Oona Out of Order – 4 Star Review

“All good things end, always. The trick is to enjoy them while they last.”

Oona out of Order by Margarita Montimore

Oona Out of Order had been patiently waiting for it’s moment to shine in my Kindle Library and thanks to a bookish game called Book Spin on Litsy, it was determined that December was the time to pick it up. It turned out to be quite the seasonally appropriate read, too!

We open the book on New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona is about to turn 19 and  is having a big party with her friends to celebrate. At the stroke of midnight, Oona feels a strange sensation overcome her and when she opens her eyes she finds herself not 19, but 51. The rest of the book follows Oona as she navigates her life completely out of order. Every year at the stroke of midnight she wakes up in a different year of her life and she must piece together what she can of her past and the previous year through notes her “past self” wrote to her, or through the help of her Mom who knows about Oona’s leaping. What was she not still with the love of her life? What is happening?

This book has a “Groundhog’s Day” feel to it and a healthy dose of magical realism for Oona. Oona is challenged with maintaining relationships, both romantic and familial, having no prior knowledge of the specifics of the previous year when she makes these leaps. How would you react to “waking up” and being face to face with someone you’ve started dating or married the previous year but have never seen or met before in your “leaping years”? Oona sometimes acquires enough knowledge that she tries to change the outcome of a situation that happens later in life if she leaps to a previous year, but as a lot of us believe: Fate always finds a way. Oona must navigate loneliness, grief and both good and bad surprises in her rearranged life. Without giving spoilers, I really enjoyed this book and I felt the feelings Oona had were pretty authentic, despite a very “magical” situation. The overarching message to this novel is to enjoy life as it comes, because time is not promised.

This was not a 5 star from me because simply put, nothing absolutely blew me away in the story. Things pan out about as you would expect but there is a very nice sentiment to the story. The displaced time line took me a little bit to understand in terms of logistics of how her Mom and her assistant, Kenzie, knew what was going on, but I came around once I got out of my own logically thinking brain. It was a fun contemporary read that kept me engaged and also pulled on my heartstrings a bit. Oona Out of Order definitely comes as a recommended book from me!

-Review by Kelly

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