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Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  214 ratings  ·  66 reviews
At sixteen, neurodivergent Peta Lyre is the success story of social training. That is, until she finds herself on a school ski trip - and falling in love with the new girl. Peta will need to decide which rules to keep, and which rules to break…

'I'm Peta Lyre,' I mumble. Look people in the eye if you can, at least when you greet them. I try, but it's hard when she is smilin
Paperback, 248 pages
Published April 28th 2020 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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cake and madness
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to get an advance copy of this book, and dear God, I felt so SEEN. I have the same "alphabet" as Peta and the author (ASD/ADHD/SPD). I deeply understood every single "I have no idea what the social convention is here so I'm going to fall back on what my psych taught me" situation Peta went through, her anxiety spirals, and feeling like she can never quite get it right despite trying so hard to implement the lessons from therapy. Not to mention all the flashbacks with various adults g ...more
Emily Wrayburn
Review originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind 20 April, 2020:

Anna Whateley is a Twitter friend of mine and we’ve both been part of the #6amAusWriters group for about a year now, so I was excited and proud to get my hands on a copy of her debut.

This book. I kind of want to hug it. It feels like such an honest, authentic depiction of the neurodivergent experience. Even if I didn’t know it was an #ownvoices book, I would probably have been able to guess.

Peta is such a wonderful lead char
Sharah McConville
Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal is a debut YA novel by Anna Whateley. Peta Lyre, a teenager living on the spectrum, lives with her Aunt Ant after a traumatic childhood with her parents. This beautiful, authentic, heart felt story is just so special. I loved Peta, Jeb, Sam and Aunt Ant so much. Thanks to Allen & Unwin for my paperback ARC.
Trigger warnings: shitty parenting, domestic violence, poverty, neurotypical bullshit towards neurodiverse characters, sexual harassment/assault, mental health.

4.5 stars.

This was sort of a slow burn for me - more of a 3 star read for the first 50ish pages. But once I got into Peta's voice and the way the story flicks between the past and the present, I absolutely loved this. Peta is autistic and has ADHD and sensory processing disorder. All of that representation is Own Voices, which is WONDERF
Cass Moriarty
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal (Allen and Unwin 2020), the debut novel by author Anna Whateley, is a Young Adult own voices story that allows us access into the head of 16-year-old Peta Lyre, who has been diagnosed with all the letters of the alphabet…ASD, ADHD, SPD…in this coming of age tale about friendship and family, growing up and getting it right, and making and breaking the rules. It is also a tender and poignant LGBTQI (more letters!) narrative that explores young love. With themes of neuro-d ...more
Veronica Strachan
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are some books you just can't put down. Peta Lyre's Rating Normal is one of them. Anna Whateley's story about a young girl losing and finding her way through life with an alphabet of disorders is a gem. The prose is tight and spare, yet the picture it paints of Peta, her best friend, and her first love is evocative. The threads of what's happening externally weave in with the knots and snarls of Peta's inner dialogue in a wonderful eclectic mix.
At it's core, it deals beautifullt and sensit
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an advance reading copy of this and gosh it’s really really lovely.

It’s a beautiful, heart felt read that I just couldn’t get enough of.

I myself am in the process of awaiting a diagnosis for some of the same alphabet as the author and the main character (Autism Spectrum) and I felt so so very seen.

Would highly recommend to each and every teenager, it’s just full of colourful, amazing characters and gorgeous story.
K.M. Allan
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book that gives you an insight into the life of someone living in the spectrum. Relatable, realistic, and full of believable characters, relationships and situations. Go along with Peta as she learns how to find a place in the world when it’s complicated and confusing, and the strength she needs to find within herself and those closest to her to get through. Highly recommended.
May 27, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kali Napier
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2020
Closed the covers on this book and gave it straight to my young teen daughter. Peta Lyre's voices are authentic --I say 'voices' because there's what is said externally, and what is said internally. Peta's internal voices also include those of the rules her counsellor gave her to 'appear normal'. Adding a filter so that the internal monologue doesn't become external is one of these, resulting in much dialogue between Peta's urge to speak and desire to 'pass'. What she hasn't learnt the rules for ...more
May 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2020
Loved the neouro-diverse rep in this but the romance kind of came out of nowhere and I wasn't feeling it. I'm sad :( ...more

This one was very hit and miss for me. There's a part of me that wants to hug this book and protect Peta with everything I have because she is wonderful and deserves the actual world and the fact that a character like this exists on the page, in a real physical book, makes me so very happy. We deserve this sort of intersectional representation. We deserve queer girls in all their iterations, we deserve neurodiverse girls and disabled girls and girls who break the mould and don't fit in an
Naomi Shippen
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Trying to fit in is hard when you’re a teenager, but for “Alphabet Girl,” Peta Lyre, neurodivergence makes it especially tough. Peta has been diagnosed with ADHD, ASD and SPD but with the help of rules set out by her therapist, she tries to pass as “normal” in a world that doesn’t understand her differences.

Living with her Aunty Ant after her parents “quit,” Peta tries to find her way in her new home and school. Peta has great friends in Jeb and new girl, Sam. The three of them form the “Misfit
Helen Edwards
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Peta Lyre is one of those special books that you know will stay with you for a very long time. From the beginning, I was completely inside Peta's mind, during a period of her life where she makes many discoveries about the world and herself. The writing was beautiful, with just the right amount of poetry and prose, peppered with Peta's thoughts and active imagination. The sensory descriptions immerse you within the action and the perfect pace keeps you turning the pages to see what will happen n ...more
I think enough time has passed that nobody can accuse me of not being very upfront that I’m Anna’s literary agent and OF COURSE I’m going to love this, but frankly - so do a *lot* of people so it’s not like I’m overly skewing an already wonderfully rated book with more 5-stars 😂

I think Anna Whateley is one of the most electrifying and brave writers to come out of LoveOzYA in recent years, and I say with hand on heart that her books are necessary and important. There’s an urgency to her storytell
Sandy Barker
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Once in a while, you read a book that speaks to your heart. This is one of those books.

