The Art Of Being Normal

I’m always trying to get into the habit of reading more often and spending less time on my phone, but I must admit after a long day at work, coming home and cooking tea then going to the gym I tend to be too tired to keep my eyes open. However over the past month or so I’ve been working a little further away from home, which is giving me about 3 hours of commuting time to finally catch up on some reading. I’d initially started this in March and intended to get it finished as part of The Girl Gang Book Club, but it took me slightly longer to read this than I planned due to my busier schedule. However, I finally managed to finish last month.

I hadn’t heard too much about the actual story of this book before I bought it during my month of book splurging back in February. However, it was one of those books I kept seeing photos of amongst the book-blogger world so I decided to grab it on a whim. It was only later on when I heard a little bit more about the story and the amazing reviews to follow. Boy oh boy, they weren’t wrong there.

The story follows two teenage boys, David and Leo,  who end up crossing paths and subsequently become friends (although Leo protests a little at the start) and form an unexpected bond. David, who I’d say is the main character of this story, has a secret that only his two best friends know about. He wants to be a girl. The story follows his struggle with finding the courage and the perfect moment to let his parents know what he really wants to be. We then meet Leo, a sulky, moody and mysterious new kid at David’s school who’s been transferred from a public school in a slightly dodgy area, where he is rumoured to have been kicked out of. When Leo stands up for David in a fight with the school bully they end up forming a really special friendship over the next year.

Now I’m not going to be an arse and spoil the plot of the story so that’s as far as I’m going. I’m just going to say – it’s amazing. It’s the first book I’ve read that featured issues of transgender and I felt it approached the subject beautifully with respect and research. I felt empathy towards David and often felt moved by the struggles he was suffering through his day to day life. There were two key parts in the story where I found myself crying on my commute to work and It’s been quite some time since I’ve been moved by a book so much that I didn’t care I was sat crying on the metro.

I’ve got to say if you’re going to pick up one YA fiction to read this year please please make it this one. So far one of my favourite books I’ve read this year.


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