Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

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Faking Normal
   by: Courtney C. Stevens

Publication Date: Feb. 25, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC received from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 321 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 5/5 stars

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.


"Faking Normal is a skill I learned seventy-seven days ago, but tonight it's going to require everything I have."
When I was first approached to help reveal the cover for this book, I gladly accepted because I love helping debut authors out! Upon reading the blurb I knew I had to read this one. I am so glad I did! I thought it was an excellent debut novel from Courtney C. Stevens and this book really resonated with me on a level I never expected it to. I work with high schoolers on a daily basis, so I see the Bodees and the Alexis and you never know what these kids are going through or the horrors they have experienced in their own lives, but will keep silent and cover it up at all costs. It is saddening to see Alexi and Bodee endure what they did, but they also offer hope and empowerment to others who are in similar situations.
I wasn't sure what to make of Alexi's character at first. It was hard to get an initial read on her character in the very beginning at Bodee's funeral. She seems sympathetic towards him and like she can relate to him but on a different level. She is exactly what he needs her to be and I'm glad she didn't act like they were so close when they weren't. Bodee just needs someone to be there and Alexi in turn needs that someone as well. Alexi has undergone a lot in the last past year and it definitely broke my heart. She let something happen she was too afraid to stop and while I had trouble reconciling that she didn't put a stop to it, I can look at some of my sweet female students and wonder if they would. The person who took advantage of and assaulted Alexi was definitely in the wrong and that is one of the big mysteries of the book, as Alexi is very close-lipped about what happened to her.
I really liked how their relationship grew and turned into so much more. Bodee is definitely an outcast at school and kids have dubbed him the Kool-Aid Kid because he colors his hair funky Kool-Aid colors. Which I thought was GREAT. Still, he doesn't have friends and Alexi zones in on the fact that he's pretending to be ok for everyone's sake and she can relate to that more than anyone, as she is doing the same thing. Their relationship slowly develops into something more, as Bodee ends up moving in with her family. I like that she ends up accepting him for who he is and makes him feel wanted. Bodee's protectiveness towards Alexi absolutely melted my heart and I love that he believed in her and slowly opened himself up to her and vice versa. Their friendship was such a poignant one and I loved watching them realize they wanted more from one another.
I love the idea of Captain Lyric. Alexi and a mystery guy write song lyrics back and forth to each other during the week on a desk in class and I love how this connected them. Alexi has no idea as to who it is and there comes a point where she really doesn't want to know. The lyrics bring healing and it's kind of cool to connect with someone who remains anonymous. It's just them and the lyrics that speak to them and I liked that was added in.
I don't feel I did this book justice at all with my review. I really enjoyed this one and it was a very emotional read. (I was sitting in the car dealership waiting room trying not to cry in front of the car salesmen.) It really is a beautiful story of friendship, home, love, and acceptance and I would highly recommend this to all my high schoolers.

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  1. I am so excited to read this one especially now that I see you loved it!

  2. This sounds incredible and it is so clear that you truly truly loved it. I have been hearing good things, but your review definitely makes me want to read this one. Great review Jessica!

    1. Thanks Teresa! This was definitely one I won't be forgetting any time soon!

  3. Ugh this book was so good. Sad but good and realistic.

    1. Yes! I'm glad you enjoyed it too girl! It was very sad, but completely realistic and I think that's what pulled me in.

  4. YAY! I am SO GLAD you loved this one! I loved the lyrics on the desk <3

    1. OMG me too! That was one of the best little additions ever!

  5. I loved this one and I hope it inspires girls everywhere to find their words to stop wrongs being done to them. My heart nearly stopped when I realised she couldn't say no when all I wanted her to do was scream it.

    1. Yes! I felt so bad for her! And I agree- so many girls don't say no because of fear and I hate that for them! I just want to shake all my girl students and tell them to never let anyone make them a victim!


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