Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

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4/5 stars! 

Another important YA contemporary that deals with mental health issues as consequences of a dark, painful event that happened in the major characters’ lives. Both Alexi and Bodee carry with them a burden that’s haunting and almost ruining their lives and all they had for comfort was each other. The only difference between them is Alexi’s demon is an ugly, dark secret she wants to hide in her closet while Bodee’s is out in the open for everyone to scrutinize.

The story is written in the POV of Alexi setting the tone of the story which oozes sadness and pain as she tries to fake normal every day in fear of becoming the object of everyone’s pity or worse, judgment and at the same time, worrying that outing her secret could ruin the life of the person who ruined hers. But even though the entire narrative is laced with a general mood of sadness, the plot also gives the reader things to enjoy like the mystery behind Captain Lyric and the mystery behind the culprit that kept me as a reader wide awake.

One of the subjects of the story is how a rape victim sometimes opts to keep what happened to her a secret believing that the person who did this crime to her is inherently a good person who was only paralyzed by a moment of weakness and was later regretful of his actions. But just the fact that he did it at all means he has to answer for his crime no matter how supposedly a good person he is and no matter how much he regrets his actions.

It’s a sad truth but sometimes the people you expect to protect you are the ones with the greatest potential to hurt you and there’s no other way to recover from what was lost but to let them answer for what they did, to speak up against them and remind yourself that you may not be able to get back what was lost but you could try and live your life anew.

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