Saturday, February 2, 2013

Normalish by Margaret Lesh

Premise: Written as a journal, this book follows the life of Stacy in her freshman year of high school. Like most freshman girls she feels awkward, uncertain, and is obsessed with boys. Stacy is also dealing with the recent death of her father and her sister's emerging mental illness.
Title: Normalish
Author: Margaret Lesh
Length: 211 pages
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Content Appropriate for: Grades 7-10
3 stars
Three adjectives that describe this book are: easy-to-read, predictable, unexpected

Okay - so it's weird to list both predictable and unexpected. "How is that possible?" you ask.
Predictable: Ninth grade girls think about boys a lot. Social drama happens.
Unexpected: I expected to hate this book. Hate. I actually kind of enjoyed it. Therefore, it was unexpected.
I read this book for both the Stand Alone Reading Challenge and the Eclectic Reader Challenge.
I'm sure you've noticed that realistic fiction is not my usual genre. Especially not journal-books about high school girls. But I actually enjoyed this book more than I expected. There's actually a lot more to this book than I expected. Yes there's lots of stuff about boys, but I appreciated how Margaret Lesh built in issues of mental health to even out some of the boy-crazy stuff. It was a nice feel-good book without being too syrupy and while still being realistic.

I usually read books that suck me in and don't let go, but I found that the format of journal entries allowed me to pop in and read a few pages at a time. It turned out to be a nice change of pace.

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