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  • Posted January 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Normalish may seem like an innocent book written to entertain, b

    Normalish may seem like an innocent book written to entertain, but there are hidden depths to the ordinary words. There is a story with a message that I believe that every teenage girl should know–that it’s okay to be yourself, that it’s okay to be normal(ish), that no matter how many problems you might have, you can get through them.

    Something I realized when I was reading Normalish is that I’m not a big fan of average contemporary. The contemporary novels that I like tend to be those deep ones that hook you in and won’t let you go (I’m talking about you, The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay). But Normalish was…well, normalish. It didn’t hook me in like the others, but I felt a strong pull to the underlying principles that the book was teaching.

    Although they’re masked by the humorous characters, I could tell that Normalish was teaching me about problems that teenagers might face today: depression, death, the need to fit in, etc. The book is written in a way that makes it seem like nothing’s really happening–probably half of the book is just the protagonist’s musings–but Margaret Lesh was genius at capturing those feelings onto paper. I’m a teenager myself, so I understand Stacy (the main character). I’ve been depressed before. I’ve seen death before. I’ve desperately wanted a boyfriend before (though I am a little embarrassed to admit how much I wanted one, haha). Although I can’t claim that I’ve lost my best friend or that my sister became mentally ill (doesn’t happen to most people, I think), I understand what it’s like to be in Stacy’s shoes. Sometimes it felt exactly like what Lesh was describing.

    Stacy is hilarious. The way she views the world may seem a little bleak, but I think I can relate to it. Though sometimes I find her obtuse and a little boy-crazy (come on, I totally saw Anthony and Chad coming), I understand that she’s strong for a girl who’s just trying to fight her way through life. A lot of unfortunate things happen to her, but she’s still fighting.

    Lesh’s writing isn’t particularly enchanting or anything, but I definitely do commend her for managing to write about deep things in what seems to be a funny and generally happy book. That takes skill.

    Though this isn’t my favorite contemporary book dealing with teenage problems, I do value the life lessons it teaches. I’d recommend this to anyone going through a tough time–someone like Stacy. Maybe after reading Normalish they’ll be encouraged to fight. Maybe they’ll even win in the end and accept/conquer their problems.

    source: ebook received for review from Xpresso Book Tours

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  • Posted January 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    3.5 stars     Did I enjoy this book: I enjoyed this book. It w

    3.5 stars    

    Did I enjoy this book: I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read that felt genuine. 

    Normalish is basically Stacy's diary of her freshman year of high school. She starts high school when she is 14 years old. Stacy is 15 years old when her year is over. Throughout the year, Stacy maintains the voice of a 14/15 year old freshman. This was refreshing. Too many times in books like these, the narrator ends up being too old for their age.

    However, Stacy wasn't too old for her age nor was she too young. This could have happened so easily given all of the challenges that she faced in this one year. Ms. Lesh threw some pretty heavy stuff at Stacy and Stacy came through with flying colors. 

    My favorite characters were Chad and Bobby. Chad was sweet, a great friend, and, from the sounds of it, turned into quite the looker. I felt bad for him in the beginning but he didn't give up. Bobby was all wrong for Stacy but he was also sweet and kind. Another character I really enjoyed was Roman, Becca's boyfriend. For him to stay with her through all of her issues was nothing short of amazing. He was the big brother to Stacy that I think she really needed. 

    All-in-all, Normalish was well-written and a good story. 

    Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book. 

    Will I read it again: I will not read this book again.

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  • Posted November 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Will not Disappoint

    Packed with teen angst, interpersonal drama, family issues and so much more. Normalish has it all, along with the very real, very snarky, completely enjoyable main character, Stacy. Everything that a typical freshman endures during their first-year in high school is in this book, and it is exactly what my students will enjoy.

    Normalish is a fun, faced paced read that will not disappoint.

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