Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.
When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in “the Kool-Aid Kid,” who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.
First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, HarperTeen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.
Alexi’s story is so moving and I think that everyone can relate to it. Her personality and denial about things that happened not only can be related to sexual assault victims but victims of pretty much any type of abuse. I felt for Alexi and Bodee and although their relationship at some times are…out there, I really enjoyed this.
Faking Normal actually starts off pretty boring. It took some time for me to actually get into the story and even more so the characters. Alexi and I have a bit of a ‘love hate relationship’ because although I loved her story, I didn’t really like her. I felt that she’s really stiff at times, especially when people wanted to help her. The romance itself is really typical and I didn’t like it, it’s the same broken girl meets broken boy and they heal together type of thing and it got old for me really fast. The way that Bodee knows things annoyed me more than anything. Another thing I didn’t like is how the flashbacks or story is told surrounding the rape. The same thing is told over and over again without any new information. This is one of my pet peeves–when someone tells me something over and over again with nothing new to add to it. Whenever Alexi brought up how it happened I found myself skimming it and moving on to the next thing.
Like I mentioned before, I really did like this story. It’s awkward and I wasn’t really suspecting it to turn out the way it did. The journey and her pain is so raw and relatable, I felt as if her struggles were my struggles too. For the most part, I liked most of the characters because they’re very realistic and complex. They had me guessing about their actions and emotions and I liked reading about them.
Faking Normal is quite the story. It’s not bad but it does have a few flaws and a dash of stiffness. Nonetheless, Stevens has created a lovely début and I recommend this to anyone looking for something serious to read and don’t mind the main character. I really hope that she keeps writing serious topic novels because there aren’t many of them out there that are well done or are even mediocre and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.