Thursday, January 16, 2014

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Faking NormalAuthor: Courtney C. Stevens
Publication: February 25, 2014
By: Harper Collins Children's Books
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5 Stars!

I LOVE this cover!

An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

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.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. 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 face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.

Thank you Harper Collins Children's Books and Edelweiss for this eARC. Thank you Courtney C. Stevens for writing an amazing story.

Wow. Just, wow. This is one of those rare stories that kicks you in the feels and makes you smile all while making you wish you had your very own Kool-Aid Kid! ;)

Most YA Contemps deal with teenagers and their issues, many of which are so over the top they're nearly impossible to believe or relate to. Not so with FAKING NORMAL. 

Courtney C. Stevens has given us a compelling story about two teens, Alexi and Bodee, both of whom are struggling with pretty heavy stuff in their lives, like death, self-mutilation and sexual assault. Alexi and Bodee are doing the best they can to just to survive even if that means pretending everything is okay. But things begin to slowly unravel for both of them and while it would be very easy for Stevens to drag her characters through the muck and leave them there, she doesn't.  Instead, she gives them a chance to be brave, to speak up and she gives them each other. 

Does this turn into a mushy "fix you" teen romance? No, which is another reason this story sets itself apart. While the relationship that develops between Alexi and Bodee is heart-achingly tender and sweet, Stevens writes them with enough maturity to know that they need to figure out their own issues first before they can "jump ahead" into a full-on romance. Together they make each other stronger and help each other start to heal.

What I loved most about this book was the hope it offers. Hope that, despite the bad things we experience, we are the ones who choose whether or not we allow bad things to define us or to make us brave. 

Read this book and then go channel your brave!

About the Author

Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. Faking Normal is her first novel.



  1. Wow, everyone's been loving this book to death! I really have to go check it out soon. Nice review by the way. :)

  2. Sounds like a fantastic book and one contemporary I'd surely love!
    Great review!

  3. Great review! I am so adding this one to my TBR list! I am loving the sound of it!

  4. I have heard such good things about this book! I'll definitely be on the lookout for it!