Read The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous by Suzanne Crowley Online


Merilee leads a Very Ordered Existence. V.O.E., for short. Her schedule (which must not be altered) includes, among other entries: School (horrendous) Litter patrol (30 minutes daily) Lunch (PB&J and a pickle) Bottle return (Friday only at the Piggly Wiggly) Dame Fiona's meditation show (Saturday only, 6:00 AM) The V.O.E. is all about precision. Merilee does not Merilee leads a Very Ordered Existence. V.O.E., for short. Her schedule (which must not be altered) includes, among other entries: School (horrendous) Litter patrol (30 minutes daily) Lunch (PB&J and a pickle) Bottle return (Friday only at the Piggly Wiggly) Dame Fiona's meditation show (Saturday only, 6:00 AM) The V.O.E. is all about precision. Merilee does not have time for Biswick O'Connor. Merilee does not have time for Miss Veraleen Holliday. He with his annoying factoids and runny nose. She with her shining white shoes as big as sailboats. Both of them strangers who, like the hot desert wind that brings only bad news, blow into town and change everything. ...

Title : The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061231971
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous Reviews

  • Lia
    2019-04-27 19:39

    For a first novel, this book shows promise. The writing is good. Crowley has a firm grip on her language, which is the saving grace of the book. However, I had a lot of issues with this book. First, the cover has nothing to do with the book. The main character is a girl with some level of Autism, probably AS, who wears the same clothes every day, and they aren't the cute-and-trendy clothes of the barefoot girl on the cover. Second, there aren't any normal people in the book. It kind of seems to say that small towns are full of horrible people, some of whom might have really good hearts, but most of whom are not only close-minded, but irresponsible with their own lives and the impact they have on others. Every character in this story seems to have a lot of "something" that plays into the book in some way . . . and it just ends up being too much tangled spaghetti. I could go with a third and a fourth, but only if someone actually wants to hear it . . .

  • Ruth
    2019-05-01 03:45

    Absolutely loved this book. The family of Merilee Monroe of small town Texas is a delight and she is a child I just want to hug, although I'm not sure she'd like her personal space invaded! Knowledge of Asperger's is clearly evident in Crowley's writing, making this a must read for every parent raising a child who requires the kind of boundries on his/her life that Merilee does to feel confident. As Merilee says, "There's a thin line between genius and bottom-barrel stupidness. I hover delicately on a tightrope between the two, wondering where I'll land if I ever fall." No one tells her clearly what the doc's diagnosis was, if they understood it themselves, but Merilee hears tidbits and considers herself someone with some sort of "qualitative umbrella asparagus problem." I laughed and cried as I read this section of the book. Poor baby - a genius with words with lacking in social skills and no idea how beautifully unique she is. One of my all time favorite MS novels.

  • Krithika
    2019-04-25 20:22

    Wow!Merilee Monroe is a 13-year-old, autistic girl who lives in a small town called Jumbo in Texas. It is nestled against the chitalpi mountains that protect the land and soar up to the sky. Merilee believes life is one big dream-squasher and believes she has only brought pain to everyone. After all, she was crying nonstop for a year after her birth. Merilee lives by her V.O.E. (very ordered existence) , which includes activities of litter patroling, lunch ( always a peanut butter jelly sandich with a pickle), and watching Fiona's meditation breaths on Fridays. In a small town secrets spread, and Merilee is an acting secret keeper for all the gossip that can be shared while handing out purple tootsie rolls. When she meets a boy named Biswick and an old nurse from her past, who lived up in the panhandle, named Veraleen, things start to go awry. By uncovering more secrets from the past, Merilee's views (and life) are changed forever. In this powerful book with connecting themes of friendship & family, there is proof that love pulls through, and in times of turmoil who we have with us shapes our views for years to come. For ages 12-14. There are many parts that may be heavier for some kids. Loved it and such a riveting page-turner!

