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A Different Kind of Normal

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,809 ratings  ·  254 reviews
From acclaimed author Cathy Lamb comes a warm and poignant story about mothers and sons, family and forgiveness--and loving someone enough to let them be true to themselves. . .

Jaden Bruxelle knows that life is precious. She sees it in her work as a hospice nurse, a job filled with compassion and humor even on the saddest days. And she sees it in Tate, the boy she has rais
Paperback, 408 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Kensington Publishing Corporation (first published January 1st 2012)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,809 ratings  ·  254 reviews

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PacaLipstick Gramma
Nov 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
I have read other Cathy Lamb books and really enjoyed them.
I was sorely disappointed with this one. The whole story was just too hokey and unbelievable. The constant sexual innuendos, their behaviors, the characters just didn't seem believable. Even the behavior and goings on of their ancestors was too over the top. The only one who I thought was "real" was the drug addicted Brooke. She was the only character that I think I could have found in real life.
I know it is supposed to be a feel good st
Apr 11, 2012 rated it liked it

I never write reviews but I didn't want readers to miss out on other Cathy Lamb books because of this one. I enjoyed it as a quirky fiction book with lots of heart but it is nowhere near her other books. Her other books are relatable. They are about women I know or sometimes me. She talks of experiences with raw emotion and lots of humor. I wish I knew these people! I lent out The Last Time I Was Me and never got it back. I think I'll buy it again on my Kindle because it was that good.

The chara
May 06, 2012 rated it liked it
I love Cathy Lamb's books--they make me laugh, touch me, and I always find the characters appealing. This book took me a lot longer than usual to get into. There seemed to be so many completely quirky characters (more than normal) that jumped around a lot and some of the dialogue between them was distracting and driving me crazy. Still about a third of the way in it all started to come together and I ended up really enjoying it. Jaden, tough, no-nonsense and mama-bear protective over her son Tat ...more
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really did not like this book. I found that she picked way too many themes to touch on. This made all her characters seem completely unrealistic to me. She did drug abuse, orphanges in India, death and dying, medlical malpractice, special needs child, single dads and I think that is it. Too much subject matter not enough depth. Everything ended well and as expected and the I felt all the characters except the main character to be one dimensional. Reading this book was like watching a play tha ...more
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
There are page-turners, and then there are page-flippers. Page-flippers are books that inspire you to flip through them, looking for the next part that's relevant to the plot. I actually enjoyed this book quite a bit after I decided to skim it; it has a strong cast of main characters, some fun plot points, and some genuinely moving exchanges. It also has about 200 pages of fluff and repetition. Had this book been only 200 pages, I probably would have laughed, cried, and bought it for all my frie ...more
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Different Kind of Normal – A Heart Felt Story!

I loved this book. It really hit home. One of the main characters in this book was born with a big head. The medical term for this is called Hydrocephalus. I have a relative that was born with this same condition. This made the book come alive for me because of that fact.

Tate Bruxelle, was born with a big head. His real mother, Brooke, abandoned him after birth. She simply walked away from the hospital leaving Tate there. Jaden Bruxelle, the sister
C.H. Armstrong
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can sum this book up in one word: Beautiful! In true Cathy Lamb fashion, readers are brought a story that will make you laugh out loud, and is absolutely certain to bring forth tears of empathy and grief. It's what Cathy Lamb does best, and it's probably why she truly is my favorite author.

Lamb's newest novel tells the story of 17-year old Tate. Born to a strung-out and drug-addicted mother (Brooke), and adopted at birth by his 19-year old aunt (Jaden), Tate's life will be anything but easy. L
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jaden is a hospice nurse. She is mother to Tate, a teenager with Hydrocephalus. Her family is quite a cast of characters from her soap opera actress mother, to her drug addicted sister, to her single dad wrestler turned florist brother, and her nieces and nephew.
Jaden struggles for that delicate balance between encouraging normalcy and protecting her physically fragile son.And she frequently comes out on the over-protective end. Tate has a large misshapen head. And of course this sets him up f
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Well done Ms. Lamb, well done. There are so many words that I could write about what happens in this book to a family of characters that in true Cathy Lamb fashion make you want to be best friends with some of them and run over others with your car. Your big car. Instead I'll tell you what happened when I fell under the spell of A DIFFERENT KIND OF NORMAL. I became 'friends' with the characters. I missed the characters when I close the back flap of the book. I laughed at the hilarious scenarios. ...more
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
I liked a lot of things about this story, but ultimately found it impossible to get past the extremely strange and unrealistic dialogue. The premise is good, the author's writing ability is fine as long as she is simply delivering the narrative...but the things the characters say are so odd and unlike anything real people ever say. For example, (view spoiler) ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Why do editors give well-known authors a "pass"? This book was in dire need of editing, and would have done well as a much shorter book, say 200-250 pages or so. Jaden is a strong character as a caring, involved, hospice nurse. She is raising her drug-addicted sister's child, who suffered brain and head birth defects due to his mother's drug use when she was pregnant.

