Year of Mistaken Discoveries, by Eileen Cook | Book Review #240

Book Review

18051087As first graders, Avery and Nora bonded over a special trait they shared: they were both adopted.

Years later, Avery is smart, popular, and on the cheerleading squad, while Nora spends her time on the fringes of school society, wearing black, reading esoteric poetry, and listening to obscure music. They never interact…until the night Nora approaches Avery at a party, saying it’s urgent. She tells Avery that she thought she found her birth mom, but it turned out to be a cruel lie. Avery feels for Nora, but returns to her friends at the party.

Then Avery learns that Nora overdosed on pills. Left to cope with Nora’s loss and questioning her own actions, Avery decides to honor her friend by launching a search for her own birth mother. Aided by Brody, a friend of Nora’s who is also looking for a way to respect Nora’s legacy, Avery embarks on an emotional quest. But what she’s really seeking might go far deeper than just genetics.


Trigger Warning: Overdose leading to Suicide

Year of Mistaken Discoveries is a Young Adult Contemporary with Realistic Fiction, and Romance.

One of two predictions that I had made didn’t come true. Which is both a blessing and a curse since that means I’m only half right about The Year of Mistaken Discoveries. I thought that this book would have some not-so-great-things, because of the last Eileen Cook novel that I read was a little….off as in taboo. I’m so freaking glad though, that the said prediction I made, didn’t come true at all.

I appreciate that the story got to Nora’s suicide pretty quickly into the novel. Which just meant that we could get on to the rest of the book, and why The Year of Mistaken Discoveries is actually called The Year of Mistaken Discoveries.

I also appreciated that Nora’s funeral wasn’t sugar-coated like I thought it might have been. I liked how realistic the funeral was and how Avery acted, and especially how people who didn’t even know Nora responded to Nora’s death. A lot of people are like that — that they pretend to have actually cared for the deceased when in actuality, they didn’t give the time of day to the person when they were alive.

It was very clear to me that Avery was getting obsessed with finding her birth mom. She has such high hopes, and then everything she had hoped for crumbled into a million little pieces. I gotta admit that I felt really sorry for Avery. Here was this image that Avery herself constructed, and then her life just happened to her. It just proves that even though this story is fictional, we can’t all have what we want or imagined something to turn out exactly how we imagined it.

In the end, I’m happy that Avery did what she did. I’m being vague here so I don’t end up spoiling anything for those of you who will one day read the book. I’m glad that Avery saw the bigger picture of everything and decided to fix what she could. I feel like a proud mom.

I ended up giving Year of Mistaken Discoveries, 2 of 5 stars on Goodreads. While there were some parts that I thought were cute or interesting, the rest of the book was just….there.

Have you read Year of Mistaken Discoveries? What’d you think of it? And have you ever read a book where you’ve enjoyed parts and pieces but the rest of the story just fell flat?
Let me know!

Happy Reading!
Adele

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