Oona Lockhart has a problem. She’s a 19 year old trapped in the body of a 51 year old. But not just any 51 year old–51 year old Oona. At midnight on New Years Eve in 1982, which happens to be Oona’s 19th birthday, the world goes white. Oona wakes up as the 51 year old version of herself, with her 19 year old sensibilities. And every year thereafter, Oona leaps to a new part of her life, living her own timeline confusingly out of order.
Although Oona may wake up older or younger than her body shows, she always wakes up one year wiser. This book takes us on a delightful journey as Oona learns about herself and her relationships. She lives the end of love before falling in it. She loses herself in depression, escapes in the mid 90s club scene. This is a character study with a very fun twist.
The juxtaposition that happens when Oona lives one year of a relationship only to wake up in a completely different part of it with the next leap is what makes the character development so compelling here. This shows in many different relationships throughout the novel, including the relationship between Oona and her mother. Oona wakes up some years wondering why her mother is so cold to her. She wakes up other years wondering how her mother could be so warm, given her past behaviors. Oona doesn’t get the benefit of gradual shifts in relationships and has to navigate things despite not understanding how the dots in her life connect. It makes this character study a unique one.
If you are looking for a quick read, with little nostalgic bits from the 80s and 90s, a tiny bit of drama, and a really good time, Oona Out of Order is for you. It isn’t beautiful prose. It isn’t important literature. It is just good old fun and I adored every page.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!