I was initially bothered by the lack of quotes. I could imagine the author looking all smug, acting like she’s beyond such silly grammatical indicators when she deliberately decided not to use them. But as the story pushes through, I got used to it and soon learned the meaning of an obviously conscious writing choice. Because this book is all about defying or contradicting norm considering nothing about this book is normal.
It’s a huge irony, that’s what this book is beginning with the title itself. Connell and Marianne are definitely not normal people, far from it really and that’s why even though I often felt frustrated over their “breakups” because of a simple miscommunication, I still felt for them and understood them. Because for them, nothing is ever that simple or normal. It’s honestly depressing and yet I just couldn’t stop reading.
Normal People isn’t your standard romance. This is highly philosophical and quite literary too. The writing is bold and unflinching, like it seems to say that life is what it is, people usually become messed up because of their crappy upbringing and that’s that. Lucky if they could still find that one person who will completely understand and love them for who they are. And yet, the meaning still resonates in my heart and I was quite affected. I felt really bad for Marianne, her negative view of herself because of her awful experience with her family.
The ending is believable. It makes you want to believe different possibilities for Marianne and Connell and at the rate they’re going, what happens to them is very unpredictable but it gives room for hope.
This review comes with a warning though. Several sensitive issues and topics were touched in the novel so please read with caution.