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The Mad Reader

REVIEW : Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Afficher l'image d'origineFaking Normal - Courtney C. Stevens

Publisher HarperTeen (February 25th 2014)

Genres : Contemporary, Young Adult

Pages : 336

Buy on Amazon


Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer by her backyard pool. Instead, she hides in her closet, counts the slats in the air vent, and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does—and deal with the trauma.

When Bodee Lennox—“the Kool-Aid Kid”—moves in with the Littrells after a family tragedy, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in this quiet, awkward boy who has secrets of his own. As their friendship grows, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her summon the courage to find her voice and speak up about the rape that has changed the course of her life.

Trigger warning : Self-harm, rape

Right now we're both yard sales of emotions. A penny for pain. A dime for bitterness. A quarter for grief. A dollar for silence.

This book kept me reading all night, it was a roller-coaster of emotions. It deals with hard topics and it's done very well. Nothing was out of place or too much, the author found a way to make us understand Alexi's pain without resorting to clichés.

Courtney C. Stevens highlights the difficulties of speaking up. First there is labels. Speaking up means being "the girl who has been raped". Then, the shame of what happened and the consequences this confession could make.

Alexi is an ordinary girl: She has been raised in a loving family, she has friends, goes to church. She could be any high school girl and yet her life changed overnight. She's broken and ashamed and hides it very well... Except from Bodee.

There’s an art to crying without a sound, and I’m a master.”

He can see through her and together, they learn how to cope, how to move on.

Their relationship is one of my favourite part of the book. There is nothing awkward, the dialogues, the silence... Everything somehow fits.The characters are well-developped and feel real. We don't just read them we feel them, that's how powerful the writing is.

If I had to sum up this book in a few words I'd say : Heartbreaking, mysterious and realistic.

This book was amazing.

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