The Art of Being Normal // Book Review

The Art of Being Normal

Author: Lisa Williamson was previously an actor before writing The Art of Being Normal, her debut novel. She now lives in North London.

Rating: *****


Wellfor any of you that have read my last few blog posts you would know this was coming. I was absolutely enthralled with the idea of this book and it did not disappoint. It was brilliant. The theme of transgenderism was not at all avoided but at the same time it was not handled, as some might assume, with the stigmas that are attached to it.

David Piper, one of the two protagonists of the book, spent most of the book as any typical teenager feeling lonely, different and hankering after another person with deep feelings of unrequited love which is really just curiosity and pressure. He was entirely believable and to top that off with his desire to become a female makes for a wholly interesting and equally as moving character!

Leo Denton, the other protagonist of the book, is slightly different: he moves from an unprivileged area to a new school in a ‘posh’ area, growing up alongside a shambolic family pretty much destined to fail. It his story and his first love that I found really emotive alongside David’s will.

The story itself is set over a matters of months and is beautiful written, easy-to-follow and at a pace that makes it easy to put down and pick up or read in one sitting.

The plot twists are inspired! The characters are so realistic and set in such a realistic setting that when these plot twists occur not only does it feel entirely without melodrama but is also very believable.

The best thing of all about the book is the ending which of course I cannot spoil, but it is just as the rest of the novel is: realistic. It is perfect, at least in my opinion. Some young adult novels can go towards the ‘happy-ever-after’ ending of the fairy tales we all love, but whilst the ending was not all ‘riding off into the sunset’, it was also not gloomy, it was simply authentic.  
Overall, a fantastic book which I am very happy I have read! A strong contender for my favourite book of the year!

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