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Title: Faking Normal
By: Courtney C. Stevens
Links: Goodreads [1, 0.5]
Started: September
Finished: October
Rated: 6.5/10

September 27th, 2014 

Hey there everybody,
How’s everything coming along? Have you taken the time to properly take care of yourselves? Don’t forget to do such thing!

It looks like this month as well, the 24th will be a post about a novel… All right, so let’s start this review by saying that there will be spoilers! All set? Let’s start!

First of all, let me begin by saying that I got into this book “solely” on the fact that that particular day when I saw it propped up on a shelf of the closing Chapters in Montreal, I was feeling down in the dumps (I still feel that way today, but to a lesser extent, I guess). Faking Normal had a certain novelty to it, in the sense where I could relate to having to fake being normal [because by now, if you haven’t noticed, I’m not a very normal person].

All of this to say that in a more… ‘normal’ state of mind, I’m usually not into those kinds of books that talk about issues I have close to negative infinity interest about [although maybe I should mention that The Fault in our Stars was another bust like that]. Rape is dumped right into this category [I’m sorry, but… I guess I’m just… rigid that way], so… for sure I would never have picked up such a title. Did reading this make me feel better [Yes and no, it provided the escapism that I needed, but it didn’t do much better after, I guess]?

Story-wise, the story didn’t present much of excitement, shall we say? There were no goosebumps from my part (and you ought to know that I get goosebumps even when I read, and that can happen pretty more often than you’d think). The pace of it was passably well done; Courtney C. Stevens has done well in balancing my feelings of annoyance and “Awww” moments together [in terms of what happened in the Blue-Haired Boy, it was fairly uneventful though].

I question the fact that we, as readers, had to play CLUES in order to find who the perpetrator was [was it so that we’d get a glimpse of what Bodee sees, or was it done so to reflect on Alexi’s deranged confused mind, or was it perhaps just because the author wished for us to read about rape in a different… angle?]. I’ve never read books like these, so the ‘refreshness’ sought by doing this is completely lost on me, although I can always try and acknowledge it.

I guess the romance part was well done and explored. I liked how Bodee Lennox was mostly always there for her, although it’s never quite explained why he loves her [it was further explained in the 0.5 book, although quite briefly]? I found their coping mechanisms slightly creepy and the resolution of the whole story to be done a bit quickly [I guess Alexi must be somewhat superstitious even though she never quite showed much signs for it, if she was convinced not by Bodee, but by a bird. A bird.]. I’m glad that my ship came true, although I felt like it was too much of a stretch [the whole coincidence thing and how everything just fit together; this should only happen in fairy tales and fantasy-like themes, if you want to write a real life romance, put some more obstacles in it], and a bit creepy, too [I mean, the lengths at which the guy goes to support the girl… it’s a good thing the girl likes him, ’cause if not, it’d be considered creepy]. I feel like nowadays, young men are simply not inclined to do the things that Bodee does, so I wouldn’t recommend this book to young readers who might believe that such romance can ever occur [like how in The Fault in our Stars was banned from certain libraries. Teens have such a strong mindset when it comes to romance and how it should be lived… a bit naive too, but I’ll bite these words when the time comes, I’m sure].

The way it was written and the set of values that I already come with in my mind made me care or not care at all about certain characters. Their “screen time” was almost just overkill and it made me want to skip certain paragraphs, in disgust due to the overdose of teenage romance. I don’t know if it’s simply because it happens like that in all foreign families, but in my family, you just don’t treat your siblings that way, despite being cross with them or being outwardly mad at them. I guess it all plays with the theme of insecurity, which all teens live through and stuff, but for these characters, Kayla and Heather in particular, there was no real resolution for their insecurities. I know it should realistically take a long time to solve, but a few steps towards that goal would have been nice in the course of this novel.

Nevertheless, I didn’t dislike the novel [like My Heart Be Damned strength of dislike], nor did I absolutely enthusiastically ADORE it [like The Wide-Awake Princess strength of love]. The novel discusses themes (such as rape) which I’m not extremely fond or familiar with reading in novels [although some parts of it I’d already heard of in articles; how most rape victims are victims of someone who’s close to them, so they sort of feel like they should protect the person, for example]. I’m also not used to reading what I call Slice-of-Life novels, either. As I mentioned, if you’re a hormonal teenager, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. I don’t think that I will even read the sequels to this series, but it was nice to plunge into some non-fantasy themed novels.

imageWith this, I’m going to wave you ‘a la prochaine’
Take good care of yourselves until the next post!
Hopefully it won’t be a novel one, I promise!
Ponyta’s out