WHAT IS NORMAL?
For Trevor, normal was fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes, and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves him with no band, no teammates, and no chance of graduating. It's kinda hard to ace your finals when you've been in a coma. The last thing he needs is stuck-up Everly Jenkins as his new tutor-those beautiful blue eyes catching every last flaw.
For Everly, normal was a perfect family around the dinner table, playing piano at Sunday service, and sunning by the pool. Until she discovers her whole life is a lie. Now the perfect pastor's daughter is hiding a life-changing secret, one that is slowly tearing her family apart. And spending the summer with notorious flirt Trevor Lewis means her darkest secret could be exposed.
This achingly beautiful story about two damaged teens struggling through pain and loss to redefine who they are-to their family, to themselves, and to each other-is sure to melt your heart.
Praise for Boys Like You:
"The classic miscommunications, the emotional pushing and pulling, the "will she?" and "won't he?" of the destined-to-be-in-love. Readers of Miranda Kenneally, Jenny Han, and Susane Colasanti will enjoy Stone." -VOYA
"The story handles challenging subjects like sex, drunk driving, and faith after tragedy in a sensitive and age-appropriate way ...just what readers need." -School Library Journal
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I used to be the guy who had it all.
I had the girlfriend most guys drooled over-easy on the eyes, curves in all the right places, and always up for a good time. I played guitar in the hottest band around and made first string on the football team. My best friend was like a brother to me, and my family was relatively free of drama. Sure my dad worked a little too much and my mom bitched about it, and yeah, my little sister could be annoying as hell, but we were good.
I was invincible. I had goals and dreams, and I was damn close to getting them.
Until I wasn't.
Until a night went so wrong that I ended up in a coma, and by the time I came out of it, months had passed. By then I was already running to catch up to everyone else, and running to catch up wasn't something I was used to. I was the guy at the head of the line. I was the lucky one. Until I wasn't. And like everything else in this new life of mine, it totally sucked.
Thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach. I hate it. There are nights when I can't sleep. Nights when all I want to do is close my eyes and see nothing. Hear nothing. Smell nothing. I don't want to remember how I used to be, and I sure as hell don't want to remember that night.
Except that I can.
I can remember every single detail.
It was hot. The kind of hot that makes you sweat like crazy and leaves your lungs feeling heavy. The moon was out, and it never went away, kind of like perpetual twilight.
My girlfriend wore a tight black halter top and a white skirt that barely covered her ass. I gave her hell for it, but I liked how the other guys checked her out. I liked knowing that she was mine. And I really liked the fact that we'd get busy in some dark, quiet spot among the trees.
Of course, that didn't happen because I drank too much. I got wasted, like stupid wasted, and I puked. Even my girl, Bailey, was disgusted. So yeah, the "getting busy" thing never happened.
Then I got in a car with someone I knew was almost as wasted as me. And that is without a doubt the stupidest thing I've ever done. I remember thinking Nathan shouldn't drive, but he laughed me off and said he was fine.
I remember thinking that we should call my dad. He was always good for a pickup if one of us screwed up. And man, we were screwing up. But at the time it seemed like too much work to make it all happen, so I did nothing.
If I'd done that? Called my dad instead of getting in the car with Nathan at the wheel? Things would be so damn different. I'd still be the old me. Not some loser with shit for brains and a TBI (traumatic brain injury). Now there's a great handle.
But I don't like thinking about what if because it depresses the hell out of me. What if doesn't matter anymore because I have to deal with right now.
And for me, right now is crunch time. I gotta believe that right now just might change my life. And the scariest truth of all?
Right now is all I got.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Emotional sometimes kid's can't accept that their parents are gay. Or when you have bad accident when to get back to how it was or do better one thing I could say there's always help.