  • Coralie
    2019-04-29 22:43

    I have mixed feelings about this book. It took me a while to get into it, but by the end of the book I was reading quickly to find out how it ends. Unfortunately, it ended exactly the way I thought it would.Merilee is a girl with Asbergher's syndrome. She is very addicted to her routine, and gets along okay at school and at home, with some rough spots. Her family is also odd, although they did the best they could with what they had. Many families have their share of odd family members they have to deal with, although this family did seem loaded with them.While Merilee is happily living her very ordered existence, her routine is interrupted when her family hires a new cook/housekeeper, and a new boy moves into town. These arrivals set off a series of events that involve Merilee's family and town, and life will never be the same again.Suzanne Crowley certainly knows how to portray a young teen with Asbergher's. I loved how she portrayed Merilee's mother, as well. The mother wasn't perfect, but she dealt with having a really difficult mother-in-law and a difficult daughter with humor and grace.For me, the biggest problems with the book were the inclusion of some stereotypes that seemed random and unnecessary to the story. Biswick has fetal alcohol syndrome, and he is an American Indian. There is no reason to have him be an American Indian. This has no place in the story, and you get the feeling Crowley needed to include it to "explain" his fetal alcohol syndrome. Similarly, at the end of the book, Merilee's grandmother explains that she comes from the hills of West Virginia, and there are a lot of "odd" people in their family because of the limited gene pool (my words, not hers) in West Virginia. Again, there was no reason to add this in terms of the storyline. I just felt like Crowley included this as an "explanation" for the oddness of both Merilee and Uncle Dal. I felt that the genetic/regional explanation for the children's differences was a little offensive.

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2019-04-30 21:42

    Reviewed by Marta Morrison for TeensReadToo.comWhen I started reading this little gem of a book, I thought that it would be a fast read. I was mistaken. It took me awhile to read it because of the thought that had to be applied to comprehend the wonderful story. I selected this book to review because being a teacher, I have had the pleasure of having some autistic students in my class. I teach 10-12 year olds and I wanted to see some insight into the minds of my students. This gave me a lot to chew on.Merilee is being raised in a small town in West Texas. She lives with her mother, father, sister, and a very mean ole grandma. She has a very ordered existence where she does everything on a time schedule. If her schedule is messed up, she gets nervous.Into this existence comes two new characters, Veraleen and Biswick. Veraleen is a big woman with a very big heart, and Biswick is an 8-year-old boy who has been affected by fetal alcohol syndrome. The two of them help Merilee discover who she really is.The characters in this kind of slow-paced book are bigger than life. The town of Jumbo is made up a lot of strange people. Merilee is very smart but can't say what she wants to say. Everything gets locked up inside her mind. But she is very caring about the people she does care about. She gets picked on in school, which was the hardest thing to read about since I am a school teacher, and she gets verbal abuse from her grandmother, which is finally explained in the last chapters of the book.THE VERY ORDERED EXISTENCE OF MERILEE MARVELOUS is magical, and I am the better for reading this marvelous story.

  • Emory
    2019-05-22 21:38

    Merilee is a girl who is scared to experience change. She likes a schedule and never wants to change it. When a stranger, his father, and whole lot of trouble come into her small town, Merilee is forced to change in order to help herself, and her friend. I liked the characters in this book a lot. I could empathize with Merilee and her friends, and I understood what they were feeling. The only problem with them was that sometimes I would get very angry with the characters, when they made terrible choices that I felt I wouldn't make. I guess this just shows how much I got into the book.I thought the setting was very good for the story. Merilee lives in a small town, where everyone knows each other. This, I think, affected Merilee's character because if she lived in a big city she might take more chances. As it is, the gaining of two friends changes Merilee. This book is interesting and suspenseful and I got a little bit teary once in a while. The story is related to real life, and it tells about a real-seeming girl. It was a moving, exciting book and I would recommend it to anyone, boy and girls of all ages who want to think hard about what they read, or just want a great book. The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous is a beautiful book, and a definite must-read.

  • babyhippoface
    2019-04-28 19:33

    Ummm... what to say.... This book felt like a 376-page version of The Higher Power of Lucky, which I wasn't thrilled about, either. People in town kept calling Biswick retarded, but I didn't think that ever came across in the way he spoke or behaved. He was just...well, a weird little kid.The same for Merilee. Asperger's? I don't know anything about Asperger's but she certainly deviated from her "very ordered existence" a lot without too much complaint. Her compulsions didn't seem like compulsions to me, just habits that she didn't like to break. Plus--that girl on the cover? Definitely NOT Merilee. Everything about that girl--her clothing, her body language, her freshly-brushed hair, her anklet and bracelets, everything--exudes confidence. That girl is popular, I guarantee. And that girl is definitely not Merilee.There was just a lot of sadness in this book. Sad things happened, people were sad... it was just sad. And I don't need any more sad in my life, so... 2 stars.

