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Normal People

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  949,623 ratings  ·  89,657 reviews
At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers - one they are determined to conceal.

A
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Hardcover, 273 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Hogarth Press (first published August 28th 2018)
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Erin Just wanted to add that based on this book and Conversations with Friends, it seems the author likes to romanticize anorexia. In both books she makes …moreJust wanted to add that based on this book and Conversations with Friends, it seems the author likes to romanticize anorexia. In both books she makes a point to note the female protagonists’ steady decline into starvation without any consequence, only that they’re basically looking thin.

Idk, I really loved both books but this gave me pause. Sally Rooney, you ok, girl?(less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  949,623 ratings  ·  89,657 reviews


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luce (currently recovering from a hiatus)
EDIT: I get it. This novel is very popular and much beloved. While I recognise that Rooney has talent, I did not vibe with NP. Please, if you hate reading reviews expressing opinions/takes/impressions from your own, well, I suggest you skip this review. There are plenty of glowing reviews out there for this novel so there really is no need for you to waste your time leaving me a comment along the lines of 'you are wrong and here's why'. Also, note that I wrote this review in 2018 and not recentl ...more
Emily May
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, contemporary
No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not.

This is going to be a polarizing book. I mean, I think I liked it. And I say "liked it" in the sense that it made me very miserable. It is a quiet character study, almost a YA novel but not quite, and it is a profoundly lonely and depressing love story.

I didn't begin by liking it. Normal Peo
...more
Marchpane
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, 19-20-19
Sally Rooney is the real deal

Normal People has been lavished with praise from critics, longlisted for the Man Booker prize and adapted for television by the BBC. And that's just in its first week of publication!

All that attention will, no doubt, attract quite a few readers who would not ordinarily touch this subject with a barge pole. Because this book:

A) Is about young people
B) Is a love story (but not a 'romance novel')
C) Contains a fair bit of sex (which is crucial to the storytelling, btw,
...more
Trudie
Sep 24, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booker-18
I am not sure how to write this review because I seem to be so far beyond the pale on my antipathy to this book. In simplest terms I didn't connect with this work at all and I would be best to chalk this up to a "reader/writer" mismatch and move on but I will try and articulate some of my reading experience.

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
Dem
Nov 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub-reads
Man booker prize long list nominee and Costa book awards nominee This is a book that has many admirers and sadly it didn't work for me and while I would love to agree with all the judges on this one I only struggled to the end because it was a bookclub read. It is difficult to go against the grain on a book that is nominated for so many awards. So as always you need to judge for yourself because books fit people differently

Quite simply this book didn't Fit Me. I really have no interest in r
...more
jessica
wow. one of the most frustrating, but humanising, books i have read in a long time. for sure. i feel so exhausted after reading this, but i think that may have been the authors intent. its shows that normal people living normal lives can be quite tiresome. for example:

- the writing lacks quotation marks, which makes the dialogue difficult to decipher. which could be seen as support for the idea that life is just as messy as the books formatting and communication sometimes takes effort to underst
...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Whoever was responsible for the marketing of this book deserves a raise because they managed to make 600k+ people read this incredibly boring story.

Youtube Review: https://youtu.be/3MKcVnfTlf4?t=475

I've been joking around and explaining not loving most Memoirs/Autobiographies and some Contemporaries by stating that "I just don't really care about people".

Clearly, it's far from the truth but... I'll make an exemption for these people.

Didn't care one bit.

Not sure if I'll watch the tv show...

...more
Cindy
Jul 24, 2020 rated it liked it
The book aims to hit emotional poignancy by showing how people weave in and out of your life and exploring themes of first love, class differences, and depression; but ultimately the narrative boils down to two co-dependent people hooking up throughout the years, which doesn't really add anything new. Turn to your social circle IRL and you'll find the same story. ...more
Caitlin
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
I picked up my cup of coffee and took a large gulp, swishing the liquid around in my mouth a little before swallowing. Two stars, I think. I touched my hand to my face and rubbed my nose. I clicked the two star rating. I closed my eyes and nodded, breathing out slowly. Yes, two stars.
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
I genuinely have no idea how to rate this. I LOVED the first half, felt lukewarm towards the middle, and then hated the ending????? The characters had so much chemistry but they refused to communicate I just 😤

TW: sexual assault, domestic violence, depression, suicide
Ali Abdaal
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Started reading at 11pm while on an evening shift at work. Drove home at midnight, arrived at 00:40. Got into bed and kept reading, finished at 04:15. I’m kicking myself for ruining the next day but do I regret it? Absolutely not.
Portal in the Pages
Goddamit Sally Rooney and now I'm crying. ...more
Kat
Nov 30, 2021 added it
i am but a lonely sad slutty bitchy whore
emma
“Life offers up these moments of joy despite everything.”

