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Faking Normal

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2014

    What my future holds part five

    Part five <br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br> thanks for the charecters. <br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br> <br> i awoke chained to a rock beside anoter guy with blonde hair and gray eyes. His hair color reminded me alot of Sun's. SUN! i looked around franticly. We were in a huge cave fillid with racks ropes cages and g<cr>uns. I saw sun in the far corner. She was dangiling above a huge pot of boiling water. Her wrist her tied together witch the rope was conected to the cave roof holding her up. She had paint splats all over her. I saw Ares pointing a paint-ball g<cr>un at her. He pulled the trigger and a orange spot of paint apperd on her chest. As i looked around the room more i saw a small cage with a girl with brown hair and blue eyes. She looked really hurt and sad like she had been in the cage a while. I looked back over at Ares who had taken sun down and bonde her in chains. They were shackles around her ankles and wrist. Her arms were tugged behind her back and her wrist were conected to her ankles. She had a Golden chain around her neck. She wore only her tatterd cloths that we were captured in. When suddenly a big man with a pin striped suit and a bushy black beard walked in. "Hello lord Zues." Ares said. "I see you have captured the um... girl." Zues said. "Yes," said Ares tugging suns chain. She couldnt move. "I also captued the boy and two other children. A son of athena and a daughter of apoll no doubt." Said ares. "Yes.." said zues nodding. I will take them all to mount olympus immedetly. Ares nodded. Zues snapped jis fingers and we apperd in a jail cell. I was made of solid concreat with a tiny iron door on the far side. We were chaind to the wall. Sun was next to me chaind to the wall with a chain around her neck and around her wrist. She was now dressed in nice old fashion phesent clothes with her hair braided with silver. I saw the other two kids from the cave. They were chaind to the other wall. It looked like the girl wa crying. She wad a big wound on her cheek that looked suspiciously like suns whip marks. Just then a gaurd came in. He was dressed as an aciant greek soilder. He took sun out locking the hevly metel door behind him. Then suddenly the chains relesed around our wrist and i fell to the floor. I looked at the girl and the boy. They exchanged some words and then the boy shoved her away. She looked at him and started crying. I stumbled over. "Whats wrong?" I asked the girl. "Who...who are you.." she cried "im a friend." I said. "What your name?" She asked. "Alex" i responded. "Im alexis" she said. "Do you know whats going on?" She asked me "no idea" i said. When suddenly sun came crashing throught the door thrown in by a gaurd. <br><br><br><br><br><br><br><rb><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br> - &#9787

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  • Posted June 28, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Every once in a while we come across a book that is mind-blowing

    Every once in a while we come across a book that is mind-blowing-good and you love it so much that you can’t stop thinking about and can’t even talk about it for fear of incoherent rambling. 

    Well, Faking Normal was this kinda book.

    Faking Normal is contemporary done right. This poignant and powerful novel stands out among the recent young adult releases and is guaranteed to make you feel.

    Courtney C. Steven’s weaves a moving story of two teenagers’ journey following the aftermath of a tragedy and their discovery of the power of love, hope and healing through forgiveness. 

    “Me: A girl who was raped. 
    Him: A boy whose dad killed his mom.Us: A girl and boy who survive.”

    Alexi Littrell is an ordinary teenager who looks like she has pretty much everything together. But life is anything but normal for Alexi who’s dealing with aftermath of a betrayal and rape by someone she trusted. Bodee Lennox aka the Kool Aid Kid, is a survivor of domestic violence whose mother was murdered by his father. 

    Steven’s breaks free of the ‘strong female protagonist’ mould and gives us a heroine who’s utterly refreshing. Don’t get me wrong Alexi is strong after all, she is survivor a sexual abuse and she helped Bodee to seek closure and testify at his father’s trial. However, she was also human-She knew she needed Bodee’s help in order to understand what truly happened and to forgive herself. Bodee was amazing, guys. He’s unlike any other male hero in YA. His sensitivity, wisdom and kindness will have you falling irrevocably in love with him. The romance was the best kind-sweet and slow. Watching Alexi and Bodee fall for each other was simply beautiful.

