Out of Order by Casey Lawrence
Review Copy: Provided via NetGalley
Description From Goodreads:
Corinna “Corey” Nguyen’s
life seems perfectly average for a closeted bisexual whiz kid with her
eyes on college and a budding romance with her friend Kate. Sixteen and
navigating senior year with her tight-knit group of best friends through
crushes, breakups, and pregnancy scares, Corey mistakenly believes that
running for valedictorian and choosing the right college are the worst
of her worries. That is, until prom night, when she’s left alone and in
shock, hiding inside a diner restroom, the only witness to a multiple
With graduation looming, the pressure is on for Corey
to identify the killer and ensure that the crime that has changed her
life forever will not go unpunished.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is a hard one to rate because, as wonderful as it is, it's the time of book that would be even better if it were a standalone story. Had this been a standalone, with a satisfactory ending to the story, I definitely would have given the book five stars.
With that said, moving onto my actual review.
OUT OF ORDER is an important book. Not only does it deal with a topic that we find ourselves constantly dealing with in reality - gun violence - but it also highlights the struggles many LBGTQ youth face growing up. It's a powerful story, with fantastic writing, and I'm beyond glad that I took the time to read it.
I will admit that OUT OF ORDER didn't come on my radar until I found it on NetGalley. In fact, I initially passed it over because of the cover. (I know, I know.) The cover does not do this book justice. Sure, it captures an important part of the story, but it's not the kind of cover that sells this book properly. But as I learned when I began reading the story late last night, beneath the cover, Lawrence had crafted such a wonderful story about friendship, grief, and self-identity, that it was nearly impossible to put the book down.
As I stated above, my one and only problem with this book is that it is meant to kick off what appears to be a series. While I am interested in what Lawrence will do with this story going forward, I wish the story had ended with a bit more closer and as a single story. The ending with the reveal felt too rushed at the end and came off as a set-up for the sequel. It kind of made it so it took away some of the emotional punch. (Note: I said some, not all.)
Overall, OUT OF ORDER is a must-read. Just be prepared to have your tissues on hand.
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