The first time I read this, I rated it three stars. While this can be considered relatively high for me (don’t check my average rating, it will only bring despair to us both), it is approximately two stars lower than what I expected to rate this book.

I adore Rooney’s prior novel, Conversations with Friends, to a degree that is almost disturbing. Or possibly just disturbing.

But this one fell flat for me. In a way that was difficult, at the
...more
Bel Rodrigues
4,5 ⭐

this love - taylor swift.
Yun
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Normal People starts out beautifully. Marianne is a loner in high school with no friends, while Connell is the popular football player. His mom works as a cleaner at Marianne's house, so they run into each other when he stops by to pick up his mom. Over time, they start to thaw around each other, growing closer as they realize that they can be their true selves when they are together.

Rooney captures so well the vulnerability and awkwardness of teenage years, along with its exuberance and infinit
...more
Danielle
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What?! The.... what?! 😬😬😬😬 This book has been very publicized with the new Hulu adaptation and all. I for one, was looking forward to reading this one. Along with everyone else (judging by how long I waited in the library queue😡). Sadly, it didn’t live up to the hype for me. ☹️These characters were not likable. They both have clear issues, but I’ve read plenty of books where the characters are flawed but you still root for them in the end. And don’t even get me started on the ending. 🙄
Thomas
Let it be known that I found this book both exhilarating and almost unbearably frustrating. About halfway through the book I literally lied down on my couch and screamed to my empty apartment, “Connell, you are such an incompetent communicator, I swear to God herself if you don’t help yourself I’m going to loathe every person named Connell I ever encounter for the rest of my life.” Even though I’m giving this book 2 stars, it’s more out of how invested I felt in the characters and how little I f ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow! Check out Hulu’s marvelous adaptation! They did amazing job by adapting this lyrical, poignant, sad and realistic story with remarkable, heartfelt performances! It is a real soul crusher, heartbreaker! Get ready to set your ugly cries free!!!!

This really reminded me of those tear jerkers, Oh God I cannot breathe, all my happiness swept away by emotional vampires vacuum cleaners inc., come on, that’s kind of nerve bending story that one of the protagonist has to die from a deadly disease ( o
...more
Caroline
***NO SPOILERS***

This is one of the most overrated books I've read in a long time, and I'm stunned it was long-listed for the Women's prize and the Man Booker (but then, I usually really dislike what's chosen for that). The critics are gushing over it too. A professional review I saw in “Book Page” calls it “wise and wondrous.” I ask this: How? How is Rooney’s message “wise”? Show me what’s “wondrous.” I’ve read wondrous and wise many times before. Those are the transportive books I never forget
...more
Elyse  Walters
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had been influenced by a friend - whom I adore & respect - by her 1 star review.... way before this book started gaining momentum and hit the stores a month ago.
This book wasn’t for my friend - but it sure was for me.

I’ve own an ‘Advance Reader’s Edition’, of Sally Rooney’s paper copy for a year and a half. It sat on my shelf, unread.

Rooney’s first novel “Conversations With Friends”, was wonderful.

I admit having a thing for the type of writer Sally Rooney is:
*Addicting* thought-provoking r
...more
Ariel
There were lines that swept me away, the way the timeline was structured moved the story forward in such a powerful and exceptional way, reading the story felt like the way we tell our lives to ourselves, highlighting the moments we've decided are pivotal, but all together I felt depressed and frustrated with the characters and their repetition and their decisions. But I will definitely try Rooney again! ...more
Paul Bryant
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novels
I thought I’d do the Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge, even though it’s just about winter here in Sherwood. But I think I’ll get away with it, you never see any police around here from one year to the next. Anyway, standards really aren’t what they were, I don’t even think anyone would care. In the old days if you did a summer reading challenge in winter you’d be out the door so fast your feet wouldn’t touch the ground. But these days people have neck tattoos and name their children after bran ...more
Jaidee
Jul 07, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1.5 "banal, extraneous, pretentious" stars !!!