    Faking Normal would not be same without Steven’s powerful writing. The captivating prose and mystery element make Faking Normal one hell of a compelling read.

    Courtney C. Steven masterfully tackles the sensitive subject of rape and courageously challenges the common misconceptions in rape culture in this debut. Courtney C. Steven’s heartbreaking and heart-warming debut Faking Normal will without doubt leave a mark on readers.


    “There are no words to this music, and that makes me sad. Every song deserves lyrics. Deserves a story to tell.” 


    “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.” 


    “But today is better than yesterday. And this hurt is still a hole in me, but it's a shrinking hole.”

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014


    Yay. Thanks!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2014

    Sweet Death

    You doin' good! Keep on writin'!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2014

    Normal me #4

    (Hey guys do not faint or try to die on this chapter. Firework requested to kiss in the story sometime. Im gonna do it.)

    I got up from my bed and went downstairs. I had smell a big delicioius smell from my kitchen. Firework must have cooked breakfeast while I was asleep.

    "Hey why are you covering my eyes,Firework?",I asked."I want it to be a suprise for my coltfriend.",Firework said. I started to blush."I can't wait to see what's for breakfeast.",I said.

    Firework uncovered my eyes. It was waffles with cinnamon and melted marshmellows."Mmm my favorite.",I said. I was wondering how I could repay her. I grabbed her hoof and kissed her on the lips.

    "Wow.",Firework said."Hey I couldn't just eat the waffles without repaying you.",I said."Oh Blazin my parents are coming to see if you are the right colt for me.",Firework said.

    "Wait i'm not a colt anymore i'm a hedgehog.",I said."It doesn't matter what you are just be yourself.",Firework said."Ok.",I said.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    Screaming on the inside.

    Books that begin with funerals have nowhere to go but up, but sometimes the journey really runs you through the ringer....and man, does debut author Courtney Stevens reward you for braving the trip.
    Alexi has known Bodee, well, pretty much forever, but as any school kid could tell you there's knowing - and there's acknowledging each other's existence as you pass in the hall. So why she feels compelled to comfort him when he bolts from his murdered mother's funeral is anybody's guess. But Alexi knows that they both are fighting an internal pain that neither can give a voice to. Something was taken from Alexi in the summer and she's clamped it so deep inside that she can't sleep for the secret, hides in her closet for comfort, scratches away at her own skin as though trying to rid herself of the shell that's the only thing holding her together. The only comfort she has comes from the lyrics written on a desk she shares in a classroom...she writes a lyric that he finishes, then he does the same for her. It's a shared means of anonymous communication that she finds safer than an actual relationship with a boy.
    Bodee doesn't talk to anybody; he's the tall thin kid with his hands in his pockets, shoulders hunched, whose only claim to fame is that his father just murdered his mother...oh, and he has blue hair/green hair/red hair, whatever color comes in a package of a famous kid drink. Thrown together because their mothers were friends, Alexi & Bodee form a bond that has more to do with the secrets that broken people carry than with any past friendships. Can they prop each other up long enough to heal?
    I loved this book and only wished as I finished it that there would be a sequel. I was pleased to find a short story/prequel about Bodee on my NOOK that is a lead in for this book and just reinforces what a great character he is. If you liked Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak or Daisy Whitney's The Mockingbirds, you'll love Faking Normal.

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  • Posted March 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    After finishing Faking Normal, I just sat there. I sat there, fe

    After finishing Faking Normal, I just sat there. I sat there, feeling so calm and content. It felt sad, but only because some tears from earlier were still drying on my face. Mostly, though, I was happy. The book was wonderful and . . . it kind of left me speechless.