Anna Whateley has written a protagonist so empathetic, raw, and real, that my heart ached throughout this read. Beautifully and thoughtfully written - stunning prose, well-sculpted characters, and a deep dive into the humanity and beauty of life.

A must read - for everyone.
Another great example of the hashtags, #weneeddiversebooks and #ownvoices

Engaging and authentic.

"I know all the tricks because I study people. I’m the mimic, the lyrebird. They created me."

Peta Lyre has spent her life learning how to look normal but with autism, ADHD and sensory processing disorder, normality is a hard thing to come by. After years of therapy, she knows now how to live by the rules, how to figure out what people mean when they don't make sense at first. But when she meets Sam, her grasp of the rules is thrown into disarray as she tries to figure out what's more importa
Natasha (jouljet)
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Peta describes herself as Alphabet Girl, alluding to the diagnoses given to her. ASD. ADHD. SPD. She is a neurodivergent young woman trying to follow all the rules she has been taught through years of going to different forms therapy, to fit in and be "normal" in a neurotypical world. But of course, teenage world rarely follows prescribed rules.

She needs to contend with her fluctuating sensory differences, the rollercoaster of medication, her inner voice, and the added layer to her inner voice,
While there are so many parts of this I loved beyond measure, the sum of the parts unfortunately equated to an average read and no one is more disappointed by that finding than me (especially as people I know LOVED this book).

So the parts I loved:
*Diverse representation: The lead character Peta is neurodivergent (ADHD, ASD, SPD). Usually you just get characters with a single "condition", so was great to see neurodivergent being represented.
*Aussie YA author: Yes!
*F-F relationship and a really, r
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. While I don't think likability is necessarily an important factor for characters in a book, I really liked Peta - to the point where that was the resonant thought in my head after finishing the book, I just really liked her.

I think my favourite part was Peta and Jeb's friendship, but the whole story was excellent with fab characters and a cute romance. Through a well constructed narrative that incorporated internalised elements of her therapists rules and traumatic f
Poppy Nwosu
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh this story is lovely and quite deep and darkly emotional at times. I so enjoyed journeying with Peta as she struggles to find her place in the world and slowly figures out how she wants to be (instead of how everyone else wants her to be). I also loved Peta's friend group, Jeb broke my heart and Sam was a flawed and complicated love interest that I really enjoyed.

I loved reading this one! I highly recommend!!!
S Ross
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book from the first few pages. I have often wondered how neurodivergents navigate a neurotypical world. I still don't know how we do. This is a wonderful coming of age book but also a negotiation of self versus world book. Trying to work out what is acceptable versus what will alienate others is so well articulated. I'm in awe with love for this book. ...more
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I really loved this book! It was a great YA own voices book with a protagonist who has her very own alphabet (ASD/ADHD/SPD). I cannot wait to see where this author goes after such an amazing debut novel.
This was just ✨lovely✨ and Peta Lyre deserves THE WORLD. I love that it’s #ownvoices and such a cute and gay meet cute that made me feel all warm inside. 5 stars!
Rebecca Bowyer
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story so much. We're all conditioned to believe that if we follow 'the rules' we'll be safer and our lives will be happier. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it's literally the fabric that glues society together.

Of course, the problem is, it's seldom true. Bad things do happen to good people. Even if you strive every day to reach your goal and do everything you're told to do, you still might fail.

Peta Lyre finds it harder than others to follow the unwritten rules of society. The 'A
Sarah Epstein
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Peta Lyre is a neurodivergent teen dealing with autism, ADHD and sensory processing disorder alongside new discoveries about her sexuality, her family life and friendships, and trying to fit in. The characters in this book are beautifully drawn and the story is really heartfelt (I choked up several times!). I was so drawn in by Peta's voice, her struggles, and her perspective about life as a teen living on the spectrum. Highly recommended for both teen and adult readers! ...more
Georgia Rose
4.5 Stars

I could not put this book down. I even caught myself wandering around the house, bumping into furniture, because my nose was in the book and I wanted to read just-one-more-page.

The protagonist refers to herself as the 'alphabet girl' because she has a whole string of letters attached to her. Her letters are ASD, ADHD and SPD, which refer to diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a sensory processing disorder.

The author, Dr. Anna Whateley, ha
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: queer

Loved the neurodivergent rep (also own voices) but the romance was really abrupt with no chemistry.
4.5 / 5, but I have to round up
CW: Child abuse, sexual harassment of underage girls by adult men
Note: I believe this was only published in Australia. I had to pay a bit extra for it because of that, but it was worth it, and there was nothing that was hard to understand as an American (although them calling ketchup "tomato sauce" took me a second).

First, this book does a great job at highlighting the importance of #ownvoices books. Autism is a part of Peta's life, it's a part of who she is, and i
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Goodreads Librari...: Please combine these two editions 5 19 Feb 20, 2020 06:26PM  

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Anna Whateley writes young adult and children’s fiction. She holds a PhD in Literature from Queensland University of Technology and has studied and worked in both in Australia and the UK.

She also enjoys teaching future teachers, parenting future adults, and reading her work to two exceptionally patient dogs.

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