Friday, August 4, 2017

Faking Normal

A cursory glance at the sidebar will show you that I don't read a ton of contemporary YA. It's certainly represented, but it's more difficult for jacket copy to grab me when it's contemporary. But I saw a lot of great things about this book, and I've been meaning to expand my repertoire in this subgenre, so I gave it ago. Spoiler alert: I was pleasantly surprised!

Retrieved from Goodreads
Alexi hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Most days she just tries to put on a happy face for her family and hide the raw patch at the back of her neck. But then she meets Bodee, a quiet boy with his own story, and she starts to think maybe she can begin dealing with the past.

Okay, that's a really short description, but I'm tired and it's really hot and I don't have an air conditioner. But really, this book is about the characters, not the action. Alexi was raped over the summer by someone she knows, and she hasn't told anyone. She sits in her closet and scratches the back of her neck until it bleeds, and she can't stop. Then Bodee moves in with her family after his mom is murdered, and she slowly starts to have a friend, and then maybe something more. The relationship between Alexi and Bodee is beautiful and flawed, and he honestly tries to help her without having an agenda of his own. Honestly...this is a scary book. It's scary for every woman who has dealt with anything even remotely close to what Alexi endures. It's uncomfortable to think about, and you are so so so sad for Alexi. And that's what made it great. The trauma in her past was revealed slowly, as she had repressed the memories. That resonated with me, as it wasn't done in a way that was meant to be convenient, and instead was natural. There was some casual slut-shaming which I always detest, but other than that I really enjoyed (is that the right term? No, I think appreciated is more correct) this book.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

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