Review: The Art of Being Normal – Lisa Williamson

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Title: The Art of Being Normal
Author: Lisa Williamson
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Ebook, 336 pages
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Release Date: January 1st, 2015
Link to Goodreads
Goodreads Summary:

Two boys. Two secrets.

David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl.

On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan.

When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…

4stars

Review

The Art of Being Normal is about David, a transgender boy and his journey to tell his parents and the world that he wants to be a girl. He’s being called freak at school and people already think he’s gay anyway. Only his two best friends know his “secret” and are both incredibly supportive. When newcomer Leo stands up for him during a fight, an unlikely friendship forms.

I have to be honest. I’ve never read a book about LGBTQ before. 

You must read this book. It’s about the message behind it and the difficulties which the characters struggle with. I really enjoyed it, even though the things were sometimes hard to read.

The two POV’s are pleasant and that’s how you learn how both characters are dealing with things. The book features various topics, such as bullying, family relationships, poverty, abandonment and finding yourself.
The story-line never felt heavy, though the characters deal with heavy stuff and struggled quite a bit. The story felt warm and funny, but also sad and painful. I could be so angry at the people who called them freaks. What makes someone normal?

I loved David and Leo. They were both struggling in their own way and I felt so much sympathy for them. I just wanted to give them a hug and make everything better. The thing that made me angry were the people calling them freaks. Why are you a freak when you’re different? Who made that up? Are there standards on being normal? I was so angry. I literally wanted to grab those characters and punch them in the face. Seriously. What is normal even?
This story definitely showed that people are not used to ‘different’ people. Perhaps they’re afraid, because they don’t know anything about it. It showed that it’s a cruel world. People can be incredibly cruel. It was realistic. It hasn’t been sugar-coated or anything. It showed the real difficulties.

So, if you want to read more diversely, read this one. Stop defining everything as normal. Break it down piece by piece. Normal is boring. Being yourself is way more exciting.

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