Monday, October 6, 2014

Faking Normal

Faking Normal

by Courtney C. Stevens


Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

At school, nobody sees the scratches or her pain. The only person she connects with is the mysterious Captain Lyric, who writes song lyrics on her fourth-period desk for her to complete. With pencil marks and music, Alexi carves out a comfortable space for herself as she and the Captain finish each other''s songs-words on a desk feel safer than words spoken aloud.

But when Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend who understands her better than anyone. He has secrets of his own and knows all about suffering in silence. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally speak up.

With her powerful, moving debut novel, author Courtney C. Stevens emerges as an extraordinary new talent to watch.

My thoughts:

Faking Normal is a gripping and emotionally stirring read about victims wrongfully blaming themselves.  Alexi Littrell didn’t tell anyone what happened to her over the summer.  Instead, ashamed and embarrassed she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck in an attempt to have the physical pain hurt more than the emotional scars.   Brodee, the quiet boy whose mother just committed suicide,  too has a secret he hides.  In a novel where grief and trauma dominates, Alexi and Bodee’s slow growth of trust in each other, and the subsequent slow reveal of the traumas they’ve faced, is not only powerful but will keep readers engaged.  While the subject matter is very serious, at it’s core this is an uplifting and inspiring story about what being a friend really means. The story will stay with readers for a longtime.  

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