No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn was not at all what I expected when I started out. It ended up being so much better.
I truly never thought I would read and enjoy a story inspired by Justin Bieber and his mother. Admittedly, No Ordinary Life is in no way the story of Bieber or any other young celebrity, but the book certainly has some parallels to the pop music superstar.
This particular fiction book tells the story of Molly, a four-year-old who becomes an instant sensation overnight after a video of her dancing goes viral on YouTube. Before Molly’s mother, Faye, even knows what’s happening, Molly is being recruited for a Gap commercial and is even being asked to audition for one of the most popular shows on television.
Financially, the developments couldn’t come at a better time for Molly’s family, as Faye has recently separated from her husband and is now living with her three children in her mother’s condo. Molly is the youngest of three children, and while Faye is doing the best she can, she admittedly struggles from time to time. Or more like all the time.
Truthfully, Faye is a difficult character to like. As a mother, it’s easy to sit back and judge this fictional character’s decisions which, at times, appear to be downright ridiculous. With that being said, I think there is a lot that mothers in general can learn from Faye, who is simply doing the best she can in an unfamiliar and desperate situation, and in the end, that’s what all parents are doing. No one has all the answers to this confusing job of raising children, and in that regard, I can understand where Faye is coming from and why she makes some of her decisions. I don’t always like her, but I get her. In some ways, she’s me and I am her. We all are.
As the story progresses, Faye realizes that she’s out of her league in so, so many situations. She doesn’t know how to navigate the cutthroat ways of Hollywood, and she truly is not motivated by fame. She has always been a passive observer in her life, which frankly, doesn’t cut it in the ambitious world of Los Angeles. As Molly continues to become more popular and things begin to snowball, Faye finds herself and her family in a world of trouble.
In her author’s note at the end of the story, Suzanne Redfearn writes that her book “is not meant to be a statement on the entertainment industry or a generalization about young actors. It is fiction, designed to be dramatic and fraught with trials and tribulations. So though this story was inspired in part by real stories, it is not real.”
Nevertheless, Redfearn has written a story with a convincing story line, a compelling setting, and larger-than-life characters. The story may not be real, but in some situations, it’s more than believable.
No Ordinary Life was released today, Feb. 2. I was provided with an advance review copy of this brand new book.