Out of Order by Casey Lawrence
January 2nd, 2016
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I'm not sure what I was expecting with this novel. The synopsis and cover intrigued me. I've been looking far and wide for a girl of color, who was also queer, a principal character, with a well thought story.
I'm not sure this book met all of my expectations, but it was interesting enough where I read it until the end, because I was genuinely curious to know what happened.
The story follows Corinna aka "Corey", a high school student who witnesses the murder of all her friends right after prom.
It's interesting how the title holds several different meanings. Corey just happened to be in the bathroom when all of this unfolded, and what saved her was going into an "our of order" bathroom, the only stall the murdered didn't kick the door open to.
As well as the unreliable story telling. The story is literally told out of order, throwing in events from Corey's past and present, to throw you off.
It had a feel like Memento. That movie was insane, so I think that's a decent comparison. But I walked in with the expectation of "I Hunt Killers", so I think that's where it missed the mark for me.
I liked Corey. As a biracial woman of color, who was a closeted bisexual girl, I liked how when her friends said dumb/ignorant stuff, she'd check them. Two of her friends were white, the other Latina but I didn't connect to a friend of color. She was a bit too preachy for me.
Corey was the character who seemed the most thought out, which is good. She is the main character after all. But it felt like she was the only character who was.
She was in love with her best friend Kate, which I'm ashamed to admit I couldn't stand. Kate reeked of White privilege, and it was sad how often she needed to be checked. It'd be hard for me to fall in love with someone who said 1/4 of the things that'd spew out of her mouth.
Corey's infatuation itself was cute and genuine, even though I didn't connect to Kate, but from the synopsis, one can tell it doesn't end well for them.
I think the way the story was told is unique, but it made for the big showdown to be somewhat of a letdown, once the culprit was found. You have to really pay attention to the story in front of you, as everything Corey does in the past indirectly started the events in motion, so you might guess the ending faster than me.
I think I wish it would've been more like "I Hunt Killers"(not just because I loved those books) because I would've loved to see a girl of color solve a mystery of murder, and maybe go on to do more of it.
But it reads more like a YA story that just happens to have the main character's best friends murdered in the beginning. Most of it is winding down from the event, not actually seeking the truth. The truth honestly just falls on her lap.
Don't get me started on the lonely lesbian/f-f trope. I have a love/hate relationship with the ending. You can't expect a happy ending with this story, regardless of who's sitting in the seat, but women who date women don't often get happy endings. So I just felt some kind of way.
I pictured Corey and Kate the most vividly, mainly because nowhere in the book did it contradict their appearance(sometimes hair colors for her other friends would be one way, then another further in the book).
If Maggie Q were a teen, she'd probably look like my Corey.
Not only is she biracial, she's actually of Vietnamese descent.
Kate kinda has the look of a lot of actresses getting work in Hollywood, so because I'd watched "Scream Queens" not too long ago, I pictured Abigail Breslin.
I think any fan of Memento would enjoy this! I'd still recommend if you YA books with a little suspense and thriller.