    YA contemporary with a basis on recovery—from abuse, drugs, or anything else—are my absolute favorite. They never seem to go wrong for me—I'm always swept away in the story, the meaning, the emotions . . . and Faking Normal is no exception. It's the kind of book that, despite any flaws I find, fully deserves a five star rating. It just made my heart happy, and isn't that what a truly great book is supposed to do?


    Alexis is the one &quot;faking normal&quot; in this book. She was the one keeping her secret, hiding in the closet, blaming herself, and suffering as she tried to act as normal and undamaged as possible. Her character was a good one. The journey to finding her strength and voice was remarkable. And her reactions and struggle (as well as the reasons behind them, such as a childhood event) felt very well thought out and well done. The author did a great job with her and her journey.


    Bodee was . . . wow. Talk about a good character. He was never described as this hot, muscle-y, irresistible man that makes all the girls go &quot;OMG *swoon*&quot; (I may have stretched that last one. Just a bit. No. He was the &quot;Kool-Aid Kid&quot;. He was the &quot;freak&quot; that people felt sorry for because his dad killed his mom. Bodee's was a, as Alexi herself said, a broken guy. But he was so nice And sensitive, protective, quiet, supportive . . . an all around good guy. He helped Alexi recover and open up about her secret, one step at a time. At the same time, he was able to step towards his own &quot;recovery.&quot; The two characters were one another's rocks, and man, they were good rocks. 


    I just want to point out a couple things that stood out to me about the book here.

    Family was good in this book. The parents didn't play very big roles, but they were still good ones. Kayla was . . . well, most of the time, she acted horrible. When it came to her little sister and and the idea of anyone hurting her, though, she was such a good, strong big sister. I didn't like here much until the end, but at that point, she had completely redeemed herself for me. While family wasn't a key element in this book, neither the parents or the sister fit into that &quot;bad family&quot; trope that many people notice in YA.

    The subject matter—well, it does focus on sexual abuse, but it's mostly on rape culture and popular views of rape. Alexi felt a lot of fear of what would happen if she told her secret. It would ruin lives. It would label her as damaged. Most of the time, she thought it was her fault . . . she let him do it, she never said no—that type of thing. The author did well with the subject matter and with including popular fears and misconceptions about sexual abuse. 


    Faking Normal is a truly wonderful book. Did it have flaws? Yes, it did. Did they matter to me? Not a bit. I can barely even remember what they were. Even if I did remember, my heart tells me this was a five star book. I cannot recommend this one enough—it's a remarkable and important story that is likely to pull at your heartstrings and leave you saying &quot;wow.&quot;

    Source: I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

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  • Posted March 8, 2014

     I have so many thoughts about this book. And none of them invol

     I have so many thoughts about this book. And none of them involve what I was expecting when I had just read the synopsis a long time ago. But I'm happy about that. Because of that, I was able to just really enjoy this and not go into it thinking that I knew too much.
    &quot;'Sometimes life just sucks.&quot;
    pg. 65 (ARC)
         When I found out about this book I was in the middle of a contemporary fiction with bigger issue phase. And when I heard about this one, I quickly added it to my TBR pile. But this one's bigger issue was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. It touches on religion, abuse, and love. And I say love because as a teen, being in love is a bigger issue. And what I loved about this novel is that Stevens wrote about all these issues in such a realistic way. I felt like I was watching this all play out in front of me instead of just the words in my head.  
    &quot;'Mom and Dad believe they invited Bodee into our home to help him, but the truth is, he's helping me.&quot;
    pg. 97 (ARC)
         This brings me to another thing that I loved about this novel. Stevens' writing style. Her writing is beautiful and lyrical. So much so that I found myself closing the back flap and even reading the acknowledgements because I wanted to continue reading her writing. She has the type of writing that you find yourself hanging on every word because you don't want to miss anything. It sort of flows all together, like a song.  
    &quot;'Love is awkward sometimes.&quot;
    pg. 120 (ARC)
          As for the romance in this one, I LOVED it. And Bodee gets an A+, Seal of Approval, and everything else from me. He was there for her through everything and he knew exactly what she needed, even when she didn't. He helped her overcome so much in that short time, and I was so thankful that she had someone. Because that's what she needed. And it was obvious because he drew it right out of her. With his support, she was able to conquer her demon.  
    &quot;'Easy is empty.&quot;
    pg. 298 (ARC)
         The person that did that to her stole away her ability to love and I'm so happy that she gained not one, but so many more people after she lost him. With her being able to look at him all the time, she was so brave. I think that Stevens did a great job of keeping the attacker away from the reader, but I was able to figure out who it was. But all the same, the effect was not lost.
    &quot;It won't come with a bow on it, but God'll tie it up.&quot;
    pg. 308 (ARC)
         This novel realistically shows that life isn't always perfect. It gives a harsh look into certain issues that some teens face: love, lies, abuse, and religion. I absolutely loved this novel and am looking forward to anything else that Stevens may write. Especially Bodee's tale, &quot;The Blue Haired Boy,&quot; that comes out in March.