  • Bailey
    2019-04-30 23:43

    I have mixed feelings on this book. It's one I read to my mom years ago and have reread several times since, so on the one hand I have a bit of nostalgia for it. There are even parts of it that mom and I got a good laugh from. On the other hand, I'm not really that fond of the characters... in fact, they give me an almost sick, nervous feeling reading about them (though I think that's because they kind of bring up bad memories for me personally). And the plot doesn't feel like it really goes anywhere. Not a whole lot is changed by the end. I think the point of this book is to talk about how broken people need love and forgiveness or something like that, but it feels like it's just trying to pull me down and I don't like that sort of thing very much. Maybe to some people this book would be thought-provoking or touching, but it's not really my favorite.

  • Susan
    2019-04-27 22:19

    Wow! Not only does this book fill a gap that has been in existence for a long time, but it's just darned good, too! Suzanne Crowley takes readers into the head of Merilee and allows the us to participate in life as she sees it. Small-town West Texas almost becomes a character in the book in its own right. I have shared this book with our counseling department, with teachers, and with librarians. It has merit for people of all ages.

  • Judy
    2019-05-04 22:27

    The main characters in the book all have big secrets and Merilee is a keeper of secrets in her ordered life. Her VOE and Bis's interruption of her VOE helps her learn important things about herself and to sometimes break into the barriers she has placed around herself. FF's as Merilee calls them can help anyone.

  • Sruthi
    2019-05-23 01:42

    Beautiful book with a view into an innocent heart.A really moving book about a number of misunderstood people who do things their own way.Really loved Biswick ,Uncle Dal and the rest of the larger than life characters of this novel.This book really gave me food for thought.Three cheers for Suzanne Crowley!!Waiting for more as always.......More on my blog:

  • Valerie
    2019-05-11 02:19

    I really enjoyed this look into how this 13 year old girl functions in her small town. Her very ordered existence (VOE) is thrown into disarray, but she discovers some things about herself in the process. This is a very great book for anyone interested in how people with Asperger's might view the world.

  • Brandi
    2019-05-06 03:19

    As a teacher, this book gave me more insight into some of my students with autism. While autism is a spectrum, and not all children are like Merilee, it still helped me get inside their heads for a little while and see the world from their eyes. It is very well-written. I highly recommend it.

  • Olivia
    2019-05-08 02:27

    This book is unique and ultimately fulfilling. It demonstrates beautifully the effect that other people can have on our character and our lives. Merilee's transformation from the beginning of the book to the end, her journey learning to love and to believe, is breathtaking.

  • Jerianna
    2019-04-28 02:48

    This was a very sweet book, and I like that the main character was autistic. It was very well done. I just wrote a review like this under poor Liz's sign-in. Disregard hers, it was me.

  • Janna Thorsen
    2019-04-29 19:27

    I loved this book. The characters and sub characters are very well developed and the story is captivating. I think this would make a great movie.

  • Maybaby
    2019-05-13 01:26

    Quality story, quality writing with enough sophistication to engage adult readers.

  • Jane
    2019-05-23 19:33

    I like YA fiction, but I don't usually like to read about Autism Spectrum, feels too much like work. I enjoyed this. It's set in my beloved West Texas.

  • Wendy Robinson
    2019-05-08 03:34

    Tender, quirky and bittersweet story told from perspective of a brilliant girl with Aspergers. touching. Elements of magic woven in.

  • Julia
    2019-05-14 20:24

    A really touching book. "Taped on the wall was a hand-drawn picture- a stick figure with a bow on the head holding a litterbag."~Page 229-230This part really touched my heart!

  • Kathy
    2019-05-17 02:43

    Aspergers book. Very well done. Small town setting is captured very well. Lots of problem topics and the book drags in spots but worth the read for the great characters.

  • Jessica
    2019-05-15 21:18

    This book was pretty good to me. It explains the problems in Merilee's life, while also bringing in new adventures and friends that she has made. I suggest you read this book if you have not already.

  • Autumn Cook
    2019-05-26 23:39

    This was a very good book I would definitely read it again

  • Joan Anderson
    2019-04-29 03:42

    In the small town of Jumbo, Texas, 13-year-old Merilee, who has Asperger's Syndrome, tries to live a "Very Ordered Existence," but disruptions begin when a boy and his father arrive in town and the youngster makes himself a part of the family.

