3 Reasons why you should read The Art of Being Normal


The Art of Being Normal
By Lisa Williamson
Series: None (Stand alone)
Source: Waterstones
Format: Paperback
Pages: 357
Published: 1st January 2015
Genres: Young Adult, LGBT+, Contemporary, 

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...

I read The Art of Being Normal a few months ago, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. It’s become one of my all-time favourite books because I loved it so much! I can’t recommend it highly enough, but if you’re still unsure on whether to read it why don't you trust me?!, here are some reasons why it should be your next read!

1. The Writing

Lisa Williamson has become one of my favourite authors, even after reading just one book by her. She's a really talented writer, and this book proves it. It's written with a dual POV, which I’m usually wary of, because sometimes it can become confusing, or sometimes I like one person’s voice much more than another. However this was certainly not the case - I loved reading about David and Leo equally, and could tell their voices apart distinctly. I liked seeing depth from both of them, and it added so much to the story. I’m really glad it was written this way, because it meant I was able to see different perspectives on the story.

2. The Characters

This is a purely character driven novel, but it’s done so well! I instantly adored all of the characters, but especially the main characters, David and Leo. David was like a fluffy puppy for me - he was instantly loveable, and I just wanted to give him a hug all the time. He was innocent yet I never found him annoying, and I cared about him so so much. At many points you could call his story pretty tragic, but the way that he was always so full of optimism and hope made the book uplifting and truly inspirational. 

Leo was our other main character. He was different to David in the sense that he was initially shown as grumpy and miserable. However, the book was written from both of their perspectives, so we got to see both sides to the story. I loved reading about Leo just as much as I loved reading from David’s voice, because he had more depth to him. His character developed so much throughout the book, and I loved seeing how it unraveled for him.

He was precious to me too, because a lot of bad things happened to him in the book as well. He handled it differently to David, with much less of David’s enthusiasm - some may think he was too predictable because of this, but I thought he was the complete opposite to that. It made him so much more interesting, because we got to see inside his walls and outer shell that he put up. He had his reasons for everything he did, which sometimes were truly devastating. I wanted to give him a huge hug too at times, because of how badly he was treated! I think Leo was my favourite character due to how much depth he had, and how much I loved finding more and more about him. 

3. The Important Messages

Another reason to read this book is how important it is. No matter what your gender identity is, I think the messages conveyed will be beneficial to everyone. This story is about transgender people, and I think the issues raised about the topic are dealt with such sensitivity and care. I’ve met the author in person (I know, I fangirled so hard!! She was so lovely!), and she was talking about to the extent she researched this book, which I think proves more of her skill, and more of how well it's written. It’s so educational, and if I could, I would make it compulsory for everyone to read this! It teaches acceptance, love, and compassion without ever being boring or patronising, so you just need to read it!

As you can tell, I absolutely adored The Art of Being Normal! As well as all the reasons listed above, it was a highly emotional read, and was the first book ever to make me cry first time around. It was also super addictive. Read it so we can gush together! ☺

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