By: Celine | February 13, 2014 | (18) Comments

Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. StevensFaking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.

Faking Normal is a sensitive, sad and hopeful novel. It deals with heavy topics, but the main focus was what Alexi – our main character – was dealing with. Since the synopsis doesn’t say what exactly this was, I will consider it a spoiler and warn you whenever I’ll talk about it! While I knew from the beginning what it was, I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone.

SPOILERS.

The thing I loved most about Faking Normal was the way it handled rape. It’s a sensitive and important subject, and I felt it was handled really well. In the real world, opinions on this subject differ, and Stevens reflected this in Faking Normal. A lot of different opinions are voiced in the book, but in the end, Stevens stresses how it is never the victim’s fault. In the end, nearly all characters support Alexi. Some characters did make comments that made me angry, but the novel focuses very much on how it wasn’t Alexi’s fault, no matter what others might say.

END OF SPOILERS.

Most characters in Faking Normal were well developed. Especially Alexi and Bodee were complex characters with both their faults. They both have major problems and they help each other get through it. In the end, though, they never ‘solved’ their problems for each other, but for themselves. Alexi was obviously troubled and I thought the way she dealt with things was believable (and also a little heartbreaking). Then there’s Bodee, who’s got to be one of the sweetest characters I’ve ever read about. He’s silent –very silent- but he’s also honest and strong and always there for Alexi. He has his problems too, but he mostly hides them from the world and focusses on helping Alexi. I absolutely loved him. 

Then there’s Captain Lyric. Can I just say that what happened there is one of the most romantic things ever? Every day, a mystery guy -Captain Lyric- prints lyrics on Alexi’s desk and she responds with the next lines, and then she leaves him a new one. That’s just… Swoon. I loved it. Like I said, extremely romantic. As for who CL is… I had strong suspicions in the beginning, but then this book totally lead me on the wrong path.

While we’re on that topic, the romance was very sweet. It’s slowly build up (no trace of instant love here, oh no) and it was just… sweet. That’s really the only word I have for it. I might not have been shipping them with all that I have, but I was happy with the way things went. They truly complemented each other and I think that they were a great couple. Their romance was build on trust and mutual respect, and I’m very happy with that. This is one of those couples that I can still imagine together in the future.

I really don’t have much to say about Faking Normal. It’s most certainly a good book. Faking Normal is an intricate story of two broken persons trying to heal. I loved its stance on a certain topics and I think that in the end, everything was beautifully done.

~Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy!~

4 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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18 Responses to Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

  1. Glad to hear you enjoyed Faking Normal Celine, I have this one to read too and I think I’m in the mood for a sweet contemporary romance. I’m glad the characters were well developed too. Lovely review!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler Review: Drama, deceit and debaucheryMy Profile

  2. I skimmed because of the spoilers but I’m happy to see you liked this one. I have it on my TBR for this month. Can’t wait!
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Book Looks (40) + Cover Reveal: The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter!My Profile

  3. I’ve heard some great things about this book and am so excited for it. This is one of the top ten debuts I’m looking forward to. It sounds so good. Lovely review, Celine!
    Kris (Imaginary Reads) recently posted…The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High: Review & InterviewMy Profile

  4. I’ve heard some great things about this book and am so excited for it. It sounds so good. Lovely review, Celine!
    Kris (Imaginary Reads) recently posted…The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High: Review & InterviewMy Profile

  5. I’ve seen nothing but fantabulous reviews for this book and I definitely really want to start it soon. I love how the romance isn’t insta-love (because it seems like that’s becoming a more and more popular option lately) The characters and how this book deals with rape is also a really interesting concept, because I feel like rape is something that’s underestimated a LOT lately. Fantastic review, Celine! <33
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    • Celine says:

      I hope you’ll like it! I agree, insta-love is way too popular right now. Genuine and slow-building romances are rare these days! And yes to the underestimation of rape – it’s a terrible thing that is usually brushed off like it’s nothing, and there’s also a lot of victim-blaming in the world (unfortunately).

  6. Siiri says:

    I’m so glad you liked this, Celine! Every review I’ve read has mentioned great character development, so yay that you thought so as well. I hadn’t heard anything about Captain Lyric though and count me intrigued, ha! I’m glad you enjoyed this and what a great review:)
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Cinder by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  7. I’ve said this so many times – I like slow building romance. It just makes the romance so much sweeter! Lovely review, Celine!
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  8. Jasprit says:

    This is a gorgeous review Celine! I have to agree with all the points you made, I was a huge fan of Bodee and Alexi in this story, I adored the way their characters developed and also how Stevens dealt with the problems they were dealing with!
    Jasprit recently posted…Cover Fever: #6My Profile

  9. Melliane says:

    No insta-love? that’s awesome because I know it’s everywhere now! The story sounds good, I think I saw it on another blog but I don’t remember where…
    Melliane recently posted…M.L Brennan Blog Tour + GiveawayMy Profile

  10. Melanie says:

    I really want to read this one soon! Might have to wait since I’m so behind on books lately. Yuck

  11. Great review, Celine. I agree with your points here. Faking Normal was indeed an intricate story and it really touched my heart in many ways. I lent my ARC to a friend of mine and even she was left speechless! I’ve read this like last year I think? and I still haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet because I find it so hard. You know that feeling where you have nothing to say except tears? That the only things you can muster to people is “Just read it. Just read it and enjoy, cry, and learn from it.”

    Hopefully I’ll be able to give it a review before its release. BUT STILL, IMMA FEEL LIKE CRYING </3 </3
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    • Celine says:

      I totally get what you mean – it can be so hard to review some books! I absolutely had that with Me Since You. How do you even begin to describe so much pain and grief and beauty? But to be honest, a review that would just say “Just read it.” might win me over, haha. I usually like long reviews that delve deep into books, but sometimes books just HIT you and you don’t have to say much about it – just that it’s a book that needs to be read.

      And if you cry, I’ll be here to hold you! I completely understand 😛

  12. Sue Holmes says:

    Looking forward to reading this book. It has such a beautiful cover!
    Crushingcinders aka Sue

  13. Shai W says:

    I haven’t seen this one before, probably because it has not yet been published but I think I’ll enjoy it as the themes are my favourite: all the grittiness. Great review.

  14. I have to agree, Celine! I really enjoyed the way the subject of rape was dealt with in this novel and the romance that developed was truly so sweet and healing. Wonderful review! 🙂
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  15. Lily B says:

    Cannot wait to read this one, it sounds like it handles a few subjects well and speaks about things that are out there in a teens world that could use some addressing. Looks like a great read.
    Lily B recently posted…Xpresso Book Tours: The Polaris Uprising (Polaris #1) by Jennifer IbarraMy Profile

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