The Chaos of Standing Still (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This book is beautiful. It combines grief and love ins such a real way that it feels like you are experiencing the world along with the main character Ryn. This book will make you feel all the feels and it’s so cool that it takes place out our local Denver Airport (conspiracy theories included!). It also references Tattered Cover, so you know the book has to be good!


— Zoe J., Tattered Cover Teen Advisory Board

The Chaos of Standing Still is one of those books you didn’t know you needed to read until it was in your hands. With Jessica Brody’s amazing descriptions, intricate backstories, and loveable characters, this book is sure to be a hit. It brings you on a rollercoaster of emotions and overall makes you think about your life decisions. The book really helps bring focus to how you grief and handle the troubles that everyone experiences in life. Highly recommend.

— Veronica L., Tattered Cover Teen Advisory Board

In The Chaos of Standing Still, Ryn struggls to move on from her best friend's death -- and that one unread message from her. At the Denver International Airport, Ryn manages to bump into a cute-but-also-hiding-a-secret boy named, Xander. As Ryn tries to move on from her tragedy, she is plunged into a series of adventures, including a New Year's Eve party and thinking about what happened to her best friend. Chaos gives you a sense of comfort.

— Rachel B., Tattered Cover Teen Advisory Board

Set entirely in the Denver International Airport during a blizzard which shuts the airport down, The Chaos of Standing Still is an intricate, moving, funny, and thought-provoking story of coping with loss and allowing love to bloom. Underneath it all, conspiracy theories abound about the real-life and very weird paintings and sculptures at the airport. Brody is already well-established as a skilled writer of young adult and middle grade books, but this one is a real standout. Great for high school-age teens and many adults.

— Kristen Gilligan, Owner, Tattered Cover

The Chaos of Standing Still is a stunning portrayal of grief and loss, family and friends, and the seemingly small moments that shape our lives forever. Set in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve, the story features a loveable and diverse cast of characters. The book is a perfect balance of humor, romance, and heart-wrenching sadness. Best of all, it will make you want to explore DIA--and there’s a shout out to the Tattered Cover! The Chaos of Standing Still is one of the best books of 2017.


— Caitlin D., Tattered Cover Teen Advisory Board member


“I fell hard for this story of love, loss, friendship, and bad airport food. I loved it!” —Morgan Matson, New York Times bestselling author of The Unexpected Everything

Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this “laugh-out-loud funny, deeply stirring” (Julie Buxbaum, New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things) novel from the author of Boys of Summer.

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brilliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us—and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way.

About the Author

Jessica Brody is the author of several popular novels for teens and tweens, including The Geography of Lost Things, 52 Reasons to Hate My FatherA Week of Mondays, Better You Than Me, and the Unremembered trilogy. She lives with her husband and four dogs near Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at

Praise For…

"Brody’s novel is a smart portrayal of what remains not only in the wake of a friend’s death but in the absence of one who cast a long shadow in life. Ryn isn’t just dealing with grief but defining herself post-Lottie, and watching that evolution unfold is compelling. A frozen terminal is a unique backdrop for a teen romance, but Brody (In Some Other Life, 2017) still hits all the meet-cute beats YA romance fans expect. This swoonworthy rom-com has just as much pathos as heart." -- Molly Horan
— Booklist Online

"Absorbing from first page to last, Brody’s novel gradually unveils Ryn’s complicated history and celebrates her most profound moments of truth.
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“This will appeal to fans of Jennifer E. Smith’s books and Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything.”
— School Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9781481499194
ISBN-10: 148149919X
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 14th, 2019
Pages: 432
Language: English