The premise is strong, however, the book bounces all over the place. Ancestors who were witches, a mother who is a soap opera sta
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
I enjoy this author however, I think I may be outgrowing her writing style. She always has the one over the top female character who insists on loudly claiming her body parts, and her female characters cannot seem to hold a conversation with the men they are attracted too. The male characters are either terrible or wonderful there is no in between. She always has that one male character that was once a football player who is depicted as manly but overly sensitive.
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: purchased
About mid-way though this book I was going to give it a rating of 3 stars, then it turned to 4 stars and by the end, it was definitely a 5! I couldn't put it down, even as I waited in Great Clips for my boys to get their hair cuts.......tears streaming down my face. (Yes, I did get a few looks from the patrons:). A very touching story. Loved it!
Sally Crosiar
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Appealing characters, a good underdog story, and except for run-on sentences, better grammar than I've seen in other books by this author. (But you still need a better editor, Cathy.)
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’m surprised by the poor reviews. I loved this book. It was fun, quirky and just a good story. Don’t put too much thought into it - if you’re looking for literature read Wuthering Heights or something. This book should just be read for pleasure.
Julie Barrett
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
A Different Kind of Normal by Cathy Lamb
Love reading about magical mystical powers and what regular herbs can do not only in spells but healing humans.
Centuries earlier the twin sisters had some fights: the powers that be set a spell on the sisters and it showed up down the family tree with one male child, Tate being deformed at birth: a huge head, eye not where it should be etc, making him appear to be a monster. His mother won't allow him to play sports as he's a teen now due to his medical co
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
All I can say is that this is a different kind of novel. Lamb creates characters that are so real you want to sit down and chat with them yourself. The story is about Jaden, a hospice nurse who took over raising her abandoned nephew when she was only 19. Her drug addicted sister left her physically challenged newborn at the hospital leaving Jaden to do the only thing she knew to do; to love that child with all heart and to fight for his survival, raising him as her own. Tate, the abandoned child ...more
Peri Schacknow
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars. I REALLY liked this book. I actually kind of loved it, but did get a tiny little bit tired of Jaden's refusal to let Tate play basketball. It's understandable that that was the best way to demonstrate her worry and concern for him, but it did become somewhat belabored. To her credit, Cathy Lamb made Tate's rebuttals honest, funny, and at times, heartbreaking, so even thought it was a bit of a flaw for me, it was most definitely not a dealbreaker.

I don't do book synopses in my review
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book had an interesting plot, but seemed very self-conscious in writing style and kind of annoyed me. I thought, "Even I could do better than that." I'm not quite sure how to articulate what I mean; just that some of the writing or content choices seemed too precious or over-the-top (triplets named Harvey and Heloise and Hazel? Really?), and with so many over-the-top elements that the story was ultimately not believable enough to feel right.

I saw a few other reviews that said the story touc
Michele Whitecotton
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was unlike any book I've read before. It was very heartwarming with some humor and just a little bit of magic thrown in for good measure. This book had a great mix of characters and everyone of them seeped into your heart. I really couldn't clasify this book into any particular genre, it's just an excellent story about a slightly abnormal family. This was the first book I have ever read by Ms. Lamb but I will definately try another one.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it liked it
This story engaged me on several fronts: the strongest story line was about how it felt to not be normal and I really thought that Cathy Lamb did an excellent job of letting me as a reader see it through the eyes of the teenager born with a deformity and through the eyes of his mother. I also was moved by the impact that the drug addicted daughter had on her family.
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a perfect summer book. The characters were wonderful. Tate is the most kind, gentle of giants. He is beautiful. There are so many wonderful, life affirming messages in this story. It was a great way to end my summer reading.
Apryl Rickert
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book had me all over the map. I really didn't like it when I started out. This book grew on me as did the characters but at times I felt the dialogue between them was off. At any rate I still cried, laughed and felt moved at times with their struggles . 3.5
Margie Whitcotton
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, it didn't strike me right away, but I ended up enjoying it. So glad to read about a strong woman, gives me hope there are a few men out there who like us. It also made me miss my crazy family.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cathy Lamb, you have done it again. You've made me laugh out loud and weep in public; you've given me visions and inspiration and a racing heart; characters I care for deeply. I don't know how you do it, but please, don't ever stop.
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it

We need a 1/2 star option on good reads--I think this book is nearly perfect & deserves a 4 1/2 star rating!!!
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
if you are in the mood for a 2 hankie book this is it.

Tate is a boy you cheer for
May 05, 2013 rated it liked it
I would probably give this 3 1/2 stars. Not my favorite Cathy Lamb book, but still very good!
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book!
Martha Faulkner
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
fabulous book - read anything you can get your hands on by Cathy Lamb!!!
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Cathy Lamb was born in Newport Beach, California. As a child, she mastered the art of skateboarding, catching butterflies in bottles, and riding her bike with no hands. When she was 10, her parents moved her, two sisters, a brother, and two poorly behaved dogs to Oregon before she could fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a surfer bum.

She then embarked on her notable academic career where she e
“Seasons are like life. Some seasons are better than others. Some have more sun and rainbows. Others have storms and tornadoes. Some have both. You have to accept that, and bring colour and light to the season you're in as best you can, and always look forward to the next season.” 6 likes
“Let's face it. you become a deeper person amidst adversity. You become a more perceptive, strong, resilient person when life is not handed to you on a silver platter held by a butler.” 0 likes
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