The Art of Being Normal
David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he's gay. The school bully thinks he's a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth: David wants to be a girl.
On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal: to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in his class is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands u
However, once I started reading I was honestly very disappointed.
I know that trans people have different experiences and points of view on their gender, but so many things about this book seemed off to me.
The book isn't written by a trans person, and that was my first clue.
In the blurb: "Two boys." and "David wants to be a girl."
Being trans isn't about wanting to be ...more
"Normal" kids don't see therapists. "Normal" kids don't have mothers like mine, who tell you life isn't fair with messed-up glee, like the unfairness of life is pretty much the only thing they know for sure. I've spent my whole life being told I'm the complete opposite of "normal".
I'm sorry, but I loved this. I don't know why I'm apologizing, since I'm on this website to either hate or love a book no matter what others thought about it, but I feel like this is another one of those bo ...more
The Art of Being Normal was not what I had expected. I would say that this is a good introduction for someone who wants to know more about life as a transgender kid and adolescent. It is a heartfelt novel, for sure, but not a perfect one.
I had difficulties connecting with the characters, especially with David. She is 15 years old if I am not mistaken, but she acts like a 12-year-old. In most situations, David and her friends seem ...more
I'm not transgender, but even I can see how terrible the author dealt with the characters transness. The story is about the transgender girl Kate who is closeted (and goes by David for most of the book) and the transgender boy Leo who is not out at his new school. The two of them form an unlikely friendship and that's basically what the story is about. I thought the story itself was - except for some problematic things I'll remark on later on - really fun and just ...more
The Art of Being Normal is the story of a transgender character named David, and his journey to finally telling his family (and the rest of the world) that he wishes to be referred to as Kate, and would like to begin transitioning.
I have to be honest and say that I don't believe I've read a book about a transgender character before, certainly not as the main focus of the story. I know they exist, so it's either down to my own lack of diverse reading or a distinct l ...more
Fourteen-year-old David Piper has only told two people – his two best friends, Essie and Fox, who have both been incredibly supportive – that he has wanted, needed, to be a girl ever since he was a small child. David has written a letter to his p ...more
Loved the introductory exploration of trans issues in this book, even if it faltered in other areas. The Art of Being Normal follows two protagonists who both go to Eden Park School: David Piper, a biological male who has always wanted to be a girl, and Leo Denten, an outsider with dark secrets of his own. Though the two seem quite different - David, more reserved and wistful, Leo, more moody and confrontational - a twist of fate brings them together in ways neither of them expect.
I app ...more
However, I also have to be open and honest to the slightly problematic aspects of the book too. Do I think this represent ...more
My main issue with THE ART OF BEING NORMAL is that it's a tale of transgender teens told by a cisgender author. Now admittedly, I knew that from the beginning but I was optimistic that it may have worked out. I believe in giving authors the benefit of the doubt until I've seen the proof in their ...more
"Besides, who wants to be normal anyway? Fancy that on your gravestone. ‘Here lies so-and-so. They were entirely normal.’”
A sweet YA-story with a couple of amazing diverse characters, although the st ...more
David has a secret. He hasn’t told his family. He hasn’t come out to the world with it. Only his best friends, and his trusty journal know the truth. If he could be anything in the world ...more
I flew through this book. Whether it's the content, the plot, the story line or the writing - I don't care. I absolutely flew through it and loved every second of doing so. The Art of Being Normal spoke to me in a way I didn't expect. I ...more
David is fourteen years old and has known since he was a child that he is really a female stuck inside a male body. His two best friends are the only ones to know and he is struggling to find the right way to tel ...more
'The Art Of Being Normal' follows David, who stumbles through the minefield of high school and puberty knowing in his heart that everything is wrong... because he wants to be a girl, knows he is supposed to be girl. Navigating bullies gets a little easier for him though with a well aimed punch from Leo Denton, who struggles alongside David wit ...more
This book is really important. There are so many people out there today struggling with gender identity and the desperate need to be looked at as "normal" because they do not fit into the specific and constricting constructs of society and it is just heartbreaking. Before this book, i did not have that much of an insight into transgender struggles. Even if this book is purely fiction, it still did open my eyes to some of the struggles in an honest simple prose imbued with complex depths. I real ...more
David Piper has really never fit in. Apart from his two best friends, most of his fellow high school students ridicule him for being different. One of the school bullies has called him "Freak Show" since they were younger, but David is willing to wait him out until high school ends. His parents think he is gay, and are waiting for him to t ...more
If I had only read the description beforehand I would've immediately put it down.
"David wants to be a girl."
That line says it all. It doesn't get better throughout the book either. The trans girl character is continuously referred to as just a boy who wants to be a girl, ...more
Just like in Simon, in this book it is about a diversity character, in this case a trans, but without the book being written in a learny way. You get to know David and you learn what it's like to be trapped in the wrong body because he is.
And I also like Leo a lot! And I like how, at least in the Dutch version, the different point of views are indicated with different fonts. I really like ...more
The Art of Being Normal was poorly written at best.
I'm not talking about the cringe-worthy dialogues here, I'm talking about the actual execution and development of the main themes. This book was full of trans-phobic tropes.
It's not the perfect book, but it's heartbreakingly beautiful, and emotional, and heartfelt. It's outstanding.
Please, everyone. Read it.
This review was originally published on Blogs of a Bookaholic.
An amazing step forward in diversity in publishing, not such a step forward in engrossing storytelling.
As both a reader and a psychology student, I’m always on the lookout for YA books that tackle serious topics and incorporate them into stories, whether that’s mental health, rare disorders or, in this case, gender identity. As a student, I was lucky enough to cover gender as a topic and it really opened my eyes, so I was excited to d ...more
Having just finished the book, my overall thoughts are good, but not great.
Story wise I really enjoyed it. I think the overall story was great. Both David and Leo are wonderful characters and I loved their inner monologues of their struggle with being transgender; they were thoughtful and they wer ...more
Williamson has created a novel I wish had been written years ago. It’s incredibly brave – I don’t think there’s anything too similar to it published at the moment – and it stands out because of its themes and content. However, I’m sad because I wish there were more books just like The Art of Being Normal. I’m ...more
|the families||2||16||Oct 30, 2017 09:30AM|
|YA LGBT Books: * Sept 2016 BotM - LGBTQ+ - The Art of Being Normal - spoilers||26||136||Sep 16, 2016 06:13AM|
|♥!The Young Adult...: The Art of Being Normal||1||22||Jan 31, 2016 09:16PM|
|Transgender Teens||1||56||Feb 03, 2015 02:55AM|
Following graduation, Lisa adopted the stage name of Lisa Cassidy and spent several happy and chaotic years occasionally gett ...more