ARC Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Faking NormalTitle: Faking Normal

Author: Courtney C. Stevens

Publication date: February 25, 2014

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 336

Source: ARC from publisher (Thank you, HarperCollins!)

Purchase the book: Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble Book Depository / Fully Booked

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.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review: 

It took me days to figure out how I’m going to write my review for this book. Words kept on popping inside my head but I could not put them into phrases and sentences. Up to this day, the stream of emotions that cascaded all over me as I read is still as powerful and deep. I never thought that Faking Normal would affect me so much. Believe it or not, I still reel from the feels every time the story visits my daydreams.

Faking Normal is a gem of a novel that speaks of love and bravery. The raw and honest writing style contemplates the heavy, delicate atmosphere of the story. Everything felt so real. I commend the author, Courtney C. Stevens, for showing readers what bravery is all about. Dealing with an emotionally disturbing social issue entails a huge amount of courage. Courtney is an outstanding personification of the aforementioned virtue.

Alexi Littrell has worn a mask of make-believe since the night at her backyard pool. Haunted by a horrible incident, she blames and hurts herself for what happened. And the worst part is that nobody else knows about it except Alexi. Then Bodee Lennox steps into her life and from then on, Alexi begins to see things in a different light. She found a friend in Bodee—someone to talk to, someone to lean on, and someone she can trust. Soon, both characters spend a lot of time together and eventually, share their darkest stories. Readers will feel the gravity of Alexi and Bodee’s situations as circumstances and secrets unfold.

Bodee is extraordinary—sweet, caring, loving, and protective. Anyone who will read Faking Normal would swoon and fall in love with him. I admire the weaving of Bodee’s story into Alexi’s life and how it became the rock to a meaningful friendship. Alexi and Bodee became each other’s strength and that for me, is the most amazing thing that transpired in their relationship.

Two broken people brought together by their beautiful brokenness and yearning to be whole, what more can this story emanate other than genuine perfection? It’s wonderful to see Alexi and Bodee’s friendship develop into love. They’ve gone through hard times together and because of that, they grew to embrace each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Indeed, these two make a great pair!

It takes a lot of courage to be brave. After reading this book, I realized that we become our bravest when we break free from the chains of fear that hold us back. A heartwarming and remarkable debut, Faking Normal reminds us that there’s no fear we cannot conquer. Drop the fake and channel your brave!

Rating:

4/5 stars

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