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  • Posted March 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

        I wanted to read Faking Normal because I am drawn to anythin

        I wanted to read Faking Normal because I am drawn to anything about self-harm. I used to be a cutter and still get the urges to sometimes. But books like this aren't really a trigger for me, just like I can read about suicide and depression. Everyone should know their limits. To me, it is very therapeutic and it gives me a sense of really being connected with the character and knowing that I am past that and they can heal as well. But I think that it handled these touchy personal subjects in a delicate and tasteful way. 
        Courtney Stevens wrote a winner in Faking Normal. I was able to connect to Alexi, her pain was palpable and I totally relate with the putting on a mask and pretending like everything is okay on the outside when deep down there is pain. I don't share her particular pain of the past but there are things that I never wanted to talk about either, and put on that front. But her journey to realizing that she can trust her family and the right friends with her heart and her pain is so beautiful, watching her become strong enough to tell the truth and stand up for herself is amazing.  
        I think that Alexi's silence is all too common. That she thinks she can handle it, and that she doesn't want the pain to be out in the world. She thinks it is her fault which is also common in these cases. I think that in these aspects, it keeps it really realistic and makes her sympathetic to what others have experienced. She couldn't find her voice to say no, but she was crying. She blames herself in this way too, while I wished she would have made a clear word or pushed him away, if she didn't want it, it is rape. That is hard too, that fine line of letting it happen and it being rape. But I think with the obvious circumstances when you find out who, it is a line that never should have been crossed. They weren't in any sort of relationship and it wasn't a precedent. So, like I said, amazingly handled, and I think that it shows a new issue. When she was raped but unable to actually verbalize no. Her silence is such a theme in this book, and finding her voice is such growth in her. 
        And the circumstances for how it comes about is through Bodee. He is the underdog, the Kool Aid kid because he dyes his hair a rainbow of colors with Kool Aid and his painful past. He is quiet, awkward, but loyal to a fault. Over time as they are living in the same house, they begin to talk with each other or even just sit in silence together and they have a bond because they can recognize that pain beneath the surface. I loved everything about Bodee--that he doesn't have the need to fill silences, that he is strong, observant, and that he's a good guy. He steps in and talks with Alexi, lets her know that she can trust him and he proves himself as a friend over and over and going above and beyond what even a best friend might do. He is an ultimate book boyfriend and he is what made this a 5 star, amazing instead of just a 4, I love it. Because it is a friendship, a slow burn, a build up and anticipation. They want to help each other through their pain, give their fears and past a voice, help the other one be stronger. 
        &quot;And I promise to stop whoever is hurting you.&quot;
         I stand there barely breathing and he says something that sounds like &quot;Even if it's you.&quot; 
    How can you not love a boy man like that? Life has shown him the hard way that it can be cruel but also beautiful and even when he didn't before, to stand up for who he cares about and help them get out of the way of pain.  He is so well developed and fleshed out. Amazingness. 
       The story never lets up and there is character development and relationship progress at every turn. I thought that I had everything figured out but I didn't. There were things and twists that took me by surprise and ended up making it even more powerful. I read this literally in one sitting, and it kept this stay at home mommy who has to get up at 7am up until past 3 devouring these words and characters that stole my heart. 
        So, I saw on my dear friend blogger The Eater of Books (even though the issues didn't sit well with her, she like me loved Bodee) but she posed the question, why do people cut, that it didn't make sense to her personally. So, as I have experience with this, I ended up writing a novella, and thought that I would put it here since it relates to the book. So... I will chime in and say that the cutting-- the nails on the neck--scars on wrist, whatever, I have been there and done that. It really does provide a sense of relief if you have ptsd or depression or even something hard in the past.
     It gives a sense of control, and release. I used to do it because I wasn't in control of what my parents did, where I lived, what other kids said about me behind my back, what my boyfriend did--if he paid attention to me, if he was mean to me, and even if I gave a voice to it, I couldn't really explain. I felt like I couldn't control anything, but I could control physical pain that I could feel.
    YES, it has been mainstreamed as &quot;emo&quot; and therefore it really doesn't have some of the seriousness that it should. It can be a cry for help, but it most likely to the victim can be a physical marker of the emotional pain that they feel inside. 
    Maybe that explains a little better the why. 

