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Thursday, January 17, 2013
'Ello, loves. Trying out a British accent today. Can y'all picture me with a British accent? I feel like a British accent and I would go well together.

I feel like I ruined the above statement by using the word "y'all." Not exactly very British. I could go back and delete it, but that would be no fun.

So! Today's my stop on the Normalish blog tour and I'm very excited. I'll be posting my review of this charming book along with a nice little giveaway, so bear with me.

Margaret Lesh
Publisher: Musa Publishing Euterpe Young Adult Imprint
Release Date: October 5, 2012
Source: Blog Tour
Fifteen-year-old Stacy questions the strange world of high school, love, her role in a harsh universe, and life, in Normalish.
People tell you high school's so great and wonderful, but they're lying. It's mostly horrible and full of disappointment. It sucks. Your best friend abandons you. The jerk you're in love with pretends to be into you, and then the big dump. The boy you've really clicked with as a friend decides to go all crushy over you, so you break his heart just like yours was -- smashed into little pieces. Your sister goes mental, and you get involved with a guy who’s even crazier than she is (who you know is a very bad idea, but you do it anyway). Math only adds another stink of failure to the whole thing.
High school blows. Just ask freshman Stacy. She’d want you to know.

Normalish was adorable. It was a humorous and fun read, yet also serious. I laughed, but there were also some moments so sad I wanted to curl up into a ball and cry. It reached an incredible range of emotions and had so many ups and downs that sometimes they were hard to keep track of.

Stacy is trying to navigate highs school and deal with the death of her father. She wants attention, but she isn't desperate. However, she also really doesn't know what she wants. She's more fragile than she'd like to admit and a whole lot vulnerable. However, she does push through it all, even when the going gets rough. I loved that she got torn up about things, but that there were actual consequences and I thought it was portrayed very realistically.

Yes, there are three
Chad is a bit cliché, being the best friend and all. But there you have it. He's a sweetheart, and he genuinely cares about Stacy, but she isn't sure she feels the same way. He's kind of a geek, which I also loved. I also like that when she didn't treat him nicely he didn't continue to fall all over her.
Anthony is the guy Stacy thinks she wants. He's popular. Sexy. Wanted by all the girls and probably some of the guys. A major player. But underneath it all, he's just your average jerk. Nothing special. He's manipulative and selfish, and these are things that Stacy has to discover for herself.
I loved Bobby. He's messed-up but beautiful, and he reminds me of someone. I'm not saying who, but I liked that I could recognize someone else in him. Despite his problems, he's gentle with Stacy and seems to really care about her no matter what. He isn't perfect, and he deals with things differently than other people. But that doesn't mean he isn't real.

This plot isn't all about the romance. Romance is a side to the main story that's told here. Stacy's high school experience hasn't been pleasant so far. Guys leave her confused and feeling awful. Her best friend has dropped her. Yet somehow, while she isn't exactly happy, she still doesn't sink into depression.

I like that Stacy doesn't just give up. There are so many times where that would be easier for her. But despite everything, she continues to move forward. Even when she doesn't want to. Yes, there are times when she sinks into a world of gray. But she always comes back.

Yeah, sometimes it seems like so many horrible things happening to Stacy is a stretch. But sometimes, life just sucks and we don't always have control. So really, I didn't have any problems with the rather extreme situations of Stacy's life. We don't choose what life we're born into, and stacy deals with her world as best she can, just like the rest of us.

It's a contemporary, a genre I don't read a lot of. But if all of them were as raw and fun as this one, then I would definitely read more.

The romance is complicated. I don't like how things work with Chad, but as I don't want to spoil anything, I won't get into specifics. Things with Anthony work exactly as they should. And Bobby was my favorite of the three boys. But a love story with so much tragedy behind it can only end one way. I was absolutely shocked by what happened, and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it works, but on the other, it felt a bit cheap.

Margaret has given Stacy a young voice that is too old for her age, but in the way it needed to be. Stacy's had to deal with tragedy in her life, and she's no innocent. Her voice also portrays her weakness and her strength. The thoughts that swirl around in Stacy's head vary, but all belong there, and she doesn't sound like some deranged narrator. The dialogue is detailed, too, which I always like.

I loved the ending. It's sweet and wasn't a huge cliffhanger. It also doesn't feel like Stacy is settling, but at the same time she is accepting her life. She knows what it is now, and what she can expect. It really kind of ties everything together perfectly and I think it can argue the point that everything that happens happens for a reason.

So yes, I did love this book a lot. It's not perfect, and it's not the most spectacular thing I've eve read. Still, it has firm place in my heart for its gorgeous portrayal of realistic situations. There's a mashup of tragedy and humor, and things don't work out perfectly. But I'd definitely recommend it, and I'll be checking up on Margaret's future books myself.



*rubs hands together* I can't believe I just did that. Rubbed my hands together, I mean. Or typed it. But anyway, you guys know I'm weird. So the point is, yay for review time! Now we're moving on to giveaway time.

So, the prize:

One 25$ Amazon Gift Card
One eBook copy of Normalish
Normalish Bookmarks

Ends January 28th, 2013--open Internationally

That was a good post. I really did love Normalish, so I hope that you all love it as much as I did if not more. It's such a fun and fabulous book.




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  2. Aaaw. Haha. Great review Anna! I had mine up today as week and I agree with you. There were some things I didn't like about it, such as some of the romance aspects and her voice. Lol, but I thought this was an ADORABLE read! Glad you liked it too! Happy Thursday!

    XX, Inky

  3. Great review. I love when a book can take you through such a wide range of emotions. I want to read this when I can get the chance.

  4. I love the summary, it sounds absolutely amazing. I'm not jumping up in excitement about it but I definitely loved the sound of it. I like the idea of the book... I wont be running of to buy it right away but I'll definitely read it if I get the chance. I loved your definition of Anthony!
    Great review!

    PS: This is also my reviews for the Very Merry Christmas to you.

  5. The ending makes the book less appealing for me. Nice to hear that you still enjoyed the book, though. :)


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