Saturday, 15 August 2015

Book Review: Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Am I Normal Yet?Title: Am I Normal Yet?
Author: Holly Bourne
Series:  Normal Trilogy, #1
Pages:  434
Publisher: Usborne
Date of Publication: 1st August, 2015
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?


My Thoughts:
Ever since I read a proof copy of Soulmates back in 2013, I've been a big fan of Holly Bourne. I devoured Soulmates in only one day despite it's 500 pages, and The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting was probably one of my favourite reads last year. Therefore I was super excited to get my hands on a copy of Am I Normal Yet? at YALC and I couldn't wait to get started.

Mental health is a big issue today, but to be honest I've never really thought too much about it because it's not something I've seriously ever encountered or considered, until reading Am I Normal Yet?, which now that I've written it down is really bad, I know! However, now that I've finished reading the novel, which is so honestly told from Evie's POV as she returns to school after first becoming ill and throughout a relapse, I feel like I can understand much better what she went through and how real sufferers are thinking.

I have to start this with a hats off to Holly for being able to depict Evie's illness accurately yet sensitively - I can't imagine it was easy! Despite the tough subject matter, Evie's voice was so easy to read and individual and I was able to lose myself in her voice and story. I was really interested in the psychology of her illness, for example her thinking behind having to touch lampposts six times or wash her hands several times, because although it was a totally alien thing to me, it made perfect sense in Evie's head. Equally though I loved the moments that Evie spent at school (though not when she was talking to all the douchey guys - seriously not a single guy in this book is nice! It irked me, sorry - I know it's a feminist book and all but not all guys are bad, and it's good to have a healthy relationship, right?!), and particularly those conversations that she has with her two new friends, Lottie and Amber.

It is during these conversations that Holly manages to integrate discussions of feminism into her novel. They discuss many modern day issues surrounding feminism, such as ever-taboo periods, and the Bechdel test. The girls form a 'Spinster Club' and while sometimes these meetings felt a bit like an info dump, they voiced many thoughts I've had and heard discussed by my school's Feminist Society, while at the same time being pretty laugh-out-loud funny. Feminism is so obviously something that Holly is passionate about and it's so great to see it shining through in her novel.

Am I Normal Yet? was brilliant, and the fact that it is a trilogy and there's more to come in the future is super exciting and I can't wait for the next two books! I think it's such an important read for everyone, to gain insight into what it's really like to live with a mental illness in an interesting and fun way, and for that reason, you definitely need to get yourself a copy, pronto.

1 comment:

  1. First of all I had no idea this is the start of a trilogy! I loved it and thought it was so well done, I can't wait to see where the story goes. As someone who does suffer from the same illnesses as Evie, I can say that Bourne had definitely done her research and actually put some effort into educating her self before writing. Great review. :)

    Charlotte | Bookmarks and Blogging

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