  • Kyler aka KFW aka Sperry Jerry Wulff
    2019-05-10 19:28

    Personally, when I read Crowley’s The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous, it mesmerized me with its intriguing aspects of Merilee’s personality. Do you people know anyone who is like thirteen-year old Merilee Monroe? “There’s a thin line between genius and bottom-barrel stupidness. I hover delicately on a tightrope between the two, wondering where I’ll land if I ever fall.” That is how Merilee describes herself. Merilee has no friends, but during the first chapter of the story, she meets a boy named Biswick O’Connor who is somewhat the same as her, but whom she can’t really be friends with, because of her Very Ordered Existence, or VOE. Biswick wants to be friends with Merilee, much to her chagrin (she does not want to show it in such a mean way). It is important to note that the story is assumed to be set in today’s world, in the town of Jumbo, Texas. According to Merilee, despite the way the town is called “Jumbo”, it is a very small town. I can relate to that setting because despite the way there is quite much to do in my area, it is not as big, as we are in the western suburbs of Chicago. However, if I close my eyes and try to picture the setting, I imagine a somewhat rural town. Another thing about the setting is that the town is so small; many poets come over there so they can find inspiration for their writing. One such thing had happened when Biswick had come over to Merilee’s grandma’s house and his father had come to pick him up. Apparently, Mr. O’Connor is a poet himself. Eventually, Merilee and Biswick find him asleep in the local cemetery, next to a bunch of empty bottles of liquor (implying that he is writing his poetry there). Later on, he is arrested for dozing off in the cemetery.Furthermore, one theme of the book is probably friendship. When Merilee first meets Biswick at the beginning of the story, she discovers that he collects PEZ dispensers, just like she does. As well as that, he is constantly carrying a big Cheeto along with him. Just like Merilee, Biswick has no friends; all he has are his Cheeto and Merilee. Merilee still thinks that Biswick is weird, since he is assumed to be not too far away from Merilee’s age, but he has the intellectuality of a young child. As Biswick has more things that he and Merilee share in common, Merilee eventually comes to love him. Later on, as Mr. O’Connor is arrested, Biswick moves in with Merilee and her family, and he eventually becomes a part of Merilee.The author’s style is using unique dialect. That is because the setting takes place down in Texas. Merilee is the narrator, and the author’s style shows that she speaks with a southern accent. That tells the reader that the story takes place in the South. I can somewhat imagine her speaking, because I know what southern accents are like. But that is still kind of hard for me, since I have to imagine her speaking word for word, every page of the book. Then again, that is what makes the story very interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone who has some very complex interests. That way, they can most likely relate to Merilee in the story. I would rate the book four out of five stars. Overall, it was a very interesting book.

  • Rachel
    2019-05-10 19:45

    This book was not good, I'm sorry, but it wasn't. I really never understood what story the author was trying to tell. The story is told from Merilee's point of view, but it's not really her story. It's Biswick's story, and Veraleen's story, and Gideon's story, and Jack's story, and just about everyone else's story. The blurb tells us that the books will be about two people in particular coming to town and disrupting Merilee's life. The problem with this is that one of those people appears in the very first chapter so you never really get a chance to see what Merilee is like before these people appear. And even Merilee always says that she doesn't like the fact that they've disrupted her life, you never really see her reacting to the disruption.The author tries to introduce too many characters. She tries to introduce you to every citizen of Jumbo and their relationship with everyone else. This causes the book to get confusing after a while as you try to keep straight who's father left who and who hates who, etc. I found the book very depressing for a kid's book. It seemed that just when one thing worked itself out, something else happens. Biswick's father is an alcoholic, there's a suicide, stories of mother's killing infants, child neglect and abuse, Grandma - the Baptist - is verbally abusive and always negative, and for some reason it's normal in Jumbo for people to see visions of dead loved ones...People treat Merilee and Biswick like crap. Merilee's teacher verbally harasses her in front of her peers and allows other children to pick on her while turning a blind eye. Adults tell them they're idiots, family members tell them they wished they weren't born and the parents - the two adults who genuinely care about the kids - never correct them. What kind of parents allow adults to talk to their children this way? No one is repentant of how they treat them and it's never said that these people are wrong in how they treat the kids. The grandmother is easily the worst in the entire book, making sure Merilee knows at all times that Bug is her favorite and that Merilee is cursed.And this curse... what exactly is "wrong" with Merilee? It's explained why Biswick is different, but never explicitly explained why Merilee is "different." So instead of being able to empathize with her, I found myself annoyed with her because I couldn't get a grasp of why she was acting as she did. Half of the book she acted like a normal though rude kid, the other half it seemed as though there might be a developmental disability. But it's never confirmed what it is or if there is any such disability. I hate to say that I couldn't find anything I liked about this book, but I didn't. There was quite a bit of language, and although there are hints that Merilee (the professed Atheist) might learn finally to believe in something, but no, the book ends with her being as negative as she began in the book. In fact I saw very little growth in her at all. The book was simply too long and tried to tell too many stories at one time. If you liked it, I'm glad. But I'm sorry, I just couldn't find anything to like about this book.

