Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone #YoursAffectionately #YARomanceReview

Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone #YoursAffectionately #YARomanceReviewSome Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone

Genres: YA Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on May 1, 2015
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
    add to goodreads
four-stars  

A little while back, one had to look pretty hard to find stories that celebrated diversity and not in a taboo sort of way. Of recent years, this is not the case and authors are writing some lovely stories rich in many facets of diversity. This book, a standalone sequel to Boys Like You, is one of them. It hit several kinds of diversity. Acceptance was a big message in this one- acceptance of others and acceptance of self. It was an especially poignant read and not an easy or light one.

The hero, Trevor, was a secondary character in the first book. He was pretty much the best friend in a coma through much of the book, but now he’s awake, diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury and this is his story. Trevor wants a redo so badly. He wants it all to go back to normal. On the outside he looks much like he did before as one of the popular guys in school when life was easy and his future was assured. Now, he has changed, irrevocably. His parents watch him with fear and worry in their eyes. And he has to be patient with their coddling because he put that look there. His friends don’t know how to handle the guy who reverses his words, forgets things, has to take his time because of the messed up connection between his brain and his mouth. His girlfriend couldn’t handle it and bailed. He just wants to wrap things up and move on. For that to happen, he has to pass the test for government class and his tutor is none other than good girl and not a big fan of Trevor, Everly Jenkins. Everly is nothing like he imagined and suddenly he is very interested in getting past her ‘I’m fine’ walls.

Everly has been living with a lie for over a year. Not her lie. Her dad’s. She waits for him to come clean, but he never does and it is infecting their whole family. They put on a good face for everyone as the Pastor and his family, but it’s all hollow. Everly is so done with the act- with pretending that everything is normal. Into this situation comes Trevor Lewis who sees past the act and genuinely seems to care. She doesn’t quite believe that she caught the eye of a guy like Trevor. He is still Trevor and girls still want him even though he sees himself as different. Dare she trust him with her secret? Of anyone, Trevor understands feeling isolated, angry and anything, but normal.

The story is a character-driven plot set in a small town over the course of a summer. It’s told first person alternating points of view. The pace is gentle and the writing pulls in the reader’s empathy for these two hurting teens. The thematic elements are real and hit the reader viscerally.

The characters are well-drawn. Trevor and his adjustment to living with a traumatic brain injury and how it affects not just him and others around him felt authentic. His anger, frustration, fear, and struggle to accept while going through things was intense.

Everly too, had her challenges with a tragic secret pulling her family apart. She sees the break-up of a marriage through a teenage child’s eye view and it’s a rough go. My heart broke for her.

I would recommend this for a mid to older YA audience due to language and mild sexual content.

To sum up, it was a story that grabs the emotions and I would recommend it to those who enjoy a strong character-driven YA Contemporary Romance.

My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #180 YA

Cliché Klatch #98 ‘Charm the Pants Off Them’

The following two tabs change content below.
I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

Latest posts by Sophia Rose (see all)

  • Not a light read at all it sounds. I like that books like this are reaching deep and talking about real world problems.

    • No, not a light one, but yes, it was refreshing to see a teen story that stays real.

  • Lindy Gomez

    This sounds like a story right up my alley. I enjoy diversity in stories, and a good character-driven story where I feel empathy for the characters. Poor Trevor! I can picture all of his angst, fear, anger, and frustration dealing with a traumatic brain injury. I had a mini stroke and I get frustrated all of the time with how it effects my short term memory. This is a story that I would be able to relate to on some level. Wonderful Review Sophia 🙂

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • Wow! I’m always impressed with survivors and good on you to push through your issues after the stroke. Yes, these two teens show some real strength as they deal with their lives and grow together as friends. The first book hit me harder, but this one was really good too.

  • Love this cover! So original with the view from above and the colours at the bottom. Sounds like an emotional and heavy read, but well written. The small town setting and character driven story sounds great! These characters sound like they have been and go through a lot. Great review!

    • Yes, to all that, Lola! I grabbed it b/c I read the first book, but if I hadn’t, I still would have been attracted to this one.

  • Nise’

    I read this one and thought the author did a good job with TBI.

    • Me, too, Nise’! I didn’t doubt that I was reading the thoughts and experiences of someone with TBI.

  • Sounds like a good book, I like the fact it covers the tough stuff. It doesnt appear to be a silly love story where the kids just instantly fall in love. Great review Sophia!

    • Oh, no, not silly or light. This one hits some hard stuff for both kids just like the first one. thanks, Lanie!