It’s been a long fight but Trevor Lewis is out of the hospital, done with therapy and looking forward to moving to New York to pursue his dreams of being a musician. The thing holding him back? The last final before graduating high school. Fortunately his guidance counselor has hooked him up with a tutor for the summer so he can study and complete the government test before the fall. Unfortunately, the tutor assigned to him is none other than Everly Jenkins, the pastor’s daughter. Everly Jenkins is counting the days since she found out her dad was cheating on her mom. HER dad. The Pastor. Cheating on her mom. What does a teenage girl even do with that information? Everly has been trying to figure out the answer to that question for 382 days. She still doesn’t have an answer. But she does see how her parents’ relationship is deteriorating. Tutoring Trevor Lewis isn’t necessarily her first choice for killing time but if it means avoiding the tension at home, she’ll take it. Trevor and Everly are two people that have always noticed each other from afar but lived such completely different lives that their paths should have never crossed. But now that they are spending a lot of time together they quickly learn how much the other has changed. Everly, the girl that once gave a speech on the Perils of Delinquency (absolutely directed at Trevor and his friends), doesn’t look at the world with a black and white lens anymore. Oh, she’s still straight as an arrow but she’s not nearly as ready to judge the choices other people make. And Trevor, the guy that used to live life on the edge? Well, on the outside, he’s still that guy. On the inside? He’s afraid. The traumatic brain injury that put him in a coma is always looming. Just because he’s awake doesn’t mean that it’s completely healed or that it ever will be. And the fact that his memories are sometimes hazy, and that his ability to process information is often hindered (he loses words and can barely make music the way he used to) has made him frustrated and angry. Together they slowly form a relationship while fighting their individual battles. Trevor with his inescapable diagnosis and Everly with her family that is quickly falling apart. When both of their issues come crashing down on them on the same night, they will have to find ways to deal with the new realities of their lives while still finding a place for each other. I was very curious about this story. I enjoyed the first book in the series, Boys Like You. It was very uncomfortable (guilt always is) but it was also very, very good. And, of course, I wanted to know what happened with Trevor. He is both a likely and an unlikely hero. He’s broken in some ways that will never be fixed and I loved that Juliana Stone portrayed him in a way that left the reader no doubt that those broken parts were NOT the only thing that defined him. He’s a complicated teen hero which I greatly appreciated. And I can say the same thing about Everly. She’s a girl that has always been secure in her faith. Now, not only has that faith been put into question but the person responsible for raising her and instilling the faith is the one that has given her doubts. Her struggle to understand how the father she loved so much could tear her family apart is heartbreaking and real. I wanted to reach in and just give her a hug. Trevor and Everyl’s story is so much more than the bad boy and the good girl. It’s about change and acceptance and learning what things are worth fighting for. Juliana Stone has yet again gifted us with a wonderful contemporary YA romance. I can’t wait for her next one. Nat
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Juliana Stone, SOURCEBOOKS Fire, and NetGalley.) “The only thing worse than being stuck in Twin Oaks for the summer without my best buddy, Nathan, is being stuck in Twin Oaks for the summer and having to spend most of it with Everly Jenkins.” This was a YA contemporary romance about a boy with a traumatic brain injury. I liked both Everly and Trevor in this story, and I felt sorry for both of them at points. What Everly was having to deal with with regards to her father was awful, and her home life was pretty poor because of it. “I hate pretending. But most of all, I hate him for what he’s done to my family. Him. My father. I love my father. I hate my father. How screwed up is that?” I thought that Trevor was a little stupid to make the choice that he did which led to his brain injury, but it was sad that he’d lost so much because of one stupid mistake. “I was invincible. I had goals and dreams, and I was damn close to getting them. Until I wasn’t. Until a night went so wrong that I ended up in a coma, and by the time I came out of it, months had passed.” The storyline in this was good, and followed Everly and Trevor as they tried to wrk through some difficult aspects of their life, as well as getting to know each other better and falling in love. Even though the journey wasn’t easy or straightforward, this pair made a really cute couple, and it was obvious how much they loved each other. “He moved closer, until there was only a whisper between us. I could smell his cologne, a light scent of woods and something else I couldn’t put my finger on. But it was nice. It was more than nice. It was amazing.” The ending to this was good, and even though things might have not been a perfect ‘happily ever after’, they were close, and it was obvious that Everly and Trevor were together for good. 8 out of 10 20 likes ·
