Book Reviews

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody (Spoiler-free) Review

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 brilliantly 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.


I really loved this book!! It was adorable! The last book I read took me six days to read, whereas this one took me less than 24 hours! The only reason I didn’t devour this in one sitting was because I started it late at night and had to sleep. I continued reading until I literally fell asleep with this book in my hand. I can officially say this book broke me out of my reading slump! Yay!

Ryn is stranded in the Denver airport on New Year’s Eve all alone because of a major blizzard sweeping through the state. She’s not too happy about this. She needs to be home by January 1st at 10:05 am. This marks one year since she lost her best friend Lottie. When I say lost, I don’t mean as in they quit being friends, I mean since Lottie died. She is still not over her best friend’s death and wants nothing more than to be home in San Francisco on the anniversary so she can grieve in private.

As you can see, this book deals with difficult topics such as death and grief. Ryn wasn’t the most likable character, but she was written realistically, which I really loved. She wasn’t the happy-go-lucky type of character. She was quiet and mopey and didn’t care about making friends. She came across as irritable and sometimes mean by overreacting in certain situations, but that’s exactly how a character who has been traumatized by the death of their best friend should act. I thought her character was perfectly written, even if that meant she wasn’t always likable.

Xander on the other hand was a wonderful and fun character! I loved him from the instant he was introduced. He was funny and charismatic and just all-around a nice guy, even though he was dealing with his own issues. By some crazy coincidence, Ryn and Xander happen to accidentally bump into each other and switch phones. The crazy coincidence? They had the same exact phone and phone case, which made switching phones a complete accident. This incident leads to Ryn and Xander to spark an unlikely friendship.

Ryn and Xander were just so cute together. I loved following them throughout the airport and seeing what crazy things they would end up doing. There’s only so much you can do in an over-crowded airport, but Ryn and Xander make the best of it and become an unlikely pair. I loved the way their relationship evolved and how Xander was able to get Ryn to open up and talk to him about things she hasn’t been able to talk about in a year.

This is an all-around wonderful story about two teens becoming friends in the most unlikely of places. It is a story of friendship and grief. I gave this book a rating of 4 out of 5 stars!

Thank you to NetGalley and Jessica Brody for an advanced copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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40 thoughts on “The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody (Spoiler-free) Review

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