Reviewed by Grace Soledad

Miles from Ordinary is the touching story of a girl whose mother is mentally ill. Lacey hopes that with her mother’s new job at the Winn-Dixie, she will finally have control of her life and be able to work at the library like she’s always wanted.

Her mother “sees” Lacey’s grandfather as a ghost, and claims that he talks to her. She has crazy superstitions of things that Grandaddy “told” her and lives in her own imaginary world. Lacey’s aunt, Linda, left them after a fight, and Lacey wants to be closer to her by working at the library.

On her first day at the new job, Lacey discovers that her mother left the Winn-Dixie early and a storm is brewing. Terrified, she recruits the help of a boy that she likes to help find her mother. Over the course of a day, this book explores the relationship between mother and daughter and the effect that fear and love have on both of them.

I liked how Miles from Ordinary only covered the course of one day and punctuated the chapters with many flashbacks that let me delve further into the story. These flashbacks and the subtle hints let me fully understand Lacey’s position and dread what would happen next.

The ending was thrilling. Lacey’s fear leapt off the page when she couldn’t find her mother. Her hurt at aunt Linda for leaving her behind and the dedication to her mother kept the story moving in many different directions while keeping it strangely focused on what was happening right then and there.

The emotion coursed through the book. It wasn’t particularly potent or intense, but instead tender and heartfelt. I loved the resolution, and the climax. They added a whole new element to the story that made it jump the distance from “good and sweet” to “emotional and great”.

Miles from Ordinary is the perfect exploration of a mother-daughter relationship – highly recommended.

Rating: 4/5

Grace Soledad is a teenage bibliophile who runs the blog Words Like Silver. She is described as “antisocial” because she constantly has her nose buried in a book or a notebook. When not reading, she can be found dancing, writing, or at the beach. She wants to become an author someday and is incredibly passionate about books, and holds several reading awards.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Griffin. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.