Hello! As I had so much fun writing my review of “Being a Girl” by Hayley Long, I thought I would have another go at writing a book review. The book I am talking about today is “Am I Normal Yet?” by Holly Bourne.
Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne
Publication Date: 01 August 2015
Having previously read, and loved, Holly’s previous novels Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting, I was so excited to hear about her new novel “Am I Normal Yet?”. I was very jealous of those who got their mitts on an advance copy, so when I spotted the paperback in my local Waterstones a few days before its official release date I had to have it.
Am I Normal Yet? focuses on Evie, a teenage girl recovering from a spell in hospital for OCD and generalised anxiety disorder. She just wants to be “normal”, and do all the things she feels she is missing out on; having friends, going to college and dating boys.
As soon as I saw the words “sexy ferret” I knew I was going to love this book.
Am I Normal Yet? focuses on mental health, in particular OCD and generalised anxiety disorder, from the perspective of Evie,who is suffering from them. Holly has a knack for tackling sensitive issues like this without triggering or undermining their seriousness. Not only do we get inside Evie’s mind and share her pain from her own point of view, but we also see and feel the pain that is felt by her family and friends.
Feminism is also a key theme in the novel, and I love how Holly weaves it throughout the story. It is approached in a way that introduces feminism to the reader, without preaching or being bogged down in technical terms. A lot of what they discuss are things I have said myself!
The tone and voice in Am I Normal Yet? is so realistic and refreshing. Each character introduced in the story is relatable, and the issues they experience are ones we all have encountered in our adolescence. For example, we have all had a friend, or been that friend, who becomes wrapped up in their boyfriend when they get one for the first time.
I am going to hold my hands up and admit that I became completely sucked in to the world of Evie, Lottie and Amber; so much so that I forgot they were fictional. I laughed with Evie when the “Spinster Club” was born, I felt her pain as she washed her hands just one more time, and I fist pumped like there was no tomorrow whenever feminism was mentioned.
I can see myself re-reading Am I Normal Yet? several times in the future. It has become one of my favourite books I have ever read – that’s how good it is! I am so excited for the next book in the series, which will shift the focus to Amber, and her story. If anyone wants to trade a kidney for an advance copy… let me know. Used but in good condition!
Am I Normal Yet? is another hit for Holly Bourne. I think she is an author to watch; I am predicting big things for her in the future.