By Margaret Lesh
October 5th 2012 / Musa Publishing Euterpe Young Adult imprint
Fifteen-year-old Stacy questions the strange world of high school, love, her role in a harsh universe, and life, in Normalish.
People tell you high school's so great and wonderful, but they're lying. It's mostly horrible and full of disappointment. It sucks. Your best friend abandons you. The jerk you're in love with pretends to be into you, and then the big dump. The boy you've really clicked with as a friend decides to go all crushy over you, so you break his heart just like yours was -- smashed into little pieces. Your sister goes mental, and you get involved with a guy who’s even crazier than she is (who you know is a very bad idea, but you do it anyway). Math only adds another stink of failure to the whole thing.
High school blows. Just ask freshman Stacy. She’d want you to know.
Stacy is in high school. She knows she's not Miss Popular, but she has her friends.. her 2 besties from way back, Chad her guy friend, and Summer the cool popular girl who is her sometime friend. This doesn't stop Stacy from feeling like no one really gets her. First Chad and his braces kiss her at the school dance, leaving her no choice but to reject and lose him. Then her #1 crush makes out with her at a party and promises to call, but doesn't... and proceeds to ignore her at school. Then worst of all her sister goes mental (for real) and winds up in a treatment center. With her dad having died years before it feels like her whole life is falling apart and school is nothing like they tell you it's supposed to be. "Best Time of Your Life" YEAH RIGHT!
I seriously enjoyed getting to know Stacy. She was cute! Very funny, sarcastic, honest, witty... just overall an awesome M/C. I really liked her voice throughout the book. It really felt like she was talking directly to me throughout the whole book. I flew through this book, reading it in one day. It was just one of those books that took me away and I wanted to keep reading.
Stacy was this girl who didn't really know what she wanted out of life except to be normal, even though she wasn't really sure what normal was. She wants a boyfriend and a sister who doesn't consume vast quantities of syrup at every meal. She seemed really mature and at times I would forget she was only 15... but then she would remind me of her age by some of the decisions she made and her naivety about boys.
This book had touches of light, funny things that made me smile, but then it had things like death and mental illness that made me feel really bad. I think overall it was a great mix of emotion there. It was definitely a refreshing read that isn't like anything else I've read in a long time.
The only character I didn't really "get" was Summer. She seemed awfully advanced (or slutty) for 15 and no one in the book seemed to think anything of it. And the way she danced in and out of Stacy's life was just odd. I guess we all have a friend at some point in our lives who we just accept isn't someone who can be trusted for the long haul, but we still hang with them... and I guess that's what Summer was to Stacy, but still.
My fav quote:
"The funny thing about high school is that everyone wants to be seen as unique, yet no one wants to be thought of as different. Being different means you're a freak. Outcast. Pariah. So while we want to think we're different, what we really want is to be exactly the same. It makes no sense, but that's how the world is. It's how people are, I guess. We travel in packs, and no one wants to be the freaky weirdo."
Overall: I thought this book was unique and had a great voice to it. The main character rocked and even though she was on the young side for my personal reading tastes, she felt more mature than the typical 15 year old. I would definitely recommend it for fans of contemporary who like a sassy main character.
-One 25$ Amazon Gift Card
-One eBook copy of Normalish
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