Courtney S. Stevens’ Faking Normal (2017 Reading Book #134)

As you probably know by now, I’ve been trying to read as many YA stories about sexual assault to help my own writing projects and because I’m passionate about the conversations we present to teens about this issue. Faking Normal does a great job with presenting this novel.

This may be one of the few novels where keeping some of the secrets from the reader works really well and seems true to Alexi’s situation. Also, the slow reveal of the situation was well done, although I figured out who the assailant was before it was actually revealed, but it wasn’t too easy to guess.

I also loved Bodee as a character and how his issues paralleled nicely with Alexi’s. They were different and they had different obstacles to deal with, but their ability to understand and support each other was really lovely.

My biggest disappointment was some uncool moves Bodee made toward the end of the novel when he said he would tell what happened to Alexi if she didn’t. I thought that was really inappropriate as it should be up to Alexi what she does about telling people or getting help. Obviously, it’s important to encourage her to get help, but he shouldn’t force her into doing anything, as being forced to do something (sex) is what she’s currently working through. No one should compromise her power. I also disliked how Alexi sort of became dependent on Bodee and her motivation to get help was so that she wouldn’t leave him. I really wanted to see her share her truth for herself.

Overall, I think it’s a really fantastic story and I enjoyed reading it.

In Summary:

Title(s): Faking Normal

Author(s): Courtney S. Stevens

Overall Rating: 4/5

Genre: Fiction

Category: YA

Format Accessed: Hardcover

Imprint: HarperTeen

Publisher: HarperCollins

Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault

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