The Other Normals
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The Other Normals

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  1,148 ratings  ·  243 reviews
Given the chance, fifteen-year-old Peregrine "Perry" Eckert would dedicate every waking moment to Creatures & Caverns, an epic role-playing game rich with magical creatures, spell casting, and deadly weapons. The world of C&C is where he feels most comfortable in his own skin. But that isn't happening--not if his parents have anything to do with it. Concerned their...more
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
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The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterAmber House by Kelly  MooreWhat's Left of Me by Kat ZhangTen by Gretchen McNeilImmortal Lycanthropes by Hal Johnson
September 2012 YA Fiction
24th out of 111 books — 83 voters
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September 2012 YA & MG Releases!
38th out of 47 books — 105 voters


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Community Reviews

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Crowinator
This was very entertaining, especially for an epic nerd like me. (Though really, Perry, who says only boys play Magic? I played Magic! Hmmm, perhaps I should not admit to that?! //looks around shiftly// Never mind, I never played Magic!). I've seen the concept of a RPG-come-to-life before but not done so well as this one, and I haven't had so many genuine laughs reading a YA book in a while. This one never stops being funny. The ending definitely goes for zany over serious, despite the bloodshed...more
Laura
This was such a great book for the slightly geeky boy who is into RPGs (and possibly a fan of "The Big Bang Theory"). Perry's experience playing Creatures & Caverns by himself makes him a sadder character than the usual hero, but his actions in the World of the Other Normals will make them cheer.

It's his incredible geekiness and lack of social skills that makes him endearing. The scene at the dance? Priceless, and one that will resonate with just the boys who should read this book. Ditto his...more
Heather
I just don't even know where to start with a review of this novel. The characters, Perry, well he is so endearing in an adorkable way, you know boys like this even if you were a girl, you were like him, maybe still have moments like he did. You can't help but like him, he's just trying to become a man and has no idea how to do it. He's fifteen and hasn't hit puberty. He's into playing an RPG game that's not played on a computer. Yeah, more adorkable. He makes his own battle plans and characters...more
Aylee
In short: The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini is the most hilarious book I've read this year.


Hands up if you've ever wished you could visit a fantasy world that you've always dreamed about seeing in real life. I know I would offer up my first born to be able to go to Hogwarts (kidding, of course...). So I was very envious of The Other Normals' unusual hero, Peregrine "Perry" Eckert, when he finds out that the alternate world he has been obsessing over from his Creatures & Caverns rulebook (a pl...more
Karielle
The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini
Release Date: September 25th, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Page Count: 387
Source: Complimentary ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

I've been a Ned Vizzini fan since way way back. I recall purchasing a first edition hardcover copy of Be More Chill at a school book fair the moment it hit the shelves; reveling in his next release, It's Kind of a Funny Story; and the pride/nostalgia/elation I felt when I discovered the...more
Eric
Oct 05, 2012 Eric rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: I really can't
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I wanted to like this, I really did. I loved Vizzini's It's Kind of a Funny Story. I love coming of age stories. I love the fantasy genre. So this book was an easy sell to me.

Unfortunately, it didn't deliver on any level. The world building was just silly -- lots of basic mechanics were poorly explained or glossed over entirely, while lots of unnecessary details, such as the protagonists inability to pronounce the Other Normals word for money, were expounded on for far too long. More importantl...more
Jamie
Considering that my tastes have been heading towards fantasy as of late (I've just consumed Graceling and Fire, not to mention my love of The Guild), I needed a break from the depressing kind of YA realism I've been overdosing on. This book was a perfect balance between realism and fantasy, straddling both genres in a fresh way.

Cat
I can't even express how much I loved this book. Laughed out loud so many times. I am Perry Eckert's number one fan!
Juhina
The Other Normals was just 400 pages of laugh out loud hilarious dialogue, characters, and plot. I enjoyed everything in The Other Normals. Ned Vizzini knows how to write humorous dialogue and has a way of portraying a fifteen year old boy's insecurities and issues without sounding whiny, cliched or boring. The whole setting of this novel had me cracking up. Peregrine, who hates being called that and prefers Perry, is the son of two divorced parents. His brother is a cliched bad boy but his pare...more
Rachael Woohoo
Rating Clarification: 3.5 / 5

If you want to see more of my reviews, check out my blog @ Moosubi Reviews!

