Title: Am I Normal Yet?
Author: Holly Bourne
My rating: 4.25/5
Goodreads rating: 4.37/5
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
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?
Sooo you guys….I really really REALLY enjoyed this book. I think I should explain my view point on feminism right now before I get right into this book because there is a lot of feminist rhetoric in this book. So I am not a feminist, I believe that the mordern movement has become rather toxic and more feeling over fact and science. I don’t not believe in the patriarchy, the wage gap can be easily explained and there are loads of double standards within feminism. Having said that, this books I think brought up a lot of things that are important and should be talked about. That is probably why even though I roll my eyes at some feminist buzzwords these passages (though sometimes frustrating) these didn’t impact on my reading experience thus my high rating.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s get gushing!
Am I Normal Yet? follows Evie, a sixteen year old girl who just wants to be normal. The trouble is that Evie, who is just about to roll off her OCD medication, might be relapsing and maybe having boyfriends, hanging out with friends and ‘being normal’ is harder than Evie would of never imagined.
Evie’s story was so addicting and eye opening to read. I love how frank Bourne is with Evie and I quickly got hooked with Evie’s story, inner battles and authentic way of viewing life. Like any good contemporary, the book was quick to read and the pacing kept up with Evie’s fast thinking mind. I loved how topics such as mental illness were embedded into the plot and talked about freely (well within Evie’s mind)- it was refreshing and surprisingly enjoyable as the mental illness parts of the story didn’t feel like it was a sudden dark weight, but like you were having a conversation with another person. I loved how the relapse of of Evie was gradual and you see the warning signs and wish desperate for Evie to reach out but being the real teenager she is, she keeps it bottled up and it adds a level of suspense and worry which again hooked me.
I think the ending was always going to happen but it didn’t make it any less sad and shocking. I wished on many occasions that I could dive into the book and hug Evie and tell her she isn’t alone! The ending was bitter sweet but mostly sweet and after the last page I missed the chatty and blunt thoughts of Evie and her friends.
Though I didn’t agree with everything Holly Bourn was writing, gosh was her writing was enjoyable to read! There’s not a lot to say but it was SO AUTHENTIC! A lot of the things that Evie was thought I sometimes thought too and just her outlook on life and her conversations were authentic. Because of this authenticity, Bourne’s writing quickly became addicting and one of the best realistic voices I’ve read in a long time.
“Everyone’s on the cliff edge of normal. Everyone finds life an utter nightmare sometimes, and there’s no ‘normal’ way of dealing with it… There is no normal, Evelyn.”
Evie was a real teenager. She was annoying, stubborn, naive which is everything I wanted for in a protagonist! Yes she could be frustrsting at times but that is what a teenager is! I didn’t agree on all of her thought processes and her long, eloquent speeches on feminism did seem a little out of the blue and were disagreeable but I just loved her character and she did speak a lot of truth when taking about topics such as mental illness.
Lottie and Amber were cool females as well but I did have some problem with the latter character. Okay so she is basically a feminist but I felt because she didn’t have any affection going her way and her friends did she turned very anti-male which was a little unsettling I guess.
What I liked:
- Evie was a great, developed character
- Portrayal of metal illness was stunningly blunt
- Writing was addictive
What I disliked:
- Ummm most of the feminism parts
- Most of the boys in the novel were not shown in the best light
- Amber seemed slightly anti-male
Verdict: Am I Normal Yet? is an amazing Young Adult novel which is full of friendship, female empowerment and a bluntness that could only come from an authentic teenage voice. I couldn’t enjoy all of the feminist rhetoric but this book us and definite conversation starter.