Rated Reads

Anything But Ordinary

by Lara Avery

Rated: Moderate

Bryce Graham is on her way to living her dreams. At 17, she has an amazing boyfriend, a loving family, and a shot at the Olympics. Then, a tragic accident on the diving board changes everything. Bryce wakes up from a coma five years later to find that her family and friends have moved on and her body can barely function. But with determination, hope — and strange visionary flashes of the past and future — Bryce begins to put her life back together and move forward in a world that’s left her behind.

I think this book did a good job of exploring the physical and emotional consequences of Bryce’s diving accident. Her relationships with friends and family have to be changed and reinvented and, in the process, she learns more about the people she loves and about herself. I’m impressed by how mature Bryce is with dealing with lost opportunities — graduating high school, starting college with her friends, and being with the man she loves. A lot of her reactions seemed almost too mature; I’m used to teenage characters being a lot less sensible and responsible, and Bryce’s brain should have awakened at a high school level. The way certain conflicts are resolved could be seen as trite or cheesy. However, I like stories where people forgive — and where even the heartbreaking moments have their own sweet tenderness.

Rated: Moderate, for about 10 uses of mild and moderate language and a brief scene where characters begin to undress each other and it’s implied they have sex. If this weren’t young adult fiction I’d probably rate it as mild.

— Reviewed by Jennifer Neal

Jennifer Neal has worked as a third-grade teacher, a Spanish translator, and as a writing TA for an online university. She lives in Santee, California (near San Diego), with her husband and four young children.

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anythingbutordinary book
  • Anything But Ordinary
  • by Lara Avery
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: