Sunday, December 22, 2013

Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Publisher-Harper Collins
Released- Feb 25th 2014
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

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
My Thoughts:
Faking Normal is a heartbreaking story about a girl named Alexi who is going through the phases of life and pretending that what happened during the summer doesn't matter, but inside she’s dies a little everyday and has the scars on her neck to prove it. Who would have thought that the boy everyone refers to as the 'Kool-Aid Kid', would be the only person who became the constant in her life, and while Bodee has his own family heartaches, they still manage to find something in each other they didn't even know they needed. Strength.

I was very surprised how much I enjoyed this book. The first time I read the blurb, I didn't really see this as a ‘me’ escape since I tend to stay away from heavy hearted books that usually makes me feel depressed or mournful. But for some reason this book didn't make me feel like that come the end. It’s an emotional raw read, but it’s also full of hope, love and friendship and even had a few scenes that made me genuinely smile.
This may be Stevens’ first novel, but her writing is so comfortable it made me feel like I've been reading her books forever. Her writing has a way of getting under my skin and makes me think, but in a way that doesn't make me feel overly sad. Yes, it’s a sad story, but amazingly enough it doesn't read like one.

I really liked everyone of these characters, or well, almost all of them. They are all very sharply developed and easy to like and connect with.
Lexi is a great protagonist. I thought it was very brave of her that even though she went through this terrible ordeal, she still puts on a happy face with her friends and her family, but I hated what this shameful secret was doing to her inside. It took real courage to face her demons, but it’s still good  to see that even though she’s been faking normal for so long, that she was still looking for normal at the same time. The whole Captain Lyrics was really very sweet and very touching and it gave the readers, as well as Lexi, something to look forward to with the mystery of it all. I really loved who it turned out to be.
While this is mostly Lexi’s story, Bodee really owned this book for me. He’s never been the most popular kid and he has sort of a bad rep but I loved that he had this he-is-who-he-is attitude. After what happened with his parents, he too has been dealing with his own demons, and yet, he still manages to be Lexi’s constant rock no matter what. Lexi and Bodee are two broken pieces, but they don’t try to really fix each other, instead they’re just there, together supporting and caring and somehow making each other whole.
I also liked Lexi’s friends but I couldn't stand Kayla for pretty much the entire book, and thought she was a nasty selfish sister who only thought about herself and her messed up relationship, but I’m glad that she had the right reaction come the end. I wasn't really sure of how she would react, so I felt relieved that she didn't disappoint.
I liked the ending but it felt like something was missing. It ended on a hopeful note, but for some reason it still had that up-in-the air feeling and I wanted a little more closure for both Lexi and Bodee’s situation.

All in all, I was really impressed with this book. It’s heartbreaking and emotionally charged, but it’s also very moving and touching and sweet in very unexpected ways. A brilliant debut. I look forward to reading more of Stevens books in the future.

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                             4 Snowflakes


  1. I thought the same thing when I read the blurb. I usually try to read out there stories (PNR or celebrity type stories) to get out of reality. But after reading your review I will give this a shot.
    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

    1. This one really surprised me, I hope it does the same for you. Happy reading :-)

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