Annalisa's Reviews > Miles from Ordinary

Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
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Apr 03, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, issue, contemporary
Read from March 31 to April 03, 2011

This is my first experience with Williams and I had high hopes and high expectations, but there were several things about it that didn't work for me. For starters, the voice was wrong. Despite the main character being 14 years old, her voice is so juvenile. Even if she had to deal with a mentally ill mother and a complete lack of social integration at school because of it, she'd still be less childish than this girl. I wanted included in the mix of emotions anger and embarrassment, something more than utter devotion, something a little more appropriate for the age. Maybe for an 11-year-old I could believe the voice--and it is a strong voice which is a risk I appreciate Williams for taking--but the voice read too much like middle grade.

For most of the book, the plot also moved too slowly to grab me. A slow voice, lots of internal dialogue, and every few paragraphs interrupted by memory, and the day dragged. Despite the book being a very quick read, it took me 4 days to finish because I was never anxious to pick it up until the last 50 or so pages. While I found the climax chilling, I had some believability issues up until that point that kept it from striking me the way it should have. (view spoiler)

It was only at the ending that I felt something grow from Lacey's experience that made me sad at the novel that could have been. The climax twisted around a lot of the issues I had, but I'd struggled with them so much of the novel that it was too late to fix it by mistrusting Lacey's account at that point. The idea is strong and I could tell from the writing that Williams is very talented, and I appreciate her tackling mental illness, but it didn't flow from beautifully literary into enlightening and thrilling ending the way she was attempting.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Hmm. I don't know what to do now. I came on to add this because it looks so good to me, but I take to heart what you said in your review, especially about her sounding too young. Hmm... So many have rated it higher, and it is possible I'd like this a lot more than you did.


Annalisa Lisa, I was surprised I seem to be the only one who didn't like it. It was okay. Maybe it's the high standard I have for her and sometimes I'm harsher on books that have so much potential which this one did. It really is a quick read and she is a good author. I'd give it a try. I know I'm very particular about voice.


message 3: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Annalisa, Which books by her have you particularly enjoyed?


Annalisa This is the only one I've read, but I've heard The Chosen One is really good and Glimpse is a novel in verse that's gotten good reviews. I'm not a fan of novel in verse but I hear it's one of the better ones. Even though everyone likes this one, the reviews still say it's not as good as The Chosen One.


message 5: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Thanks. I'll look at those two books.


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