Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: February 25, 2014 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Length: 322 pages
Source: HarperCollins (ARC)
“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.”
Faking Normal is written in first person point of view of Alexi Littrell, our female protagonist who has been keeping a secret that happened during summer. She’s the type of person who has a smile on the outside but a frown on the inside. What I really liked about Faking Normal was how the characters developed throughout the novel. I love how Alexi grew confidence and began to know who she was. She’s also a very relatable character because I think a lot of people have encountered a situation where there is a secret that they are ashamed or embarrassed to tell someone very close to them, but it is needed. I love how I was able to feel what she was feeling whether it be happiness, sadness, excitement, anxiousness, you name it. I also love how her and Bodee share a special relationship. He is also going through a hard time, and I love how even though he’s going through a rough time, he constantly cheers and supports Alexi. He’s one of those people who puts others first before himself.
The supporting characters are well developed as well. I like how Alexi’s and Bodee’s family are not just “there”. They actually contribute to the story and aren’t just bystanders. Alexi has a much older sister (Kayla) is easily bad tempered which is why Alexi and Kayla fight often, but I like how they still got each other’s backs at the end. The only thing I did not like was how some of the supporting characters are clichéd (i.e. drunk football players and popular girls who are depicted as comely and boy crazy). I think it is because the author wants to emphasize that Alexi is far different from these people or maybe because Alexi wants to escape her problem so bad that she decides to just act like a ‘normal’, cliched teenager because a cliched teenager’s problems are finding a prom date and who’s with who, right? Ugh. Other than that, the book was very well written. This is a book where once you start reading, it’s hard to put it down. You will find yourself immersed into the story, and before you know it, you’ve already finished the book.