Author: Courtney C. Stevens
Published: April, 2014
Source: ARC sent by the Publisher
Category: Contemporary, Romance, Stand Alone
Trailer: not available
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.
This book has a moving story. Very much moving. The power of healing laid across each page, produced in a print form. Stevens delivered a powerful story not only to give a different awareness approach about abuse but how to cope and heal from it. Her characters are broken in so many different levels but then they find hope from each other's brokenness. The ability to understand and accept abuse and even have the heart for such is evidently hard, but this book screams, "You are not alone".
The plot is very common. In this wide array of contemporary young adult books, there are a bunch you can find that are centered in abuse. Stevens however, managed to deliver a story in such a way that helps with healing. At first, I was skeptical I would love it because I hated how Alexi (abused female protagonist) acts so stupid at times. But Stevens, despite her character's weaknesses, used it to magnify how abuse terribly affects people, emotionally and mentally. Given this, I understood how Alexi made stupid and ridiculous decisions in order to be normal. Alexi tries hard to live her life like how a non-abused teenager would. It was like, her very own escape. From that point of view, I saw how vulnerable and at the same time strong Alexi truly is. She held on her secret for so long in order to save people she loves from the ugly truth. She doesn't want people to know that she has skeletons in her closet because she understood how it will change their lives forever. Even if it means damaging her own. Thankfully, Bodee is there the whole time. He used their searing pain to free Alexi from her burden and he's become her instant anti-depressant. I truly adored how Bodee opened himself up to Alexi despite his own pain. How he showed one can still love so deeply in amid of trials. It isn't too hard to fall in love with such lovely soul like Bodee.
Faking normal is a stunningly written story. Told from a soft spoken voice with a fierce heart, it resonates the altitude of healing. Molded in tragedy, Faking Normal is a story full of hope and love without judgement.
Thank you so much HarperCollins for the review copy!
"I'd like to hold you in the mountains, like to kiss you by the sea. Take you far, far from here to a place where you feel free. Cause we are safe, we are true, we are going to make it through. Crashing worlds, falling stars, breaking all of who we are- I want infinity with you."
"And more than that, Bodee left me with hope. For love. For wanting someone to touch me again and to lie with me without fear as my first response. Because Bodee slept in his sneakers, because Bodee asked for a kiss instead of just taking it, and because he kept space between us. He danced with two fingers until I asked for three or four... and his hand on my hip.
I know we're both still broken. Both of us. But Bodee's got the glue to make us whole.
He is love."