I received a copy of Out of Nowhere by Rebecca Phillips to read for this review. All opinions are my own.
The best part of my vacation a few weeks ago was sitting on my deck reading Out of Nowhere by Rebecca Phillips. If you’ve followed my book reviews in the past, you know that I’m usually talking about urban fantasy or paranormal YA books. Out of Nowhere was a very nice change of pace! You won’t find sparkling vampires or ancient curses in Rebecca’s Contemporary YA novel! What will you will find, however, are characters that you’ll want to hang out with on a Saturday afternoon and a gorgeous storyline that stays with you after you read the last page.
About Out of Nowhere
At eleven years old, Riley Tate witnessed the sudden death of her father. Now, at sixteen, she still can’t bring herself to step on “the spot”—the section of kitchen floor on which her father landed after collapsing from a brain aneurysm. For Riley, a borderline hypochondriac with anxiety issues, moving on seems impossible, taking risks is out of the question, and even the simplest things feel loaded with danger.
When she meets Cole Boyer in an ER waiting room, Riley realizes immediately that he’s far from the safe, predictable boy she usually goes for. A fearless daredevil with mysterious scars and a thirst for all things dangerous, Cole is like an accident waiting to happen. Still, despite their differences, they forge an unlikely friendship that eventually blossoms into something more.
Dating someone who’s so casual about death has its challenges, but as Riley soon learns, not everyone can be—or needs to be—saved.
My thoughts on Out of Nowhere
You know how some stories just hook you from the first page? You know after one sentence that you’re going to be up late reading! That’s how I felt about Out of Nowhere. Riley is so neurotic yet lovable. Yes, she’s a hypochondriac, but she actually has it pretty well under control. Well, except for when she’s diagnosing her friends! She’s a “good” girl. She studies hard and gets good grades. She listens to her mom for the most part. She treats her friends with respect and works hard at the local coffee shop.
Cole is the complete opposite in many ways. He’s a hard-worker, yes, but he’s also a risk-taker. They meet in an ER, and he’s NOT there for a simple rash like Riley! While Riley usually goes for the clean-cut boys, Cole’s charm wins her over. As the book blurb for Out of Nowhere implies, there is a romantic aspect to this story. It’s not the backbone of the book, though. Riley’s journey from anxious hypochondriac to acceptance is the highlight. There are some heart-wrenching moments that actually made me cry, but it’s far from depressing.
See, aside from her new-found love, Riley is dealing with quite a few changes in her life. She helps raise her little brother, who came as quite a surprise to both Riley and her mom! She’s trying to learn to accept her mom’s boyfriend and her changing role in the family dynamic. Through all that, she’s also trying very hard to get past the death of her father five years earlier. That’s not an easy feat since she was the one who found him on their kitchen floor.
Rebecca writes teen characters flawlessly. She clearly remembers what it was like to actually be a teen, something that many YA writers have forgotten it seems. Riley, Cole and the other teen characters are exactly what you would expect from real-world teens. They are the right balance of sweet, silly, petulant, angst-ridden and intelligent. They have flaws but they also have enormous strengths.
I, of course, completely related to Riley because I’m a neurotic anxiety-ridden person too! I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a heartfelt tale that doesn’t come with bad guys behind every door. I would say that the protagonist in Out of Nowhere is Riley’s mind more than anything else.
About Rebecca Phillips
Rebecca Phillips has been a fan of contemporary young adult fiction ever since she first discovered Judy Blume at the age of twelve. After a brief stint of writing bad poetry as a teenager, she finally found her niche with realistic, coming-of-age YA. She didn’t start getting serious about being a real author, however, until she was in her early thirties.
After several years of writing, rewriting, revision, submission, rejection, and a lot of frustration, she entered her third novel, OUT OF NOWHERE, in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. She made it all the way to the Top 3 in the Young Adult category. She’s also the author of a contemporary young adult two-book series, JUST YOU and SOMEONE ELSE.
Rebecca lives just outside the beautiful city of Halifax, Nova Scotia with her husband, two children, and one crazy kitty. She absolutely loves living so close to the ocean. When she’s not tapping away on her trusty Toshiba laptop, she can be found vacuuming up cat hair, spending time with her family, watching reality TV, reading all different genres of books, or strolling around the bookstore with a vanilla latte in her hand.
Connect with Rebecca
Amazon page http://www.amazon.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.