Am I Normal Yet? By Holly Bourne

Am I Normal Yet? By Holly Bourne.

If you had to ask me what my favourite books that I’ve read in 2016 are ‘Am I Normal Yet?’ by Holly Bourne (and its sequel ‘How Hard Can Love Be?’) Would be somewhere on the list, and my only regret when reading this book was not discovering it earlier!

I had been meaning to read this book ever since I accidentally bought the sequel ‘How Hard Can Love Be’ for £1.99 at iBooks (at the time I didn’t know it was a sequel). So when I saw the first book in the library, I couldn’t resist picking it up, even though I had already checked out around five books (but you can never get too many books out from the library!)

The main character Evie has OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), which is something I don’t know much about, and it’s one of the first books I’ve read where the main character is recovering from OCD. The OCD aspect of the novel was very well written. I felt like it definitely helped give me an insight as to what people who have OCD are going through and how because of the media we have been misinformed of the struggles that people who have OCD are going through (i.e. OCD isn’t just making sure your pens are in a specific order or whatever).

However what really stood out for me in this novel was the friendship between Evie, Lottie and Amber. At the start of the novel Evie feels that she has lost her best friend to a boy, but then she meets Lottie and Amber. Their friendship was the highlight of the novel, and even though there are boys in the novel I liked how their friendship took precedence over their relationships with boys. Which is a refreshing change in YA.

Another important part of this novel is feminism, Lottie, Amber and Evie start a feminist club called the Spinster club, I especially liked some of their conversations such as the Bechdel test* (which I’d heard of prior to the novel but had no idea what it was) and their aim to reclaim the word spinster.

‘Am I Normal Yet’ is a YA novel, but unlike many of the YA novels I’ve read its UKYA novel (YA that is set in the UK). This is the second UKYA novel I’ve read, the first one being Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison. Although I love YA, it’s a refreshing change to read YA set in the UKYA, especially since I’ve grown up in Britain and I can relate to the characters who are in college. So after reading this, I think I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more UKYA recommendations!

Overall I’d give this book 5/5 stars, and despite the fact that I’ve already read it I’m considering buying it for £1.79 on the Kindle. I’d highly recommend this book, and I couldn’t put it down!

*The Bechdel test is when a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man (neither the original Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and the last Harry Potter film pass the Bechdel test). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test

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