        And back to the book. The ending is amazing and even though I didn't want to leave the characters because I loved them and wished for more time with them, every thing was wrapped up well. It gave that perfect balance of realistic, giving hope and healing as well as giving me a taste of what their truly happily ever after could be. I wouldn't want them to completely have it in a powerful, deep and emotional story like this, because that would be glossing over their problems instead of seeking true help and healing. 
       This kinda describes their ending, their friendship, their trust, their relationship. 
    I know we’re still broken. Both of us. But Bodee’s got the glue to make us whole. He is love.
    - ARC, Faking Normal
    Bottom Line: Powerful, emotional, and I related with Alexi and loved everything about Bodee. 

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a re

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
    16-year-old Alexi is hiding a secret, a secret about something that happened to her over the summer, one that is driving her to hurt herself and stopping her from sleeping. If she tells, she’ll ruin one boys life, but the secret is ruining hers.
    Can Alexi really live with this secret? Will she ever find the strength to tell someone what this boy did to her? And doesn’t he deserve to have his life ruined after he ruined hers?

    I really enjoyed this book, the mystery of what had happened and who had done it was super intriguing!

    I liked Aleix, and I really felt for her and what she had gone through. It was easy to see why she was so upset, and why she was having such problems coming to terms with things, and I loved the way that Bodee found a way to help her. I totally got why she felt so scared, and why defending herself was so difficult, and I really wanted her to get things out in the open and begin to feel better.

    I really liked the storyline in this book, and the mystery aspect was done really well. I loved how we had a list of suspects, and it was really difficult to actually know who it was that had done the deed, and I was torn as to who I thought it was, and I really didn’t guess the culprit until the moment before it was revealed. So impressed with the mystery in this book!

    There was romance, but it was subtle, and it was friendship becomes love rather than anything else. I loved the way that Bodee was there for Alexi, and supported her through what she was going through, the same way that she supported him. There was also a mystery side to the romance as well though, with a mystery man who left Alexi notes in the form of song lyrics, that she would then write the next line to. I really liked this mystery too, and I really couldn’t wait to find out who ‘Captain Lyrics’ was!
    The ending was also done really well and everything came together at just the right moment. I liked the way that things were resolved, and I loved the way the romance ended too. I really did love the mystery and romance of this book; it made this un-put-down-able!
    Overall; intriguing mystery and sweet romance – highly recommended!
    8.75 out of 10

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 7, 2014

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    Posted July 5, 2014

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    Posted February 26, 2014

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