Life is difficult when everybody knows your pain. But how much worse is it to hide your shame? Trevor and Emily are both struggling with changes that are coming with the end of high school and the start of college. Told in first person alternating points of view, this story of broken dreams and shattered illusions is a fast paced, emotional read that will have you glued to every page. Trevor was the all-around boy: football playing, guitar riffing party animal, everything was moving along well until a car accident left him near death and in a coma. Now, recovering from the worst of the physical injuries, he is still dealing with brain injury: loss of memory, concentration, coordination and anger management. He just wants to be normal: or as normal as he is capable of being after losing what he feels is everything that defines him: football team, friends, and the chance to graduate. Everly has the perfect life and family – or so everyone thinks. She’s got huge issues with her best friend leaving town, and a secret that only she knows and can’t figure out how to deal with it. Home isn’t anywhere she wants to be, and the only option is to be a tutor for Trevor, helping him to bring his grades up to graduate. She’s counting the days until she can leave for college, and biting her tongue with Trevor: someone she never really liked at all. These two slowly reveal their stories: Trevor’s is full of self-pity and lost dreams, frustrations with what he’s unable to do, and the regrets that he has. Never been a particular fan of Everly, but he is more afraid of her disliking him and not wanting to deal with the ‘new’ version, than an active dislike. Everly is busily holding a happy face, hiding her worries and concerns. She’s the first to realize that Trevor isn’t the bull-headed oaf of a football jock she thought he was, and he’s realizing that she isn’t always the cheery chirpy preacher’s kid. When their similarities number more than their differences, the sparks start to fly. Trevor is determined to treat Everly differently from the other girls in his past, and with a few missteps and mistakes their bond grows significantly, and they are able to support one another when real problems crop up. Stone used character voices and the slow development of the trust between the two, with solid interior voices and a series of difficult issues to show the complications and difficulties that arise as adulthood and hard choices approach. Whether using a moment of high drama or a simple forgotten item, this story is gripping, with the climax arriving when Everly’s secret comes clear. Presenting issues, solutions and resolutions bring each element full circle and leaves readers satisfied and smiling. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
I really kind of adored this book. It was exactly what I had hoped it would be. I read and loved Boys Like You last year and enjoyed it so much, so when I saw Juliana Stone was coming up with another book I was so excited to read it. I didn’t know that this book actually had anything to do with Boys Like You, but it did! We actually got a small glimpse back into Boys Like You. I won’t give anything away if you haven’t read Boys Like You yet, but this story is closely connected. You can read them separately, but if you plan to read them both I would recommend reading Boys Like You first. Trevor was in a terrible accident, and is now struggling to learn how to live life as his new “normal”. His parents are overly protective, worried he will get hurt again. He was lasting medical issues that give him difficulties at times, including seizures. He’s trying so hard to be a normal teenager and enjoy life again, but with all the stress surrounding his limitations it’s extremely difficult. To make it worse… the rich, stuck-up Everly becomes his tutor. That’s the last person he wants to spend time with. But little does he know that this may end up being more beneficial than he originally thought. Everly’s the daughter of the town pastor, and her picture perfect life is falling apart as secrets are discovered in her family. The world she thought was basically perfect is not anymore, and she’s struggling through this acceptance and the battle of whether to confront the demons or let them lie. Now getting the news that she’s tutoring Trevor, who is one of the biggest flirts in school, she’s fighting even harder to keep her family secrets just that… a secret. I simply adored these characters. Everly and Trevor were so completely opposite, yet complimented each other beautifully. The story was so