Review

Am I Normal Yet?, Holly Bourne

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I just finished this book and even though this review won’t be posted until Thursday (it’s Monday right now), I had to write it immediately.

Am I Normal Yet? tells the story of Evie, a 16 year old girl with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who just wishes to be normal now she has started college.  Evie’s plan to be ‘normal’ involves making friends (Amber and Lottie), going to parties and getting a boyfriend, all without them finding out about her OCD.  What could go wrong?

I absolutely love this book!  There were moments that made me laugh out loud but also moments where I cried and shouted for Evie.  I adore Evie, Amber and Lottie’s feminist club called the Spinster Club.  I wish I had a club like that when I was 16.  They meet up and discuss feminism and real world issues and eat biscuits instead of boys after they realise, as girls, it is something they talk about too much.  This book is actually in a trilogy.  Each one focuses on a different member of the Spinster Club.  I have the whole trilogy, as it was given to me as a birthday present last month, and I’m so  excited to read all their stories.

From watching interviews with the author, Holly Bourne, each book touches on a different theme that could impact young people’s lives.  So for this book, Am I Normal Yet? there is a very strong theme of mental illness and the relapses that can happen.  This isn’t a story about a girl whose mental illness goes away when she meets a nice guy, because that is not realistic.  This is a book about a girl who struggles with her mental illness and hides it from those who love her.

I found the details of Evie’s illness fascinating and made the story seem so true.  It was clear that the author had done a lot of research into different manifestations of OCD.  One of the most amusing parts of the story is Evie’s frustration for having the most stereotypical form of OCD.  However even with the most known form of OCD, there were still lots of things to learn about how hard people with OCD struggle with it.

This is by far my favourite book of the year.  It’s been a while since a book has made me laugh and cry like that.  I recommend this book as an insight into life with OCD or simply just an insight into life as a teenage girl.  I can’t wait to read How Hard Can Love Be?, the next book in the series which follows Amber’s story.

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