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Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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.

Goodreads Summary

This story is about a girl who cuts and hides her horrible secret from the world.  I sort of thought this was going to be another sexual abuse novel following in the footsteps on others before it; however, I really loved how the author portrayed the victim-both powerful and scared.  Alexi is ashamed of her situation and, with actions and thoughts, explains why to the reader throughout the novel.  Bodee moves next door to Alexi and has some things of his own he would rather not explain.  Bodee befriends Alexi and slowly gains her trust and eventually her understanding of what happened to her. 

I loved the friendship between these two.  Alexi is a great female character, but one who endured a nasty thing.  I really enjoyed how her character grew and changed over the course of the novel as well as Bodee's.  I loved that the author emphasized friendship more than the stereotypical romance and that Bodee was not described as the typical "knight in shining armor," but a flawed human.  This book is highly recommended to young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Berenice said...:

    I've read a few books that deal with characters who self-harm. I always end up shedding a few tears. Faking Normal sounds good. I loved that you mentioned how this novel focus on friendship instead of romance and that we don't get a "knight in shining armor" but someone real. I'll definitely be adding this one to my list. Fantastic review, thank you! =)

  1. Unknown said...:

    This book was on my to read list. Seeing the 4 star review I will have to pick it up <3

  1. Unknown said...:

    When I read that this book dealt with self harm I was a little turned off about that. The subject makes me squirmish, but at the same time, I want to know what happens! Your review is great and has made me add it to my TBR shelf. Thanks!

  1. I will admit that stories like this one, the type that get labeled "issue books", aren't stories that I often read. I usually read as a means to escape. If there are sad stories or issues in a book, it doesn't deter me as long as it is done well, but I don't go out of my way to read the ones that are marketed like that. With this one though, I have heard such good things that I may give it a shot despite my hesitations.