well-written and such a strong, intense story that I couldn’t look away. It will kick you right in the feels and leaving you rolling. I loved every minute of it. The story is told through alternating POVs, which I love so much, so we got both sides of the story. So fulfilling. I was wowed by Juliana Stone’s writing in Boys Like You, but this book actually took it up a notch to a whole new level for me. Stone is one of those authors that I wish more people read. With only 90 ratings currently on Goodreads for this book, I have a feeling that many people aren’t aware of it, or haven’t thought about reading it for whatever reason. Well, I’m here to tell you to READ THIS BOOK!! I’m not sure why these books aren’t listed together as a series, but they probably should be. I recommend reading BOTH Boys Like You and Some Kind of Normal. You can thank me later. ¿
A little while back, one had to look pretty hard to find stories that celebrated diversity and not in a taboo sort of way. Of recent years, this is not the case and authors are writing some lovely stories rich in many facets of diversity. This book, a standalone sequel to Boys Like You, is one of them. It hit several kinds of diversity. Acceptance was a big message in this one- acceptance of others and acceptance of self. It was an especially poignant read and not an easy or light one. The hero, Trevor, was a secondary character in the first book. He was pretty much the best friend in a coma through much of the book, but now he's awake, diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury and this is his story. Trevor wants a redo so badly. He wants it all to go back to normal. On the outside he looks much like he did before as one of the popular guys in school when life was easy and his future was assured. Now, he has changed, irrevocably. His parents watch him with fear and worry in their eyes. And he has to be patient with their coddling because he put that look there. His friends don't know how to handle the guy who reverses his words, forgets things, has to take his time because of the messed up connection between his brain and his mouth. His girlfriend couldn't handle it and bailed. He just wants to wrap things up and move on. For that to happen, he has to pass the test for government class and his tutor is none other than good girl and not a big fan of Trevor, Everly Jenkins. Everly is nothing like he imagined and suddenly he is very interested in getting past her 'I'm fine' walls. Everly has been living with a lie for over a year. Not her lie. Her dad's. She waits for him to come clean, but he never does and it is infecting their whole family. They put on a good face for everyone as the Pastor and his family, but it’s all hollow. Everly is so done with the act- with pretending that everything is normal. Into this situation comes Trevor Lewis who sees past the act and genuinely seems to care. She doesn't quite believe that she caught the eye of a guy like Trevor. He is still Trevor and girls still want him even though he sees himself as different. Dare she trust him with her secret? Of anyone, Trevor understands feeling isolated, angry and anything, but normal. The story is a character-driven plot set in a small town over the course of a summer. It's told first person alternating points of view. The pace is gentle and the writing pulls in the reader's empathy for these two hurting teens. The thematic elements are real and hit the reader viscerally. The characters are well-drawn. Trevor and his adjustment to living with a traumatic brain injury and how it affects not just him and others around him felt authentic. His anger, frustration, fear, and struggle to accept while going through things was intense. Everly too, had her challenges with a tragic secret pulling her family apart. She sees the break-up of a marriage through a teenage child's eye view and it’s a rough go. My heart broke for her. I would recommend this for a mid to older YA audience due to language and mild sexual content. To sum up, it was a story that grabs the emotions and I would recommend it to those who enjoy a strong character-driven YA Contemporary Romance. My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
I can't tell you how excited I was to read this book. I absolutely loved Boys Like You, and I was super excited to read about Trevor who played an integral part in Nate and Monroe's story. I must say I wasn't disappointed, and certainly very impressed with the story and its message. Trevor and Everly are an unlikely couple thrown together after Trevor awakens from the coma he was in. Trevor was on top of the world; he was popular, talented, and going places. Everly was the preacher's daughter, a good girl, who knew the difference between right and wrong, and was happy with her life. Of course the Trevor and Everly that meet now are nothing like the people they were before. Both of them have new realities to face that are causing them significant distress. It's what allows them to really see each other for the first time. I have