I received this book for free from for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Published by HarperCollins on February 25th 2014
Source: for Review
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.
Faking Normal belongs on my list of books that I’ve been most anticipating. I am not the person to shy away from books dealing with a heavier subject, I knew this book was going to be heavy, I knew it was going move me, but I didn’t expect to feel this conflicted and emotional after reading it. I don’t think I have enough words, or the right words, to explain how this book made me feel.
It is a story about being honest with yourself, about finding the courage to face and confront your darkest fears. About opening those scary floodgates to hidden feelings and memories, and learn how to live with them. But also about learning that there’s always somebody willing to help you, to fight in your corner, to fight for you and most importantly to fight with you. However alone you might feel, there is always someone -no matter how unexpected and surprising- to help you through those dark moments. Faking Normal is a story about learning to channel your brave.
Courtney Steven does a remarkable job at describing the turmoil going on in Alexi. After the summer she’s had, she is left questioning everything she thought she knew about love and safety. While she faces the day with her head held high, she is at war with herself every single day. The way Courtney portrays Alexi’s thoughts and emotions are so unbelievably raw and real. All the emotions she felt I felt with her. The hurt, the sadness, the anger, the shame, the way she blames herself, and her efforts to appear to normal. Her efforts to Fake Normal. She has everyone fooled, except for Bodee Lennox, who has his own demons to fight. Together they go through this amazing journey, and find the strength to battle their fears and face the truth with a little bit of help from a friend.
While I didn’t always understand her reasoning, I understood her struggle. The harshness of her reality and why she struggles with her secret instead of speaking the words and telling is very hard to grasp. I’m afraid that some people won’t understand her struggle and how it might keep them from connecting with her. I however, had no such problems and connected with her on a somewhat personal level.
The relationship between Alexi and Bodee started out as this awkward way of interacting and it warmed my hart reading about their growing connection and relationship. It was beautiful and heart-warming to see their friendship growing into such a strong relationship.
The depth and honesty of this story just took my breath away. This was every bit of the read I thought and hoped it would be. Courtney C. Stevens blew me away with her stunning debut. A beautiful story about being honest with yourself and finding the courage to Channel Your Brave!