Book Reviews

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson


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Title: The Art of Being Normal

Author: Lisa Williamson

My Rating: ****

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…

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This newly released young adult contemporary novel is one like no other. Following the story of two boys, one who wants to be a girl and one with a troubled home life.

These two are at first so unalike that when their strange friendship forms you wonder why.

What I loved about this book was the duel points of view and seeing not just school life but home life as well. I felt that in particular Leo’s mother and her boyfriend Spike, although characters that weren’t a major focus were still developed exceptionally well.

The story touches on some sensitive topics but Lisa Williamson has done a fantastic job of bring gender issues to light in this novel.

Without ruining the book for anybody else, I will just say that the plot twist will make you think twice. I was not expecting it at all and it really did keep me hooked.

The only down side to this novel for me was how David acted like he was twelve and was rather annoying for me. I could hear his voice in my head and it was as if I was speaking to an annoying child that would not go away.

Also the event where David and Leo go to Kent I found to be dragged out by pointless activities such as bingo. I think that this part of the novel had been expanded when it didn’t need to be.

Overall I would highly recommend this to anybody who wants to read something with a different twist. There aren’t enough books that touch on such sensitive topics as this one does so it is well worth a read.

Let me know if you have read this book or plan to in the future.

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