Monica (Tomes Project)'s Reviews > Faking Normal

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
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's review
Mar 14, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: books-i-own, 2017

trigger warning: rape and self-harm

This book grabbed me, and I didn't expect it to. I constantly say that "I don't like contemporary" and that's true to an extent. Because I do enjoy books with human people in the real and shitty world we live in. I like contemporaries with a purpose, with a statement that they're trying to make.

This is a story about the people you meet after terrible things happen.

I saw Courtney Stevens speak on a panel this past weekend where she described this book as if Melinda from Speak met Peeta from The Hunger Games and it definitely felt like that. It's the story of a girl taking the first steps after being raped. It's not the story of justice and revenge but of how one girl moves forward from that point. It's not always healthy, but Stevens makes that clear in the story.

A lot of the negative reviews that I've read of this book talk about how they're angry with Alexi for not coming clean or sharing what happened to her to anyone for so long. However, I think that's something that needed to be in the story for a few reasons 1) as stated above, the story is about Alexi coming to terms with what happened and then taking the first steps and 2) sometimes, and often, rape isn't reported within the day, the week, etc. Often, people feel like Alexi; they think it's their fault or they deny that it actually happened as a way to cope with what they're feeling. I thought reading that story was and will continue to be important for so many people.

I also really enjoyed that religion was something that was casually intertwined in the background of the story because of the settings and the characters. It wasn't overwhelming or really even there all that much, but the subtle mentions made me really happy that Christianity was being portrayed in a story in a not horrible way.


I am a puddle. This book was beautiful and I love it with so much of my heart, but its 3:30 AM and I'm tired and have cried a lot and been so emotionally invested in these characters.

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Reading Progress

March 11, 2017 – Shelved
March 11, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
March 11, 2017 – Shelved as: books-i-own
March 12, 2017 – Started Reading
March 12, 2017 –
page 82
23.3% "All I want right now is to reavh through the book and give Bodee a hug. (Also, on a panel, Stevens compared Bodee to Peeta and now I can't stop comparing them.)"
March 13, 2017 –
page 166
47.16% "I love the whole "writing song lyrics on the desk thing". It's not only completely adorable but it always lifts the mood. 10/10"
March 13, 2017 –
page 213
60.51% ""Monsters aren't born; they become.""
March 14, 2017 –
page 268
76.14% "*explodes into a tiny ball of rage*"
March 14, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017
March 14, 2017 – Finished Reading

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