“Meet Odd. Audrey “Odd” Ashworth is an exceptionally bright girl with a sympathetic heart. She’s in the top 4% of her class. She’s obsessed with getting into Manhattan School of Music, committed to following the “signs” the universe delivers, and infatuated with her recently deceased best friend’s boyfriend.
Life is a little strange for Odd.
Until she finds her best friend’s diary in her crush’s car, and decides to do the bucket list tucked inside the pages. As Odd seeks closure and a way to honor her friend, she discovers there’s nothing wrong with being a little strange, especially if it helps you discover who you were meant to be. Along the way, Odd falls into trouble, adventure, and finally love.”
There have been very few books that have actually affected me to the point of almost crying. “The Odyssey Of Falling” by Paige Crutcher is one of those rare books. The story of how this group of friends deal with the death of one of their own brought me right back to my senior year, when my friend Max committed suicide.
Through the journey of Audrey “Odd” Ashworth, “The Odyssey Of Falling” tells the tale of a young woman who feels responsible for the death of her best friend, Meredith. She finds signs in everything and is incapable of moving on. Finding Meredith’s journal in her crush’s car, she decides to complete the bucket list found inside, which essentially “ruins” her life.
It’s been a long time since I read a coming-of-age story, let alone one so beautiful. The relationships between Chase and Audrey/Bandit and Audrey were complex, yet you knew how each character felt. The male characters weren’t throw away characters. They each had very distinctive and unique voices. This wasn’t a typical romance story. Not even close. This was a story of self discovery that ended with love at the very very end.
Audrey transforms from a shy bookworm into her own brave version of who she thought Meredith was, eventually completely becoming her own person at the end. Even though the bucket list was risky, she believed she was honoring Meredith. Audrey let it become who she was, but at the end she let it help her move on.
A lot of coming-of-age stories hang their hats on finding love, but “The Odyssey Of Falling” just let it happen naturally. Nothing felt forced and there was no cliche instant-love. Audrey isn’t even sure of her feelings for most of the book. She doesn’t feel like anyone would want her, which is okay with her. It’s very refreshing.
Friendship is such a key element to the story. The development and evolution of her friendships felt so genuine, even while working through the list causes mayhem in her life. Her friends reacted exactly how you would expect your own friends to respond if you were doing the same thing.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was a fantastic debut and I look forward to reading more from Crutcher. Let’s just say that Sarah Dessen has met her match, and that’s a very high mark to hit.