Author: Holly Bourne
First Published: August 1st 2015
Series: Normal #1
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mental Illnesses
Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook
My Copy: Physical copy
My Rating: 8/10
Yet another wonderful book by Holly Bourne! I've read The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting, which I really enjoyed. This book lived up to my expectations.
Evie has OCD, and her life isn't looking so great. But at the start of the book, she seems to be getting better, so her therapist decides to lower her dose of medicine. She quickly befriends Lottie and Amber, and they become best friends. However, Evie still can't tell them about her OCD because she feels ashamed of it. Things seem to be going well - Evie meets Guy, who she desperately falls in love with, and her life is normal. Well, she thought.
Evie is a complex character, especially with her OCD. The book is split between the past, present and her thoughts. We really get into the head of Evie, and it is obvious that horrible thoughts dominate every second of the day. However, Evie is coping. She's trying. Her battle against OCD is difficult, especially since her lowering meds mean that the thoughts are coming back at full force.
We all know how difficult it is to write about these serious subjects, and Holly Bourne managed to do so! Mental illnesses aren't taken as seriously as needed in our society today, and most people tend to romanticise it on tumblr, or complain about how they just want 'attention'. Just as Evie perfectly puts it:
“Because now people use the phrase OCD to describe minor personality quirks. "Oooh, I like my pens in a line, I'm so OCD." NO YOU'RE FUCKING NOT. "Oh my God, I was so nervous about that presentation, I literally had a panic attack." NO YOU FUCKING DIDN'T. "I'm so hormonal today. I just feel totally bipolar." SHUT UP, YOU IGNORANT BUMFACE.”
What else does this book talk about? There are truckloads of feminism in this book. YAY! We don't get enough hardcore feminists in contemporary books, but Amber is definitely one. Together with Evie and Lottie, they form a Spinster Club, where they gather and talk about things that involve feminism. Reading their discussions really made me think about how our society is today, and how we haven't really gotten past our past sexist views, no matter what we say. But we're trying, so that's good. Amber is called a lesbian by her brother just because she's a feminist. Isn't that what happens all the time in our world today?
What's funny about Evie is that she is part of the Spinster Club, has strong feelings about equality, but falls in love with the most stereotypical, bad boy Guy. He never texts back, constantly ignores her at school and is mean to her friends. Nope, I never shipped it. He gives Evie all these wrong signals, and make her think that he is interested in a real relationship, when in reality, he just wanted some fun, if you get my meaning.
The ending was good. I kind of saw it coming, the spiral downwards. But it's good nonetheless! I would definitely recommend it for those who liked Made You Up! Same theme, different story and characters. So, since Goodreads says that this is a series, I hope that the next book will be as good as the first one!
My Chosen Quote