  • Rachael
    2019-05-11 03:25

    The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous by Suzanne CrowleyMerilee Monroe leads a Very Ordered Existence (V.O.E. for short). She’s pretty much got everything in her semi-boring life in Jumbo, Texas all planned out, practically to the minute. For Merilee, there is no room for messing around, because that would only ruin her precise schedule. But what Merilee doesn’t realize is that while she can try to control her life as best as she can, she can’t stop others from intruding, namely little Biswick and big Veraleen. With these two newcomers to Jumbo, Merilee’s V.O.E. has just about vanished. But although Merilee is upset about losing all the order in her life, it’s through interacting with these two new friends that Merilee learns to love and be loved.I have mixed feelings over The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous. On the positive side, the story was cute and had a nice ending; on the other, much of the middle was lacking. It was hard for me to get into this story because, frankly, it was rather boring. There were times that I sympathized with some cruel treatment of Merilee, but then later I would forget because of the lackluster plot. One issue I had with Merilee was that I could never figure out how old she was; she was so precocious yet sometimes she seemed so immature, creating a unique but strange main character. Plus, Merilee’s love for her V.O.E. seemed like a compulsion, bordering on a disorder, which would make it seem like she is one of those left-brained thinkers, but then Merilee also had an imagination when she liked to draw dragons. It was all a bit confusing, and I have to say that I preferred many of the minor characters, such as Biswick, to Merilee. There was a multitude of subplots, which sometimes kept the plot mildly interesting, but didn’t help the story in the end because most of them were just left off in the middle of the story. The one possibly redeeming part of the story may have been Merilee’s journey as she learned her place in the world, but unfortunately, this lesson came at the very end of a mediocre story. In all, I would not recommend The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous except to very patient readers, or readers who love wacky minor characters.reposted from

  • Kathy Lane
    2019-05-03 20:23

    Merilee collects secrets. She learns them through observation and giving people purple Tootise Pops. She doesn't share the secrets. Even when it might help.Merilee reminds me of Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Her family and friends have some pretty big issues in their lives. I couldn't quite figure out her dad who seemed absent even when he was in the room, but Uncle Dal and Grandma Birdy play key roles in her life with their own pasts and struggles.The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous is not a light read, although it has some humorous moments. I struggled in the first third of the book to relate to Merilee, but by the last third I was pulled along by the story and wanted to know how it ended. Merilee observes people keenly, and sometimes hesitates to practice her keen insight in action or words.I conflicted about this one. Sometimes Merilee's rhythm doesn't seem consistent with her VOE, but that can also move the story along. The vibrant and eccentric characters in Jumbo, TX add texture as well as noise.I think I've given YAYs to lesser books (although I didn't know it at the time). I am going with a MAYBE for the top 20. (kdl)

  • Mary
    2019-05-12 01:30

    This is one of those books that I feel was written for the Newbery Award committee. Pretty much doom and gloom all the way. I will say that it was well written, and I really felt a connection with the characters, but almost everything that happened was so darn sad! Merilee is a high functioning autistic girl living in a very small town in Texas. As long as she can follow her VOE (very ordered existence), she's OK, but when Biswick O'Connor (a young boy with fetal alcohol syndrome) and his alcoholic poet father move into town, her VOE is greatly disrupted. There is a sense that the small changes that happen to Merilee as the story progresses might lead to good things in the future; however, very few of those good things appear during the book. The story is probably very realistic, but as the audience for this book is children, it would have been nice if the author had included some overtly nice events. I'll have a hard time recommending this to all but the most mature readers.

  • Jenni Frencham
    2019-05-16 01:21

    This story is told from the point of view of the protagonist, a preteen with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has a "very ordered existence," and has scheduled out exactly what she will do each day. This way of living has worked well for her, until Biswick moves into town. Biswick, a young boy with problems of his own, is determined to be Merilee's friend. His appearance in her life disrupts her "very ordered existence," and she has to choose whether to go back to the safety of her schedule or to choose to really live."You've set up a nice little existence for yourself here, Merilee. A safe place that you will never have to venture out of your whole life. Believe me, I know. And you're always looking for an excuse to stay in your little make-believe world. Poor Merilee Monroe. Has the biggest bucketload of woes around so of course she can't love anyone. Well, let me tell you--I'm here to tell you the Lord Almighty up above wants you to grow up and love and be loved."