Saturday, August 15, 2020

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

 This is a great book to end the summer. It's a common theme -- coming of age -- told in a completely different way. It's light and interesting at the same time. You need a book with a twist once in a while, one that's not an actual mystery, and Oona Out of Order delivers.

The book catalogues only a few years of Oona's life, which as of her 19th birthday, begins happening out of order. Her mind is aging chronologically, but she moves between years in a seemingly random pattern. Imagine waking up being 20 in your head, but 51 in your body. There's a lot to adjust to, not to the mention the fact that future Oona insists on not giving everything away, allowing current Oona to keep making the same bad choices she feels like she should avoid. It's an interesting question of changing your fate, and whether it's worth it.

What's so perfect about this story is that the first five years Oona lives out of order happen to give enough of her life away that, although she makes some grave mistakes and faces some heavy sadness and anger, she hits a state of enlightenment with so much of her life still to live. That's such an amazing gift when compared to those of us, living life in order, getting a much slower route to finally feeling like we've figured a little bit out.

I really liked the complexity of this story. On one hand, Oona is struggling with her time jumps through her life. On the other, she's going through all the common crap living a life brings about. She has a unique relationship with herself since she's constantly encountering momentos from future Oona, delivered in the past. Her random movement through time brings her a lot internal anger because of choices she's making, out of order, but it also gives her an opportunity to spend some years living her best life without worry. It's a gift and a curse that the author equally explores.

I think about what years I'd want to live in what order from the 41 I have under my belt. It's a tough question to answer. Aside from the stock tips I could give myself, I'd probably pick to live my life in order if given the option. Luckily, this isn't a common issue, and instead we get to explore the idea in a book. This was a great read, seeing what could happen if forced into this condition. Who would stand beside you? Who'd take advantage? How much time would you spend YOLO and how much would you hide away from the world? I enjoyed this book so much, and highly recommend it. 

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