Disclaimer: The fact that I received an ARC of this book through ARCycling has not affected my rating. This review expresses my honest opinions.

I have to admit that The Other Normals wasn’t what I expected. When I think about books about video games, I think about something around the lines of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Epic by Conor Kostick, or Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. All thre...more
Tasha
Sep 17, 2012 Tasha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
Perry Eckert loves to play Creatures & Caverns in all of his spare time. He doesn’t have any friends to play the game with, so he just creates characters. When someone inspires him to create a character based on himself, he does. Of course the character differs in some ways, like his red skin, yellow hair and tail, but he is also not that strong, not that fast, but full of honor. Perry’s parents are worried about him being a social outcast, so they send him to summer camp. There, Perry is sw...more
Ken Baumann
I'm Ned's friend, so it's peculiarly hard to be objective, but I enjoyed the hell out of this. I haven't read YA in awhile, but I was surprised at what this book handled—no topics felt sugarcoated or safeguarded. This book smuggles some really beautiful language and ideas into a fast-paced, super pleasurable story. Thanks, Ned!
Mel
Aug 02, 2012 Mel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc, own, home
As soon as I finished Defiance by C.J. Redwine, I pulled this book out of my bag to start on. I'm so glad I did. This was so completely different that I was able to switch gears and get me on a different track. I love switching up the types of books I read. Where Defiance was such a girl power book, The Other Normals is very much a guy who starts believing in himself book. YAY for these books. I love that there are such great books coming out now that we can build confidence in our teens and you...more
John
Terrific Young Fantasy Novel from Ned Vizzini

One of our finest American chroniclers of adolescent angst in nonfiction and fiction, Ned Vizzini, has written one of the most compellingly readable and imaginative works of fiction published this year that, I promise, will thrill children of all ages; "The Other Normals". It is a bold, brash, quite imaginative, look at adolescent male bonding and blossoming sexual interest between the sexes masquerading as a cleverly plotted sword and sorcery fantasy...more
J.A. McLachlan
The Other Normals by Ned Vizzani is a fun read. It's also one of those stories that changes the way you look at things. Vizinni portrays his protagonist - nerdy 15-year-old Perry Eckert - so well I felt all the angst and hopefulness of a socially misfit adolescent boy navigating the treacherous waters of peer rejection, emerging sexuality and impending adulthood.

Perry's social gaffs, his inept attempts to make friends and talk to girls, and his loving but malfunctioning family are exaggerated f...more
Amanda


I really like this book. It's a blend of contemporary AND fantasy which is something you don't see very often. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for something fresh and creative. Win an ARC over at my blog this week!:

http://appraisingpages.com/2012/09/08...
Tobias
My interview with Mr. Vizzini: http://www.vol1brooklyn.com/2012/10/0...
the golden witch.
3.5/5 stars.

This one was fun, but there's definitely a gender bias. But since there's so few YA lit for guys by guys, in this case, I think that's a good thing. "The Other Normals" is a tale of a tabletop RPG geek, coming of age, and trying to straddle both the worlds of being a child and being an adult - and being or going none of those things are easy. I think that the YA male audience is really going to hook into this one and relate a lot. Caution, there are a few spoilers in this review, so...more
Ramona
15 year old Perry is obsessed with Creatures and Caverns, a pen-and-paper role playing game, to the point where he has nearly shut out the rest of the world. This worries his divorced parents, who (communicating only through their lawyers) decide to send him to summer camp. There Perry discovers two things: the camp is totally ghetto, and the world of Creatures and Caverns is real, is in trouble, and Perry is the only one who can save it (or so it seems). Parts of this book got a little slow, bu...more
Lauren
Are you a Dungeons-and-Dragons-playing, fantasy-loving nerd? Then this book is for you! Are you the opposite of all those things? Then this book is also for you! Vizzini's tale of a scrawny unlikely hero who must save an alternate universe whose fate decides our own, is hilarious, adventurous, and fast-paced. Teen guys and girls won't be able to put this down, I certainly couldn't (but I'm not a teen, don't tell)!
Aeicha
I'm a self-proclaimed geek, nerd, queen of awkwardness, so when I read the synopsis to Ned Vizzini's The Other Normals I felt an instant connection to the main character Perry and I hoped I'd find a kindred spirit in him...alas, I did not. I loved Vizzini's other novel It's Kind Of A Funny Story and I think he can craft a stellar contemporary voice. Unfortunately, this particular novel just didn't strike a chord with me.

