My Rating: 4 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: The last book I read that involved the subject of rape was Kirsty Eagar’s Raw Blue, a novel that I gave five stars to three years ago. Although Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens didn’t elicit the same level of emotions in me as Raw Blue, I was still very much drawn into the story.
It took some time for me to realize what the main topic of Faking Normal would be because the synopsis doesn’t state outright what happened to Alexi. As well, Alexi has done her best to block out the incident and to pretend that everything is normal, though her trauma is manifested in other ways like compulsively scratching her neck.
Faking Normal is also about a boy having to come to terms with the fact that his father killed his mother. Known only as the Kool-Aid kid to Alexi at first, Bodee and Alexi slowly strike up a tentative friendship when Alexi realizes that Bodee has seen the scratches she so carefully hides. Over time, the two begin to rely on each other for more support because they don’t have to pretend to be normal with each other.
I loved the pacing of Faking Normal since it wasn’t rushed, and was therefore perfect for the novel. The reader slowly comes to realize what has happened to Alexi, falls in love with Bodee gradually, and learns, eventually, who raped Alexi.
A well written debut, I look forward to seeing what Stevens writes next. Faking Normal was released by HarperTeen in February 2014.
Comments About the Cover: I think it’s plain-looking and don’t really like the transparent trees.
In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.