Book Discussion: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

15726915How do I even begin to explain what I feel about this book? How much it suddenly means to me? I can only try to explain how I felt while reading this. This book is one of those stories that you want to keep to yourself and hope it was written only for you. But I need to write this because more and more people need to read this book. But trigger warning for rape and self-harm. So, if you are too young or you are not too comfortable with these, I would advice you to not pick it up.

Goodreads Synopsis-

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.

I first heard about this book in Booktube. And since then, I have been very interested in reading this one. From the moment I started reading it, the story gripped me. And I finished this book within a day. I never felt like putting down this book and so I didn’t. And when I finished it, I was filled with so many emotions. But mostly, I felt satisfied.

The book starts with the funeral of Bodee’s mother. From the first moment that Alexi met Bodee, I knew that I would fall in love with the character of Bodee. The way he was sketched was beautiful, just like every other aspect of the book. I love flawed characters and both Bodee and Alexi were very flawed. But their faults couldn’t hide their beauty. Their flaws accentuated it. There was also a very dark mood throughout the story. Even when there were moments between Bodee and Alexi that would have been cute in other books, this book touched those moments with a bit of hope and sadness. This is one of the credits of the writing style. The author mixes melancholy with everything but you can also can’t not feel hopeful by the end of it.

Now just by reading the synopsis, you get the feeling that it’s all about the boy. And that it’s going to be one of those mindless romances. But trust me, it’s not. There are lots of different aspects in the story. There is a very strong family aspect in the story which I loved. There are also lots of stuff about high-school and friends and various issues related to it. But the most potent issue addressed in this story is that of sexual assault and rape. I was very impressed by how a serious issue like this was addressed. I could completely understand why Alexi was acting in the way she was. Her weakness was a result of the traumatic events she had to face and still the strength she had surprised me. She did not have ideal ways for dealing with her trauma but I understood each and every decision of hers. I don’t know what that makes me, but I do. Also, there was this constant mystery throughout the novel about who actually raped Alexi, which made the book more compelling.

To conclude, I should say that even though I mentioned a lot of things about this book, I also missed some. You can only get the full impact of this book once you read it. I feel like I haven’t read a contemporary like this in forever. I believe that if you read it, it’s impossible not to like it in the very least. So, please give it a try! Also, don’t forget to tell me what you think about this book in the comments. So, until next time.

My rating- 5/5.

My Goodreads rating- 5/5.

Fin!

-Sanchita.

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