Sally Rooney's second novel is a deeply political novel, just as ...more
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Normal People has been lavished with praise from critics, longlisted for the Man Booker prize and is apparently being adapted for television by the BBC. And it only came out last week!
All that attention will no doubt attract quite a few readers who would not ordinarily touch this subject matter with a barge pole. Because this book:
A) Is about young people
B) Is a love story (but not a romance)
C) Contains a fair bit of sex (which is crucial to the story, btw, and is n ...more
Quite simply this book didn't Fit Me. I really have no interest in r ...more
Some of my perplexity with Normal People is that I just couldn't relate to the twenty something, highly educated, politically aware and cynical young adults that populate this novel. I am not ...more
Sally Rooney's upcoming novel Normal People almost felt like a puzzle, in that you didn't really know what you were truly getting until all of the pieces came together. Beautifully written although a little slow in its pacing, it's a novel full of deep emotions, which made it difficult to read at times.
Connell and Marianne know each other from high school, although they pretend not to, plus his mother works as a cleaner for her family. Marianne is a bit of a laughing stock in school, ...more
2.5* (mainly ...more
In the beginning we meet Connell and Marianne, two young people growing up the we ...more
This will probably be the last book I read from this year's longlist (unless Snap or Sabrina are shortlisted). I have been hearing great things about Sally Rooney since her name got a number of glowing recommendations in last year's end-of-year reviews, but I only got round to reading her first novel Conversations with Friends last week. I was impressed by that, so my expectations for this one were very high.
I found the first couple of chapters a little fl ...more
While not shortlisted for that prize - the book is now (and not surprisingly) starting to sweep other awards: Irish Book of The Year - Best Novel. National Book Award - International Author, Waterstone's Book of the Year - Best Novel and Best Book, Costa Award - Best Novel.
I have little doubt that the author will be the on ...more
(I often find my favorite books from award lists are long but not shortlisted anyway.)
Thanks to the publisher for granting me early access; sadl ...more
You learn nothing profound about yourself simply by being bullied; but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget.
This was a hard book to review as it is so outside my usual type of book. This book follows Marianne: intellectual, cold and a wallflower; and Connell: likable, lives in poverty and anxious how people see him. Both have secret family lives outside what their classmates can see; one in a household of love and one from coldness. These two unlikely people be ...more
There isn't much going on in this book aside from Connell and Marianne's 'will they/won't they' relationship, but I ...more
‘He puts his hands in his pockets and suppresses an irritable sigh, but suppresses it with an audible intake of breath, so that it still sounds like a sigh.’
I get the hand in the pockets bit, but how the hell does the rest of it work? A sigh is an exhalation and I have no idea how any attempt to suppress a sigh by inhaling could possibly sound like one. I’ve tried hard to imagine ...more
If you believe that characters who dislike themselves, shrug a lot and say "I don't know" 24/7 , are very deep and realistic, well this is the perfect read for you.
Or if you enjoy reading about "in" authors...look no further. After all, Rooney is "defining a generation". Yikes!
If you are thinking about reading this novel, I suggest you listen to the following song instead, since it will take you less time and you will get the same story:
This started really promising, but turned into a big yawn.. So much talk it could have been easily titled "Conversation with Friends 2"
Marianne and Connell were a bit interesting in their hometown, but in Dublin it's turned into a journal, a game of sleeping with different people and being so unsure about the situation between them? I really don't enjoy details like "destiny's child was playing.." or "she was wearing a black vest and the other girl was wearing this and that". Ju ...more
I wasn't looking forward to this Booker longlist novel, but I was impressed despite myself. I thought it was going to be new adult written as lit fic, but that assumption wan't accurate. The novel doesn't always work, but I found it thought-provoking and sometimes insightful. More tightly focused and less trope-y than Conversations With Friends, it's a classic coming-of-age university novel but very much of this era (which makes me curious about how it will age and be reg ...more
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, says Marianne. I don’t know why I can’t be like normal people.”
I will officially read (and likely love) everything Rooney writes. I prefer her debut to this one but the consistency in her writing and the themes she explores make her and her works a landmark to understanding our current generation -- which can be misinterpreted as very many things (according to the media, most of them not good) but, mostly I think what makes me and many other people in my gen ...more
The seemingly universal love for Sally Rooney, and for the Man Booker nominated Normal People, surprises me.
The book is alright, but no more than that in my opinion. I think it’s a backward step from Conversations with Friends, but both books have film rights pre sold, and both have achieved critical and commercial succes ...more