Thursday, September 24

Review: The Art of Being Normal

The Art of Being Normal
Lisa Williamson

Published By: David Fickling Books
Publication Date: January 1, 2015
Date Read: July 22, 2015
Genre: YA - LGBT
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 368
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From Goodreads:
Two boys. Two secrets.

David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl.

On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan.

When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…

"Because I'm not gay. I'm just a straight girl stuck in a boy's body."

I'm going to be totally honest and say that when I first heard about The Art of Being Normal no matter how many great reviews I saw and great things I'd heard, it wasn't a book I was interested in or ever thought I would read. Why? Because, to put it simply, it was an LGBT book. I personally have never read a LGBT book before this one. Not because I have anything against them but I just didn't think it would be something that I would like. After seeing the panel at YALC 2015 with Lisa on and hearing her talk about why LGBT books are important and telling us about her book, I was just so impressed with her and went to buy her book immediately and get it signed. I can honestly say that my initial impressions were completely wrong. My opinions about LGBT fiction have completely changed since reading this book. This book completely blew me away. It was amazing.

The Art if Being Normal is without a doubt one of the best books I have read this year. It is such an emotional read. Straight away I was swept into this too-realistic story of David, the guy who everyone thinks is gay but is holding the secret that he wants to be a girl. Lisa's amazing writing style completely suckered me into his life and I just fell in love with both David and Leo instantly. They are amazing characters and the more I read the more I loved them and the more I just wanted to jump into the book and hug them.

Considering that I would have never picked this book up had I not been at YALC it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful, moving and touching books I have ever read. Right from the start I couldn't put it down. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen and after that mother of all twists I literally could not turn the pages fast enough. I loved every single moment of it. It made me laugh... it made me completely sob. At times my heart completely broke for David but the more I read the more Lisa started to put my heart back together again. What a beautiful and sensitive approach to transgender issues and truly think that The Art of Being Normal is one of those books that everybody needs to read.

If you think LGBT books aren't for you like I did I would definitely recommend The Art of Being Normal I loved every moment of it and I am so glad that I read it. LGBT books will never be my go-to genre but I won't automatically discard LGBT books as something I won't like. It is 100% down to The Art of Being Normal. It's a perfect, beautiful and uplifting story that I would recommend to everyone.

"But normal is such a stupid word. What does it even mean?

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