Thursday, July 26, 2018

Book Review: The Fragile Ordinary

The Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young 
*I received an e-arc for free in exchange for an honest review*
Publication Date: June 26th, 2018
I am Comet Caldwell.

And I sort of, kind of, absolutely hate my name.

People expect extraordinary things from a girl named Comet. That she’ll be effortlessly cool and light up a room the way a comet blazes across the sky.

But from the shyness that makes her book-character friends more appealing than real people to the parents whose indifference hurts more than an open wound, Comet has never wanted to be the center of attention. She can’t wait to graduate from her high school in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the only place she ever feels truly herself is on her anonymous poetry blog. But surely that will change once she leaves to attend university somewhere far, far away.

When new student Tobias King blazes in from America and shakes up the school, Comet thinks she’s got the bad boy figured out. Until they’re thrown together for a class assignment and begin to form an unlikely connection. Everything shifts in Comet’s ordinary world. Tobias has a dark past and runs with a tough crowd—and none of them are happy about his interest in Comet. Targeted by bullies and thrown into the spotlight, Comet and Tobias can go their separate ways…or take a risk on something extraordinary.

So I seem to be in the minority that didn't love this book. The Fragile Ordinary didn't have much blatantly wrong about it; I just felt like I wasn't emotionally impacted or invested. So, let's dig into some of my problems and what I thought was done well.

What I liked:

1) The Parent-Daughter Dynamics
Comet's relationship with her parents was complex, heartbreaking, and well-done. Her mom basically ignored her and her dad wasn't much better... and we see all these interesting conflicts arise from this. 
2) Stevie
Stevie - the character who would normally be the villain - was three dimensional and shown as an actual human being. Yes he did some bad things at the end, but I was invested in his story and sad about his ending. His story was also well-done.

What I didn't like:
1) Comet
I just couldn't connect to Comet. She's supposed to be relate-able to readers but it sounds forced. She says things like "I'm such a geek" and in general just seems unauthentically quirky? And this critique is coming from ME (a person who is maybe a little quirky). It's not the quirkiness I have a problem with; it's the less-than-genuine portrayal of it. 
2) The Romance
The romance was lacking. So I didn't care a whit about Tobias and I didn't care if he ended up with Comet. There's a problem there. 
3) The pacing/writing 
I was occasionally bored and I felt like the writing was a tiny bit juvenile. It was easily readable though - I just felt like the plot was slower and kind of bland. 

I mean it looks like I hated this book (I didn't!). I definitely liked parts. I just wasn't majorly impressed. But many people loved it so don't just take my word for it.

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