Anything But Ordinary by Lara Avery

Publication Date: September 11th, 2012
Hyperion Book CH
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
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 Bryce 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 Bryce 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 understand that her dreams have changed forever, Bryce learns to see life for what it truly is: extraordinary.

The Gist: Girl woke up from a five-year coma; life around her predictably changed. Her family’s drifted apart. She lost her best friend and boyfriend. On top of it all, she’s sensing something different about herself: her senses are heightened and she’s remembering things from other people’s past. She’s also getting glimpses of the future – hers and her loved ones. What’s happening? Many called her a miracle but some days, she wonders, is she really? Or is she nothing but a freak of nature?

The Review: Much like Bryce at the beginning when she was innundated by confusion, I had pretty much scratched my head for the better part of this novel. From the vague explanation about her new-found extra-ordinary abilities to dealing with waking up finding your life wasn’t what it was, I felt that the novel was a bit disorganized – somewhat all over the place.

There is a lack of cohesiveness that starts from the time she wakes up from coma, creating and fulfilling her bucket list, and the eventual end. Sometimes, it was too much of everything and too little of something definite. Her bucket list – which consisted of things she missed from high school, felt like a random thing used to fill the pages. I thought that if this list came after a certain point in the novel where she found out the consequences of having her ability, then it would’ve made sense. The order felt wrong somehow.

The narrative has a mystical characteristic that just didn’t work when it should. We’re talking about a girl who literally slept for five years and woke up with some extra ordinary abilities – magical and miraculous. But Bryce herself didn’t seem that vested in what was going on most of the time.

Cicadas usually precedes her visions but for the life of me, I couldn’t find the connection. Someone, please…explain this to me like I’m five years old.

So the ending. Yeah. I’ve tried to wrap my head around it but I’ve failed so many times. Just because you saw how it ends, doesn’t mean you’ll go on and make it happen, lady. It’s like a morbid version of a self-fulfilling prophecy only she didn’t need encouragements from people, she just…let it happened. Ever heard of fighting fate? You can, you know. If you want it enough, that is. Oh but what am I rambling about anyway? It seems futile, considering I wasn’t at all clear on how this book ended. I’ve drawn to my own conclusion that fade to black scenes are soooo overrated.

VERDICT: I read this in less than three hours and it’s not because it had me completely entranced. It’s because I waited and waited until it got better. Sadly, it didn’t live up to its title. I have a feeling that if this book didn’t end the way it did, it’d have gotten a better rating. I don’t care much for how it ended – the story seemed unfinished.

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