The Chaos of Standing Still

The Chaos of Standing Still

Book - 2017
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"Jessica Brody has made me believe that getting stuck in an airport overnight would be the most fantastic thing in the world. I fell hard for this story of love, loss, friendship, and bad airport food. I loved it!" --Morgan Matson, New York Times bestselling author of The Unexpected Everything

Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel from the author of Boys of Summer .

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it's been there for almost a year.

She hasn't tried to read it. She can't. She won't. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year's Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend's death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year's Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can't get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can't move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she's trying. And maybe that's a start.

As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us--and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way.
Publisher: New York :, Simon Pulse,, ©2017.
Edition: First Simon Pulse hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781481499187
Branch Call Number: YA BRO
Characteristics: 406 pages ; 22 cm


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This was such a wonderful story about a girl who can't move on from the death of her best friend. It's about coping and grief and heartache so strong that it consumes you on a daily basis. It's also funny, and heartfelt, and sometimes just so cute that it made me swoon. There's a lot to love here, basically.

Ryn is flying from Atlanta to San Francisco with a layover in Denver. But it also happens to be the worst snowstorm of the century in Colorado, and when her New Year's Eve flight is delayed, Ryn ends up stranded in a foreign state, with only hours until the anniversary of her best friend Lottie's death. When she crashes into Xander (literally), all she wants is to apologize and get away from him, get home as soon as possible - but what seems to be the end of her world may actually be a new beginning.

The idea of being stranded at some random airport in a snowstorm gives me anxiety immediately, and I wasn't sure if I could handle a whole book that takes place in exactly that scenario, but despite the closed quarters, this one still felt light. Ryn is trying so hard just to get by, and Xander is a wonderful mystery all on his own. Unravelling both of them over the course of their night together kept my attention and made me want to devour the book in one sitting. Ryn is just trying so hard to stay on her feet, to not allow herself to move on, that it's heartbreaking, while Xander pushes her to do things, to not be afraid of the unknown, and their dynamic was really wonderful.

The plot is simple, obviously: the airport closes down, and everyone in the Denver airport is forced to spend the night on New Year's Eve. Obviously, as this is YA contemporary, some random shenanigans ensue; there's a child prodigy, a couple of airport employees playing Passenger Bingo, a party that is completely wild and unrealistic (in an airport hotel, of course).

Overall, there's some angst, some hilarity, and everything in between that you'd expect out of this genre. That's basically why I took off a star, and why I think I didn't feel as moved by this one as I could have. Everything that I expected, I got. There are no real surprises here. But I did enjoy it, and I think that for the right person, this could be a book that is simultaneously heart-wrenching and heart-warming.

Mar 19, 2020

I really like this book I think the author did a good job at conveying grief and what it feels like. I like that the events in the flashbacks with Lottie had something to correlate with what was going on in real time. The love part of the book was good too I think its nice that they were able to help each other with their problems. I like how Ryn is able to find out answers without having to ask her phone near the end. overall it is a really good book that talks about Ryn's grieving process while also adding in a love story

Feb 26, 2020

My daughter likes it so far we have not finished it yet she is reading her school project in my face that she will enjoy it and says she is right now so hopefully she enjoys it more than most people. The author is the author it with some of my favorite books and some of my least favorite books so hopefully this person makes amends

Jul 06, 2018

I'm probably the only one who didn't like this book and had so many issues with it. But even with all the parts that I really wanted to skim and the boring slow pace of events that made me fall asleep I really liked the ending, especially the last seven questions Ryn had about life, and had found the answer for without asking Google. The romance was way to fluffy for me and honestly I don't know how can you fall in love with someone just in one day, but appearantly it's not impossible afterall. Also, I think that 403 pages were too much for this book, and the story could've been more powerful in 300 pages only. Furthermore, I didn't know that the book was mainly about dealing with grief and I blame the cover for that. The cover showed that the book as a cute rom-com book that has a tiny bit of saddness, and many people on Goodreads they were mistaken by the book genre too. My rating for the book is 6/10, and it's for John Green fans and people who can be very patient with slow pacing books. @rahmamawlood of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

SaraLovesBooks Feb 05, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. I loved Ryn's voice throughout it, as I have consistently loved all of Jessica Brody's heroines. This one was different, though. The theme was more serious, with that of grief. I loved how messy it was presented as, because dealing with grief is not an easy process. And watching Ryn deal with it, between her memory flashblacks and present day, was not an easy journey, but was a touching one. I was a greater sucker for this book than I even normally would be, because the book takes place over the course of about 24 hours in DIA, and I'm a sucker for anything that takes place in Colorado. I loved the details about it, especially the conspiracy theories that were brought up that surround DIA. The only flaw I had was in how Ryn kept letting everyone else push her around: Lottie, Xander, Siri, Troy. I wanted her to stand up for herself, but this was an important part of her journey, if a rather frustrating one. Overall, another enjoyable read by Jessica Brody, who I would highly recommend.

archreads Jan 22, 2018

This is a fun, contemporary read. I liked all of the characters and the details about DIA during a blizzard were perfect!

Jan 05, 2018

Overall I liked this book. I enjoyed and really connected with the main character. Our main character does suffer from anxiety. I honestly don't even have much to say. It was a decent contemporary, that brought a little emotion but wasn't life changing.

Nov 14, 2017

What a fantastic, heartwarming, rom-com book. I saw this on the silver screen, it was a movie in my head, you know, starring Olivia Holt and Tyrel Jackson Williams or other Disney/young actors. I would love a good movie set in DIA!

Not gonna lie, I LOVED all of the Denver references. As a kid who grew up going to DIA--calling it my airport--I was stoked to have a clear picture of all of the scenery and setting and the conspiracy theories. I knew every painting and section that was mentioned. All of the gates and terminals were clear in my head. And ever Tattered Cover was mentioned! It was like being behind the scenes which was super cool.

In terms of story itself, it was formulaic and predictable, but that's a rom-com. Stuck in an airport for 24 hrs with a young girl with baggage and a young cute man with baggage...oh yeah! And it's New Years Eve. You know what's gonna happen. But that didn't stop me from enjoying it. It was a comforting and satisfying read.

One of my largest problems was Ryn's obsession with Lottie. I struggle with characters that are so dependent on other characters--there were points were I wondered if Ryn was bi and secretly in love with Lottie, that's how intense it got at some points. I understand that was the point of the story, but the whole time I was screaming at Ryn for being manipulated by Lottie--I wasn't sure if it was a healthy friendship in the first place. I think the grief was well portrayed but Ryn's obsession was weird and Lottie's controlling nature, and Ryn's willingness to go along with it was frustrating and somewhat disturbing at points.

All in all, I really enjoyed this mac & cheese read. It's fun and set in Denver (which is biased of me but earns it lots of points) and a sweet love story between friends and a rather cute boy in the airport. It's the perfect set up and it's satisfying.


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Apr 11, 2019

“Because if I can live through this, I can live through anything.”

Apr 11, 2019

“Grief changes the way you see things forever. Because it changes you forever.”

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Oct 09, 2018

red_dog_20156 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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