THE PLOT: Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne is about a sixteen-year-old girl with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). After being sectioned, Evie is almost off her meds and she is starting school at a new sixth form college. All she wants is to have fun with her new feminist friends and be normal. But, as she starts dating, her obsessive thoughts intensify. On the verge of a relapse, Evie struggles to maintain a ‘normal’ exterior while everything inside is falling apart.
RATING: As per all of my recent reviews, I’m giving this book four stars. I know, I know, but it deserves it! While it didn’t absolutely rock my world, it’s a well-written book with a good mix of humour and low points that accurately describe life for a teenager with poor mental health. With doses of feminism, Holly Bourne creates a realistic and exciting world without being afraid to tackle serious issues.
GOOD BITS: My favourite aspect of this novel is the relationship between Evie and her two best friends, Amber and Lottie. Their group dynamic and dialogue is hilarious. Although they all identify as feminists and start a ‘Spinster Club’ to reclaim the word, they can’t stop obsessing about boys. This felt particularly realistic and the scenes about dating and parties made me squirm as if I was sixteen again. Embarrassingly, I kept rooting for Evie to work it out with one of the boy’s despite his shocking behaviour, which is an insight into my teenage unrequited loves and self-esteem.
NOT SO GOOD BITS: In some ways, this novel felt a bit predictable and I knew where it was going from the start. This isn’t a major criticism because some of the best stories are ones you know the ending of. However, a curveball – such as learning more about the reasons behind the “love interest’s” actions – could’ve been nice.
OVERALL: I’d recommend this book for anyone aged fourteen to eighteen, or even for adults who love a bit of YA. With witty one liners and plenty of teenage angst, it’ll be relatable for younger and older readers.