Captivating, thrilling, this book kept me turning pages late into the night. Each action-packed chapter ended with suspense, making me thirst for more of what happened next in this woman’s life story. Based off real-life events, “Out of Chaos” tells the intense story of love, loss, and the never-ending fight for living life to its fullest. There are elements of punk rock, rebellion, and the raw substance of what it means to be human in an ever-changing world. Elle Mott’s chaotic journey makes on ...more
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-groups
To write a memoir and bare your soul to the world has to be a difficult task -- especially when you've done some pretty terrible things as the author of this book has. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a TRUE story. So many times, it felt as if I was reading crime fiction, wondering what was going to happen next to the characters and how they would escape or be caught. It can be easy to justify our actions and choices in life, blaming them on others or bad situations. The author used ...more
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
While I appreciate Elle’s story, this is one that could have used a good editor. The story is told almost overly clinical and a bit too much of the and then this happened, then this, then this, etc. The story didn’t flow and it didn’t capture me. It failed to make me care what happened. A story as heartbreaking as this one should draw you in, make you feel for her. But as I read it, I felt a detachment. It was if she was writing about someone else’s life. Hence my feeling it was too clinical.

Jennifer Adams
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ahar, adult
Out of Chaos is quite a story. It is well written, too. It had captured my attention from the first page, till the last. It’s a coming-of-age tale about a young woman who tries to find herself from an early age as she takes us through all the rough bits of her life, as well as some of the good parts.

It’s quite interesting how we all go through life on such similar paths, but it’s how we travel down that road that makes us who we are. It’s easy to give up when you’ve fallen so far, but it takes
Maggie Long
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we first begin to deceive, is what came to mind as I ventured through this story. I congratulate the author for being so gutsy in writing her memoirs about her shaded past: burglary, prison, alcoholism, and the different men in her life. The one man I felt sorry for --- even though he was possessive --- was Mike, and of course, his dog, Manny.
Elle Mott, in her strength and determination to find a better life for herself, walked through the fires of
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Out of Chaos: A Memoir by Elle Mott

A fantastic story about one young woman and the choices she made. As she struggles with mental illness, homelessness, drugs and crime ,we watch as she goes down a "rabbit hole of despair". We also see how her actions have consequences (not all positive) and how she finds her "way out of chaos". A heart-felt emotional story, filled with raw emotions and told in her voice, no holds barred. Overall I found Out of Chaos: A Memoir an memorable read, and highly recom
P.D. Alleva
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. As a psychotherapist and a child of the late eighties, early nineties, I related to the depths this memoir took on. I was also fascinated with the way the author depicted life before cell phones, internet and computers. Our choices develop our personality and ultimately form who we are, an aspect of the memoir that is pounded into the reader. Elle Mott, keep writing. Good story, good story indeed.
Pamela Whissel
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Out of Chaos, which I received as a present, is a work of pure courage—a story hard to tell about a life that's been even harder to live. Vulnerability is essential for an autobiography to ring true, and Elle Mott cuts herself no slack in sharing her mistakes along with her achievements. Such generosity of spirit cannot be learned in any writing class, this book is a true gift to the reader.
Pamela Whissel
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Out of Chaos, which I received as a present, is a work of pure courage—a story hard to tell about a life that's been even harder to live. Vulnerability is essential for an autobiography to ring true, and Elle Mott cuts herself no slack in sharing her mistakes along with her achievements. Such generosity of spirit cannot be learned in any writing class, this book is a true gift to the reader.
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interesting story about a smart young woman and the choices she made for her life, not always good ones. She struggles with a drinking problem, drugs, wrong types of men, crime, having a police record & homelessness & no family - the many ups & downs to find her "way out of chaos" - Well written and is a page turner. ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a well written book about how one wrong decision can throw you in a tailspin that is difficult to get out of. I can appreciate the honesty but at times it feels a little like it's everyones fault but the authors. All in all an interesting read. I received this from LibraryThing Early Reviewer
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very well narrated memoir by Elle. It beautifully captures her struggle through her younger days to the present day. I could not have agreed more "I am accepting of life’s challenges, brave enough to make change, and in awe of our phenomenal existence in our vast universe". A must read!
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