2020 Read I was Most Afraid to Dislike Award (not quite hate this year)


I will likely piss some people off with this mini-review but WTF was that ?

I am really astonished that this has been nominated for so many prizes. The writing was plainer than brown paper, the psychologies were moderately inconsistent and the minutiae were so utterly unnecessary.

This went on and on and on about two insecurely attached teens that try desperately to love and gro
...more
Ava
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
In short, I find this book to be refreshingly real. Never have I read a young-adult romance book that feels so realistic to what happens in real life sometimes. It's not always boy meets girl and they live happily together with hardly any issues. This book has depth and complexity, which sometimes is lacking in romance books. The interactions and conversations that Rooney writes about feels so real and true. I loved how she touches on real issues that young adults experience as they enter a new ...more
Adam Dalva
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing, kinetic, insightful, and fun. It feels ferociously of the moment, yes, but it also has a timelessness all its own. Cut through the hype - cut through the show. Rooney's time management is stellar (every new chapter is a time jump ahead), both perspectives are great (every chapter alternates between our two leads, with the attendant misunderstandings of a really good rom-com), and the characters behave like real humans. Excellent supporting cast too, which is a rare treat. T ...more
Meredith (Slowly Catching Up)
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: overdrive
Uncomfortable and Provocative

In Normal People, Sally Rooney tells the story of two deeply damaged people who develop an intense relationship that transcends the norms.


Connell and Marianne start a secret romantic relationship while in high school. Connell is the popular jock who secretly cares what everyone thinks about him. Marianne is the school pariah--the girl who people create myths about. While they both feel alone and misunderstood, together they understand not only one another, but a
...more
BookOfCinz
I am either going to need new eyes or eye sockets because for the entire 266 pages I could not stop rolling my eyes....

I try not to attempt to write "book reviews" when I am mad because more than likely I will say something I will regret or just be super mean. In this instant I have to because I am so mad and so underwhelmed by this read and I want the hours I spent reading it back. #RefundOnTime

I try not to fall for the book hype but the hype around Normal People was relentless. I could no
...more
Peter Boyle
I wanted to like this book more than I did. How thrilling that the author hailed as "Salinger for the Snapchat generation" is Irish, and from my own province of Connacht at that. There are moments in this novel that would certainly back up such a bold claim. But I believe that she is a writer still honing her craft. Not quite the finished article just yet, but with all the potential to become a literary heavyweight.

In the beginning we meet Connell and Marianne, two young people growing up the we
...more
Melissa
May 09, 2020 rated it liked it
It's not like this with other people, she says. Yeah, he says. I know.


I wanted to love this book but, truth be told, my feelings landed somewhere closer to like. The numerous accolades and glowing reviews this novel received from multiple outlets led me to believe I was destined to adore this awkward tale of first love. And on some level, I did. Yet, part of me feels underwhelmed. Mostly with the storyline arc or lack-thereof, which translated to a frustrating conclusion.

My introduction to
...more
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book club ANS 202...: normal people; for leen 2 2 Oct 01, 2022 11:07AM  
forever and everm...: normal people - exile 1 10 Sep 23, 2022 02:37PM  
forever and everm...: normal people - sad beautiful tragic 1 11 Sep 20, 2022 02:24PM  
Did you feel the ending was good/satisfying? 31 821 Sep 02, 2022 07:09AM  
gilmore gal pals ❥ ❁: normal people: sally rooney 2 30 Aug 20, 2022 02:49AM  
book girlies: Book of the month- August 1 9 Aug 14, 2022 08:46PM  

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Sally Rooney was born in 1991 and lives in Dublin, where she graduated from Trinity College. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Dublin Review, The White Review, The Stinging Fly, and the Winter Pages anthology.

Articles featuring this book

Now that we’re halfway through the year, it’s time to check in on the 2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge, our rigorous annual initiative for book...
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“Marianne had the sense that her real life was happening somewhere very far away, happening without her, and she didn't know if she would ever find out where it was or become part of it.” 1479 likes
“I' m not a religious person but I do sometimes think God made you for me.” 1475 likes
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