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.
Audrey Ashworth, AKA Odd, is…well…odd. She’s one of the smartest in her class, and her goal is to get into the Manhattan Academy of Music. With the help of her best friend, Bandit, she’s been working on her original piece for her application. Her senior year turns on its axis when her other best friend, Meredith, dies in a freak car accident. After only a few months, she finds Meredith’s journal in her crush’s, Chase—Meredith’s boyfriend—car. Inside the lined pages is a list. Odd has always believed that the Universe randomly provides her with signs—this is her newest one. As homage to her dead best friend, she starts following the list to try and find Meredith—but will she lose herself in the process?
This book was different. This sounds strange, but it didn’t sound like a book. I felt as if I was following Odd on her journey as an invisible person in the background, not reading her story. That’s how well the book was written. Odd followed the signs that the Universe supposedly gave her to lead her to Meredith’s journal, and while some of the things that she thought legitimate were really dubious attempts at reconciliation with her guilt, her story seemed likely.
One of the major themes in Crutcher’s novel was guilt. While I’m not going to tell you why Odd felt guilty, it played a key role in why she felt the need to follow the list she found in Meredith’s journal. The list had me intrigued from the beginning, so I had to read on and find out how she would complete the list. She hung around people completely different than her, and following the list offered her an opportunity to ingrain herself into their world. Odd faced problems that many teenagers will come up against: drugs, parties, fitting in. The way she handles all the changes defined who she really was.
I loved Bandit from the beginning. I never understood why Odd had such a fascination with Chase. Bandit kept Odd upright when she threatened to topple over the edge. He had an interesting outlook on life, and an even more intriguing opinion on Odd completing the list. You’ll have to concoct your own opinions on Odd’s strange, tumultuous love life, of course, but I hope you find it as interesting as I did.
In this debut novel, Crutcher proves that sometimes you have to lose yourself in order to be found, that love might have always been there when you needed it, and that falling is the only way to know who will catch you.