Book Review: Faking Normal

Faking Normal
Published by: HarperCollins Children's
Release date: Feb. 25, 2014
Genre: YA contemporary
 336 pages
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher

It's hard to know where to start when reviewing a book that speaks to your soul like Faking Normal spoke to mine. What I really want to say is, "I loved it. get it." But why did you love it? Asks the masses. Let me count the ways.

I loved that Alexi's hometown is so typically mid-America. I love in fly-over country, and though I enjoy reading stories set in coastal towns, it's nice to read something that portrays us as regular people. We don't all rodeo- just sayin'.

I loved that Alexi and her sister fight, then work it out. This is real: siblings don't always get along, and they don't always fight. They jockey for position and compete for attention. They are not always nice to each other, but they expect everyone else to be. Their relationships with their parents are equally realistic. I appreciate the honesty of the whole family dynamic. I also love that Alexi's family takes Bodee in, not because they feel sorry for him, but because it's the right thing to do.

I loved that Bodee was never much of a leader- until Alexi needed him to be. He is used to taking care of a his mom, and in her absence, takes up caring for Alexi. It's his patient and careful attention that carries her through when she doesn't think she's strong enough to take care of herself. Bodee quietly clears the path for her, leading her to a healthy conclusion. He is strong and sweet and selfless, all while battling back from his own wounds. Expect a Book Boyfriend featuring Bodee soon.

I love that kids who are working through the tough stuff are going to be able to read this book and know that they are not alone. They will be able to identify with either Alexi the pretty popular girl, or Bodee the Kool-Aid kid. They will know that refusing to face the ugliness won't make it go away, and that "channeling their brave" through the hard part is the best way to get better. They will know that it's important to find someone they trust and tell their story. Everyone deserves to tell their own story.

It's been a while since I've cruised through 336 pages this fast, guys. What an intensely beautiful, strikingly realistic story! I am excited to see what Stevens writes next.


An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

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.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.


  1. I just went and put this on my order for my library. Thanks for the great recommendation!

  2. Yay! Faking Normal is on my tbr list so I'm really happy that it was a book you couldn't put down :) Now I'm even more excited to read it.

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this one. I'm hoping to be approved for it, but it's not looking likely. Everyone I've seen review it has really loved it.

    1. Wishing you luck! I hope you are able to get your hands on it ASAP. :)

  4. I've been hearing SUCH great things about this debut. I wasn't sure about it at first, because the cover doesn't do much for me. Glad to hear good reviews for this one!

    1. Vivien, put it on your TBR! You will love it!

  5. I'm so excited to hear that you loved Faking Normal! I just got myself a copy last month and it's waiting patiently for me to pick it up. I'm going to have to move it up my list. Fantastic review. Thanks so much! =)

  6. I love stories that are realistic enough to relate to. This sounds like a really great read; thanks for sharing!

  7. LOVE the sound of it!!

    It's awesome when a story is about regular towns and regular teens, and how teens can help each other and grow together and be there for each other.

    LOVE that she's got a whole family and that he knows how to be kind.

    Lovely review :)

  8. I'm so glad to see new readers finding this book!

  9. I'm so glad to see new readers finding this book!


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