Out of Order

Young Adult - Mystery
180 Pages
Reviewed on 12/21/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite

Out of Order is the first book in The Survivor’s Club series written by Casey Lawrence. School Valedictorian Corinna (Corey) Nguyen’s sobs drown out her speech in the crowded auditorium. It had been just three days since she’d shared a wonderful evening at the prom with her three best friends, Ricky, Jessa and Kate. When the prom had ended, the group of friends had taken their party to Sparky’s Diner nearby. After Corey had gone to the bathroom, a man with a shotgun had entered the diner, killing Corey’s friends and the wait staff in cold blood. Corey had been the only survivor; quick thinking had her hidden in an unattainable toilet cubicle with a sign on the door, saying it is out of order. The night of the shooting replays in Corey’s mind endlessly, as do flashbacks of happier times. Boyfriend troubles, pregnancy scares, sleepovers, sexual and drug experimentation fill her thoughts, trying to drown out the paramedics, doctors, nurses and police. She had seen the killer’s face. She knows that face, but every time she tries to place it, she draws a blank. The fourth of July fireworks trigger horrific memories of the gunshots. So much blood. Her best friends are dead and she is the only one who can be their voice ... if only she can remember the killer’s name.

This incredible tale of friendship, tragedy and sorrow had me in tears. Casey Lawrence’s story of a young girl who blames herself for the death of her closest friends, scrutinizing what she could have done to prevent it, is written with so much realism. From the moment of the shooting, I found myself looking for any clue possible in order to discover who could have done something so horrific. The memories which Corey keeps retreating into – all of the good times (and some bad) which bonded the four girls together so strongly over the years – are not unlike those of a typical teenage girl, and they give her the strength she needs to go on, determined to remember where she had seen the killer’s face before so that she might find some closure.

Well written, descriptive and aptly titled, Out of Order not only refers to how Corey managed to survive, but also to Corey's scrambled mind, following the incomprehensible events of that night. I plan on adding Out of Order to my personal library at home, as I will be reading it again in the future. I recommend it to readers who enjoy hard-hitting action, drama and tragedy, entangled with true friendship and love, while leaving you on the edge of your seat, determined to see it all through to the end.