Author: Courtney C. Stevens
Published: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Publisher: February 25th 2014 by
Categories: Contemporary, Sociology, Young Adult
External Links: Book DepositoryGoodreads

Summary: 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.

Review: Gotta admit that I thought this book was about extraordinary kids. I mean, why does the title entails that the heroine needed to pretend to be normal? But my assumption is really wrong. Downright wrong. But there was a reason why she needed to pretend that everything is fine. That she needed to hide something because it scares her on what it will cause if she tells someone on what has really happened to her.

I wasn’t that much connected towards Lexi’s character. But I understand her pain and how she suffered with the heavy burden when she decided to keep it from her family, particularly to her sister. But when her family decided to let Bodee, the son of a friend of her mother to temporarily live with them, he was the only person who had noticed that Lexi was hiding something; and he was aware of what it might be. He helped her get it out of her. That it’s time to tell someone the truth about what has happened.

Bodee was the one thing that kept me guessing. There was something really mysterious about him. But after he revealed why, I guess I found it really logical as to the reason he acted that way. It was traumatizing for him to have witnessed that. It was the reason why he might have guessed on what Lexi has been suffering all this time. He knew what was like and just as I said helped her to little by little move on from that incident.

Faking Normal isn’t exactly a heavy read to me. By the time I figured out where the story will head I already prepared myself. The only surprising thing for me was the person who wronged Lexi. I absolutely didn’t see that coming. That someone who has been in her life, in her family’s life, even treated as part of her family, could do such a thing.

I get why she was hell-bent on keeping it from her folks. She was drilled to keep it a secret and the reaction of her family weighed more on her decision to remain silent. I’m so glad that Bodee barreled through her barrier and was able to convince her tell the truth. The incident regarding Bodee’s mother affected him and served something on him. And when he saw that maybe Lexi was in the same situation, he made it to a point to help her this time (the thing that he was unable to do with his mom).

There’s romance which I found cute. I pretty knew who is Captain Lyric from the very start. I mean who was the very deep person in there who can string such ideas. He was the only one. They were pretty cute in a way for me. I mean, both had been in a very terrible situation but I think that was one of the things that tied them to each other. Because they understood each other (aside from their the chemistry).  Besides, I will choose someone like Bodee, he might not be the hunky football player but when the going gets tough he’s there with you.

I liked it. I don’t love it but it was truly interesting read. It wasn’t moving for me but this has some emotional punch in there. I do recommend it to read it with caution since you’re definitely in for something indeed poignant and really relevant!

I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Preview Quote: “Faking normal is a skill I learned seventy-seven days ago, but tonight it’s going to require everything I have. ” – Lexi