to say I loved how the stark reality of both Everly and Trevor's situations were presented. In Trevor's case I loved the details provided regarding what a person with a traumatic brain injury experiences. Knowing that information made relating to what he was going through and feeling so much easier to understand and relate to. In Everly's case I had a feeling I knew what was going on and it was devastating to see her struggle so much with her mother and her father. I really wished the situation with her mother had been handled differently. It really felt like their roles were reversed and it was too much for Everly. My heart broke for the entire family and what they were facing. I loved seeing Nate and Monroe again. It was good to see them in a better more upbeat light. I must also admit I loved seeing the change in them as much as I enjoyed seeing Trevor's father in a different light. The man I met in Boys Like You was not someone I liked a lot, but one I understood. The man I saw in Some Kind of Normal was phenomenal. He was supportive and loving. In fact both of Trevor's parents were wonderful. I really do hope Juliana Stone writes more about not only Everly and Trevor, but maybe about Taylor, Trevor's sister, or Everly's younger brother. Juliana Stone does a great job at bringing her characters to life and making their problems seem like your own. I always feel destroyed by the end of the books but also slightly smarter and more empathetic towards what people might be facing. After all we're always trying to strive to be and project we're normal, when reality might be something different.
Read on April 20, 2015 Book Info Hardcover, 304 pages Expected publication: May 5th 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire ISBN 1402291507 (ISBN13: 9781402291500) other editions (3) Source:Netgalley EARC Book Buy Links Amazon B&N BOOK SYNOPSIS WHAT IS NORMAL? For Trevor, normal was fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes, and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves him with no band, no teammates, and no chance of graduating. It’s kinda hard to ace your finals when you’ve been in a coma. The last thing he needs is stuck-up Everly Jenkins as his new tutor—those beautiful blue eyes catching every last flaw. For Everly, normal was a perfect family around the dinner table, playing piano at Sunday service, and sunning by the pool. Until she discovers her whole life is a lie. Now the perfect pastor’s daughter is hiding a life-changing secret, one that is slowly tearing her family apart. And spending the summer with notorious flirt Trevor Lewis means her darkest secret could be exposed. This achingly beautiful story about two damaged teens struggling through pain and loss to redefine who they are—to their family, to themselves, and to each other—is sure to melt your heart. My Thoughts Trevor was introduced in book 1 Boys Like You , which did not read but did not feel the lack as back story was pretty well covered to catch me up. I thought that the fit of he and Everly was a good one, they were both decent teens who had been dealt a losing hand in life due to no fault of their own. The emotions of loss of self and feeling anger over another's actions was both realistic as well as heartbreaking to read about on behalf of these characters. I am a fan of contemporary settings and situations for Young Adult stories and this one hits below the belt for me a couple of times for several reasons due to my own past experiences with the aftermath of damage done to friends who were in accidents either driving drunk or hit by a drunk driver themselves. Believe me when I say they were truly, no pun intended, "sobering moments"! Trevor is a typical teenage male, he has it all going for him until the fateful night when he and his best friend mistakenly get in a car while totally trashed. The resulting accident took this young man with the promising future and turned him into a young man who is unsure whether that future he dreamed about all his life even has a chance of becoming reality. Everly is the pastor’s daughter, the girl who on the outside has the perfect family with the perfect house and yet she finds herself wishing that perfect life was real rather than the lie that she knows it to be. At seventeen while their friends seem to have it all together Everly and Trevor find themselves losing the foundation of what had made them whole. Everly with the tension between her parents and an awful truth about her Dad that she does not want to face and Trevor with his recovery from his Traumatic Brain Injury not progressing as well as he had hoped these two have more than enough to deal with for a lifetime. The way in which they handle their respective troubles though is what really makes the reader ache for them both, the two prove that healing takes time and effort but with help from someone who cares it is easier. As the book blurb so eloquently put it this is indeed an achingly beautiful story. [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]