Book Review: Oona Out of Order

Book Review: Oona Out of Order

Written by   (author of Obvious Conclusions)  |  Date Updated: May 25, 2020

Book Review: Oona Out of OrderWe learn a lot about ourselves from the books we read and the books we choose. In this book review of Oona Out Of Order, we’ll see what revelations await.

I put in a decent amount of time selecting the books I choose to read.

As you may have read in my other book reviews, I commit to finishing every book that I start. Once the first sentence is consumed, I’m in it regardless, much like the youthfully naive bride and groom at the altar.

You make a time commitment to a book. Thankfully, unlike a marriage, your book choice is not a lifetime commitment; it’s usually just a week or two. But still, that’s a week or two of your time that you will never get back, so you want to choose wisely.

Is Oona Out Of Order a wise choice?

For many of you, I think the answer will be yes.

Why Did I Choose To Read Oona Out Of Order?

Every couple of weeks, I take a look at the New York Times bestseller list.

Half of the authors on the list are always predictable: John Grisham, David Baldacci, James Patterson and another multitude of popular authors with their recurring main characters and Law-and-Orderish plot twists.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m a fan. A great John Grisham book is like a Cinnabon — it goes down quick, tastes great, and satisfies your instant craving.

But after reading these usuals, I like to find an unusual. This week that unusual was Oona Out Of Order.

I was inspired by this quote from the Amazon book page of Oona Out Of Order:

“A remarkably inventive novel that explores what it means to live a life fully in the moment, even if those moments are out of order.”

I’m not usually receptive to books or movies that play with the concept of time. These efforts are usually gimmicky and fail some basic “Wait, Could that have really happened?” tests. See my Inception Review: Four Bad Movies For the Price of One!!! to understand my distaste for this general approach.

But Oona Out Of Order promised something different. It wasn’t time travel; it was time, well, out of order.

And Oona’s time mirrored my own: teen in the 80’s, then off to college, considering trips abroad, jumping up to her 50’s in the present world…Oona’s going to be experiencing what I experienced but in a different order.

So I was all-in on Oona Out Of Order!

A Summary of Oona Out Of Order

I don’t want to give too much detail on Oona Out Of Order as it may eliminate the pleasurable element of surprise that a book like this offers.

But essentially, Oona’s birthday takes place at the onset of every new year. And beginning with her 19th birthday in 1982, she comes to in the new year at a different age externally but stays the same age internally.

As a reader, we experience Oona’s first jump from the year 1982 to the year 2015, where she’s 51 externally, including her physical appearance, but she’s 19 internally.

This is Oona’s first year of living out of order and every subsequent year presents a new year externally, but internally she’s living consecutively. For example, in the second jump, she comes to in 1991 at the external age of 27 but the internal age of 20.

When you write it down, it all seems very confusing but the author of Oona Out of Order, Margarita Montimore, really makes it work.

Oona Out of Order Review: Conclusion

As someone naturally predisposed to dislike books that manipulate time, I was refreshingly surprised by the approach taken in Oona Out Of Order.

This book is unique, insightful and a needed detour on your book journey.

Richard Cummings
Richard Cummings

As someone naturally predisposed to dislike books that manipulate time, I was refreshingly surprised by the approach taken in Oona Out Of Order. This book is unique, insightful and a needed detour on your book journey.

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Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings is a writer, traveler, and web content developer.

Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.
Richard Cummings
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Richard CummingsBook Review: Oona Out of Order

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