From the New York Times bestselling author of The Impossible Vastness of Us and the On Dublin Street series comes a heartfelt and beautiful new young adult novel, set in Scotland, about daring to dream and embracing who you are. Order your copy of THE FRAGILE ORDINARY today!
About THE FRAGILE ORDINARY:
I am Comet Caldwell.
And I sort of, kind of, absolutely hate my name.
People expect extraordinary things from a girl named Comet. That she’ll be effortlessly cool and light up a room the way a comet blazes across the sky.
But from the shyness that makes her book-character friends more appealing than real people to the parents whose indifference hurts more than an open wound, Comet has never wanted to be the center of attention. She can’t wait to graduate from her high school in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the only place she ever feels truly herself is on her anonymous poetry blog. But surely that will change once she leaves to attend university somewhere far, far away.
When new student Tobias King blazes in from America and shakes up the school, Comet thinks she’s got the bad boy figured out. Until they’re thrown together for a class assignment and begin to form an unlikely connection. Everything shifts in Comet’s ordinary world. Tobias has a dark past and runs with a tough crowd—and none of them are happy about his interest in Comet. Targeted by bullies and thrown into the spotlight, Comet and Tobias can go their separate ways…or take a risk on something extraordinary.
Tobias had offered to spend Christmas Eve with me alone, considering what had just occurred between me and Kyle. Yes, I was devastated by the brief conversation. I was also confused by my reaction, because Kyle hadn’t told me anything I didn’t already know. To hear him confess his own weak will when it came to Carrie, to hear from his own mouth that yes, he did love her more than me and that he’d choose her over me no matter what was painful. I didn’t know if his fears about Carrie’s issues were founded. Maybe. I guess I didn’t know the woman who was my mother well at all. She’d never been verbally unkind to me, though. Her cruelty had always been in her indifference.
Those were my thoughts, going around and around like they were stuck on some twisted, hellish merry-go-round, when I walked into Tobias’s new house.
I tried to focus on Lena. I discovered, however, as I followed her through the narrow hallway of the three-bedroom house in the more affluent area of Porty that Tobias did take after his father in looks. There was a photo hanging on the wall in the hallway of a younger Tobias standing in between Lena and a man I knew must have been his dad. They stood outside a huge white house that reminded me of the wealthy homes featured in John Hughes’s movies. Like Tobias, his dad was extremely tall, broad-shouldered, with fair good looks.
I’d slowed down to look at the photo, and Tobias turned around to see what was keeping me.
His eyes flicked to the photo, and I hated the pain that shimmered in his gaze. He nodded and I squeezed his hand.
“Would you like something to drink, Comet?” Lena called from the kitchen. “We have water, Coke, orange juice. Or I could make us all hot chocolate.”
I tugged Tobias away from the photo. There was no need for us both to be a sad, wallowing mess today. “Yes, Mrs. King, hot chocolate sounds lovely.” We wandered into the small, modern kitchen to find her waiting on us.
“I thought I told you to call me Lena.”
“Of course, sorry.” I gave her a smile, trying to ignore the fact that she was raking her eyes over my outfit like she had the last time I saw her.
It was Christmas, so I’d decided on a burgundy long-sleeved thermal with gold sparkles through it, matched with a short burgundy velvet skirt with a dark red tulle underskirt that stuck out rock-chick style from the skirt. I wore thick, black tights and Irregular Choice burgundy suede ankle boots in the Victorian style. They seemed simple until I turned around—they had a huge gold jacquard bow pinned to back of the ankle.
I’d added a bunch of chunky gold bracelets up both arms so I jingled when I moved.
I’d considered toning my clothes down but this was me, and Tobias knew this was me and all that mattered was that he loved me, loud fashion sense and all. Still, I smoothed my hands down my skirt nervously until Tobias captured one of them in his own.
Glancing up at him in question, I found myself caught by the tender reassurance in his eyes. He drew my hand to his lips and pressed a kiss to it while his gaze held mine, and I felt like he was silently reminding me not to worry what she thought of me because he thought I was perfect.
The sound of a throat clearing broke our moment and we turned to find his mum staring at us wearing a huge smile. “Hot chocolate.” She gestured to the mugs in front of us.
Her assessment of my appearance ceased and instead she studied my interactions with her son. In fact, she watched everything Tobias did, and she did it in a way that made me think she missed him. I knew they’d talked and he was attempting to repair the damage to their relationship, but I perceived a wariness in Lena’s behavior. Like she was scared of making the wrong move—one that might cause him to shut her out again.
I have not read a Samantha Young book before, but The Fragile Ordinary hooked me from the blurb. Now I want to go back and check out the rest of Young’s books because she created a masterpiece.
What I really loved about this book was the message it sent to young girls in this day and age. That it is okay to be yourself and that being different is something to be celebrated and not shamed. It was about looking beneath the surface to discover someone’s true nature rather than judging them based on their appearance. Comet was a breath of fresh air who was finding her place in an ever changing world. I related so much to Comet with her bookish nerd tendencies and her need to escape into other worlds when reality became too much. Then, something changed. Comet found herself drawn to an American boy who made her want to be part of the real world again. She found herself hanging onto the relationships in her life and finding it within herself to form new relationships despite her shyness. It was beautiful to watch her come out of her shell bit by bit.
Tobias King was a boy who was struggling to express his grief and process how the world continued to turn when those he loved were no longer in it. He found his light in a peculiar girl who wrote poetry and wore clothes that made her stand out from the rest. Tobias and Comet were the definition of new love and with everything they had already been through…they knew what they had was something special. The fumblings of first love, the awkwardness, yet the giddy, newness of it all was something I enjoyed experiencing between these two. The lessons that they learned and put into practice were inspiring and I honestly wish I could get another story on what happens next.
I am not a huge YA contemporary reader, but then one comes along that makes me remember why I do love them. This is one of those reminders. The nostalgia and the feeling of being a teenager again is one that you can only find in YA contemporary novels. If they are done right, I will enjoy them until I’m old and grey. Thank you for such a beautiful message and reminder, Samantha Young.
I highly recommend this book to those who love: new love, ordinary stories that feel extraordinary, quirky heroines, and heroes who make you believe there is someone out there for everyone.
Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars!
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“Endearing and relatable, Comet-the girl who is searching for her place in this world-will shoot through the sky and into your heart.”
— #1 New York Times bestselling author Erin Watt
About Samantha Young:
Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017
Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.
Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.