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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Anything But Ordinary by Lara Avery

Title: Anything But Ordinary
Author: Lara Avery
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Publishing House: Hyperion
ISBN: 9781423163862
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Bryce remembers it like it was yesterday. The scent of chlorine. The blinding crack and flash of pain. Blood in the water.

When she wakes up in the hospital, all she can think of is her disastrous Olympic diving trial. But everything is different now. Bryce still feels seventeen, so how can her little sister be seventeen, too? Life went on without her while she lay in a coma for five years. Her best friend and boyfriend have just graduated from college. Her parents barely speak. And everything she once dreamed of doing - winning a gold medal, traveling the world, falling in love - seems beyond her reach.

But Bryce has changed, too, in seemingly impossible ways. She knows things she shouldn't. Things that happened while she was asleep. Things that haven't even happened yet. During one luminous summer, as she comes to understad that her dreams have changed forever, Bryce learns to see life for what it truly is: extraordinary.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


After waking up from a five-year coma, Bryce is disoriented with all the changes that took place without her. For one, she's now twenty-one, and not a seventeen-year-old Olympics-bound diving prodigy. Her little sister who used to hang on to her every word is now a surly and rebellious teenager, and her boyfriend and her best friend are getting married to each other. Just when she's trying to make sense of her new life, Bryce gets flashes - visions of things that have happened when she was lying in her bed, comatose, and of things that have yet to happen. And that's where it all starts to go horribly wrong.

wanted a break from all the paranormal / dystopian books I've been reading from cover to cover as of late, so I picked up Anything But Ordinary from my growing TBR pile, expecting a light read about a girl who has to pick up from where she last hit pause on life. Little did I know that my plan of spending a nice, quiet evening would be shot, all because I thumbed through Anything But Ordinary like my life depended on it.

It's actually pretty hard, writing this review, all because I don't want to spoil you guys from finding out for yourselves how brilliant this book is. Avery's writing is perfect for me at this  point because she straddles the line between storytelling for young adults and adults. Don't get me wrong; I love snarky YA protagonists and all, but I needed some fresh air. And just when I needed it most, Avery gave me that. 

I really, really felt for Bryce. She almost had it all, gold medals, a guy who may just be The One, only to have all of that slip away because of a bad fall. When she wakes up five years later, everyone else seems to have moved on without her. And Bryce isn't used to that. She's been so used to being the center of attention that at first, she struggles with the fact that this is all actually happening to her. But even when Bryce is confined in the hospital, her parents' attention is focused on her, much to the resentment of her younger sister, Sydney. I won't even harp about her boyfriend Greg getting engaged to her best friend Gabby. All the while I was muttering to myself how crappy her friends were, Greg and Gabby kept pointing out that the reason they got together was to fill the void that she left behind. (Baloney.) But there's Carter, even though I wasn't really feeling him at first. I'm not entirely sure how and/or why books depict that you will eventually get that shiny new love interest just when you've hit rockbottom, but Carter eventually won me over anyway.

The ending is very, very unreal, and I still couldn't believe that that happened. The pacing was going really well, but the conclusion was abrupt and unforeseen. Avery will definitely keep your emotions fastened - and not securely, at that - on a roller coaster ride, and it's definitely how I like my books. Avery's Anything But Ordinary has earned its rightful place on my bookshelf, and I strongly encourage you to pick it up, if only because it is definitely anything but ordinary.



  1. Awesome blurb, awesome plot, awesome review! This is the first time I've heard of this book and after typing this comment, I will immediately put it in my to-read. Thanks for the review, Michelle!

    1. Thanks, Dianne! :) Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.