Holly Bourne's work first hit our shelves in 2013 when she released her debut novel Soulmates, and it didn't take long for people to fall for her gritty and beautiful stories, first with Soulmatesand then with The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting. Now, this summer sees the release of the first book in her new trilogy Am I Normal Yet? and I promise that it is as, if not more, incredible that her previous work!
All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…
But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?
Am I Normal Yet? follows the story of sixteen year old Evie as she ventures into the journey that is college, boys, parties and friends that don't know aboyt her past. Only pretending that her OCD isn't still in her present is causing Evie to make mistakes that will not only shape her life but those around her.
Similar to some of Bourne's previous work she ventures into serious topics that are affecting our society, from feminism to mental illness. Mental illness, or more specifically OCD, is not an issue that is discussed enough in general let alone in YA novels, so I believe Holly is incredibly brave introducing it to her story, and I thank her for doing so. It isn't a topic that I for one have thought too much about but Bourne writes with sensitivty and a raw truth which is what I think makes this story so gripping. In no way does she glamorize Evie's life and the issues she faces daily, but speaks through her character with an honest voice of what living with OCD is really like.
One of the things that struck me the most with this novel is not only the compassionate retellings of a teenager suffering with OCD but the realistic tales of a teeanger suffering from life, boys and studies. There's a voice in this novel that everyone can relate to, a character you can feel for and situations you can totally get.
But Am I Normal Yet? is far from being all serious. It is full of banter, feminist rallying and the best of friends. Evie, Lottie and Amber quickly become a hilarious threesome and now I can understand why Bourne said she enjoyed writing their scenes so much in the interview we did with her which you can read here. I welcome these new characters proudly to my shelves!
I am so glad that there are more tales to come from The Spinters! Am I Normal Yet? is set to be an epic and unique release this summer that I plead you all to pick up! This novel has a distinct british feel with moments mixed with laughter, tainted with tears and bound with love. Holly Bourne has created a beautiful tale on the reality of being normal.
Released August 01st
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