Peregrine “Perry” Eckert is by all definitions a loner, geek, late bloomer....more
Haley
This book was really funny. So many ridiculous things happened. The characters themselves were pretty funny too. It felt kind of like a parody of some epic fantasy story, with some sci-fi thrown in. Perry is very naïve for a nerdy mathlete/RPGer. And very immature. He kind of reminded me of my brother, except my brother addicted to Call of Duty and other war games instead of WoW and RPG stuff. Ada and Mortin are pretty cool characters. Perry likes Ada a lot.
There are some very unique creatures...more
Steve Rogers
C.S Lewis meets Edgar Rice Burroughs by way of Holden Caulfield. The action scenes are the kind that you cannot leave for fear that they will continue without you. The humor comes from the wry perspective that young teens thrive on and the succinct poetical turn of sentence gives a satisfying soulful element to the prose. Though there are some language and action elements that might keep this out of school libraries it is the very honesty of these sections that will let young adults know that th...more
Jenny
Quick action packed read that was lots of fun.
Lelia Taylor
Ah, summer camp, that place where some kids can’t wait to go and others dread the experience as if it were prison, a punishment for unidentified misdeeds and social ineptitude. Such is the fate awaiting poor 15-year-old Perry Eckart when his parents drop him off at Camp Washiska Lake. It’s more than just his parents, though—his mom’s and dad’s significant others, divorce lawyers Horace and Kimberley, are actively involved in orchestrating what Perry is sure will be the worst summer of his life a...more
Tasha Robinson
Really creative, colorful take on the "mundane person gets drawn into fantasy world as their savior" genre, but this book is missing any sense of solidity or depth. The protagonist is immature to the point of implausibility — like when someone implies he's immature, so he drops his pants to show the entire camp his lone pubic hair and shout that he is a man after all. After a string of events on that level of ridiculousness, it becomes hard to empathize with him as a character, or care what happ...more
sarah
Nov 21, 2012 sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned
I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book initially, but it got better as I became more familiar with the concept. Honestly, when I read that Perry played Creatures & Caverns, I had the same reaction Anna did: oh, it's going to be one of those books. But I was surprised by this book. Sure, the story is based on a boy getting sucked into a real world based on the game he spends all his time playing, but it's a nice mixture of reality and fantasy. When he isn't fighting dog-headed creature...more
Gary
There are some really funny lines in this book. I remember 15 and it wasn't easy. I would have even given this a higher rating, but I had a real problem with some of the language. (I really hate it when I read that in other reviews, but here I go.) I grew up with kids who called it each other Fa**ot and Gay (as in retarded, another no no.) Times have changed and these words are no longer acceptable. If the NBA can run an ad telling kids not to use those words, because they hurt, then adults shou...more
Olivia Olson
This book is awesome at being totally unpredictable and way better than I thought it was going to be.
Strugglingwriter
I enjoyed much of this book. It's so close to 5 stars but not quite.
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I loved the book but... 2 10 Nov 03, 2013 04:05PM  
NED READERS: The Other Normals 7 38 Mar 01, 2013 07:22AM  
NED READERS: Ask Ned about The Other Normals! 2 29 Feb 13, 2013 08:45AM  
Live Video Chat with Ned Vizzini 71 42 Oct 06, 2012 11:40AM  
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11672
Died December 19, 2013.

Vizzini grew up primarily in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City. He attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, graduating in 1999. While still a teenager, he began to write articles for the New York Press, an alternative newspaper.

After he wrote an essay that got published by the New York Times Magazine, several of his essays about his young adult li...more
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