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The Chaos of Standing Still

by Jessica Brody

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1026205,095 (3.45)None
Ryn, eighteen, trapped by a massive blizzard in the Denver airport, meets some unique characters who help her cope with survivor's guilt on the first anniversary of her best friend's death.

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My main issue is that I could not stand Lottie. I thought she was manipulative with no regard for what anyone but her might want. That made it really difficult to emphasize with Ryn's grief… the only reason I kept going until the end was that I liked all the side characters. ( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
“Any system, if left unattended or isolated, will eventually result in entropy. Or chaos.”
This is the holiday contemporary you should reach for if you want more than just an adorable romance. Don’t get me wrong, it’s got that too, but The Chaos of Standing Still is all about friendship and healing and learning to move on when you’re desperately holding onto the past. The snowed-in airport was the perfect setting for the story, and we got to meet a lot of interesting characters. While there were some weird side plots, Illuminati airport conspiracy theory anyone? For the most part, this was a fun and heartfelt read that is perfect for this holiday season.

I received a copy of the book from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
( )
  LifeofaLiteraryNerd | Apr 27, 2018 |
Stuck in the airport with nowhere to go during the worst snow storm Denver has ever seen, Ryn Gilbert spends one chaotic night with fellow stranded passenger Xander Hale, grieving her best friend and learning to live again.

The Chaos of Standing Still is a beautifully written 24 hour time stamp novel full of heartache, love, loss, and growth. Jessica Brody’s writing is so quippy and fun while simultaneously delivering a gut punch to the feels. I laughed, I cried, I loved every second of reading this book.

One of the things I love most about 24 hour time frame stories is seeing the amount of growth that can occur in such a short period of time. Ryn is tragically engrossed in her grief as the one year anniversary of her best friend Lottie’s death approaches. She is determined to make it back home to San Francisco by 10:05am, New Years Day, in order to feel closure to Lottie, arguably a person Ryn considered to be her whole world. Unfortunately for Ryn, Mother Nature has other plans, stranding her in the Denver airport during a layover. It’s there that she literally bumps into Xander, and they accidentally switch phones, leading to an entire day and night worth of shenanigans, making new friends, and journeying through the ups and downs of grief and personal growth. Ryn grows a lot as a person in the 24 hours she’s stranded; going from “mopey girl” to someone Lottie, who lived life to the fullest, would be proud of.

Xander is also dealing with his own personal struggles. His parents are famed child psychologists, authors of a book series entitled Kids Come First, but poor Xander has never come first in his parents’ lives. I really loved Xander’s upbeat attitude throughout the entire book and his cute, flirty nature. It was nice to see the relationship spark and develop between him and Ryn, both of them confronting and facing their issues together, and helping each other through.

One of the most fun aspects of the entire story were the side characters Ryn and Xander encountered who either worked or were traveling through the airport. Together they formed a merry band of misfits who added more depth to the story and pushed the plot along. Young genius Troy was one of my favorite characters, and I loved the side plot and him and Ryn investigating the conspiracies surrounding the Denver airport.

Another aspect Jessica Brody does really well is flashbacks. Through flashbacks we got to see Ryn’s relationship with Lottie, leading up to, encompassing, and surpassing the day she died. It really helped to emphasize just how important the friendship was to each of the girls.

Overall, this book was sad and happy and fun and romantic, and just the perfect read to curl up with on a cold day.

*Thank you to Simon Pulse and Netgalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
  mmalyn | Feb 24, 2018 |
The title of this book drew me in, I love the poignancy of it - for no matter how still we may stand, chaos will find its way in. And the strength of the novel lived up to the title.
Ryn lost her best friend, larger-than-life Lottie, in a tragic car accident 11 months and 30 days ago. Survivor's guild haunts her every day, as the fate of a bad hot dog kept her from being in Lottie's car that day.
But today, she's trapped in the Denver airport when the worst blizzard in decades grounds all flights. All she wants to do is get home to mourn the 10:05am anniversary of her best friend's death. Has fate intervened for Ryn in the form of 18 year old Xander? After bumping into one another, their phones get switched, the start of a physical and emotional journey for Ryn. Trapped in the airport with a colorful cast of supporting characters, Ryn has to face her grief while learning to let go, and come to terms with the person she is without the shining light that was Lottie.
This book brought many emotions with it - Ryn's struggle with grief and survivor's guilt, along with the pangs of growing into her own self as a young adult. It also offers hope and humor through the characters who help her along this journey. The reader wants to root for Ryn, because though she may seem "mopey" (a nickname within the story), we know there's much more to this shy girl than the loss of her best friend. ( )
  RachelMKelly | Feb 22, 2018 |
I honestly can’t believe how quickly I devoured The Chaos of Standing Still. This was one of those reads that I picked up and was immediately sucked into the story. This is a heartfelt contemporary that deals with friendships, loss, mourning and trying to find your way back.

How do you manage your life after losing your person? Ryn has lost Lottie, her best friend since childhood and she deals the best way she knows how. She avoids people, connecting, the truth and reading that one last message from her best friend. Ryn’s life seems to revolve around her phone, constantly “asking Google” various questions, and making sure that one message is still there to taunt her – unread.

When Ryn finds herself stranded at the Denver airport because of a horrible snowstorm, chaos ensues. All Ryn wants to do is just go home but she can’t. She’s stuck in the airport and its the eve of the 1st anniversary of her best friend’s death. By fate or chance, Ryn’s world literally collides with Xander’s, someone who will have more of an impact on her than she is prepared to handle.

Did I mention it is also New Year’s Eve?

Each person, each character adds dimension, growth and oftentimes humor to Ryn’s story. Xander, Siri, Jimmy, Troy… While not each one was always the most like-able at all times, each individual character helps Ryn find her way. Actually, Siri reminded me a bit of Lottie. They are bold, fearless and everything Ryn is afraid to be. And to be fair, I found Troy, the boy prodigy, to be incredibly interesting! Xander, though… as Ryn gets to know more about Xander and his story, we learn that he’s pretty special and a bit unexpected.

What I love most about The Chaos of Standing Still is that it tells Ryn’s story in two timelines: the present (under 24 hours) and the past. The present takes place in just one location – the Denver airport. The way author Jessica Brody weaves together the present and the past, Ryn’s own memories, is fantastic. Slowly building layer upon delicate layer, allowing us to become personally acquainted with the dynamic of Lottie and Ryn, we have a special seat to see how significant their relationship was and how essential one was to the other – exposing how painful the loss truly is. This method of storytelling makes for a fantastic read and gives a hint of mystery, great character development, and leaves the reader genuinely captivated.

I absolutely enjoyed this book and I think it makes for a fabulous weekend read. Grab some hot cocoa, your favorite blanket and cozy up… The Chaos of Standing Still is a great, emotional journey.

I gave The Chaos of Standing Still 4/5 stars!

This review was a part of a Blog Tour. I received The Chaos of Standing Still from Netgalley and Simon Pulse in exchange for my honest feedback. ( )
  NicholeMers | Jan 29, 2018 |
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Ryn, eighteen, trapped by a massive blizzard in the Denver airport, meets some unique characters who help her cope with survivor's guilt on the first anniversary of her best friend's death.

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