Review of Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Published: 1st August 2015
Publisher:
Usborne
Pages: 448

Blurb:

All Evie wants is to be normal. And now that she’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the-girl-who-went-nuts, there’s only one thing left to tick off her list… But relationships can mess with anyone’s head – something Evie’s new friends Amber and Lottie know only too well. The trouble is, if Evie won’t tell them her secrets, how can they stop her making a huge mistake?

Review:

As I type this (literally 2 seconds before I post it for you all to read), Am I Normal Yet? is 98p on Kindle. GO GO GO!

Evie has a Mental Health disorder when it comes to washing her hands. No matter how clean they are, sometimes they need to scrubbed. Her best friend Jane has been there since day one and has remained by her side every since, until Joel came along that is.. Evie just wants to be normal – to have close friends around her, good college grades and possibly, a boyfriend but who knows when cider will ruin that for her? I instantly liked Evie and I really warmed to her; she was her own person despite her OCD and I just knew I would be able to relate to such a reliable narrator.

“We were euphoric the whole summer – planning our new lives, our future happiness, with the same determination of a crazed bride-to-be.”

Evie’s connection to films really touched me. Not only did I do Film Studies at college/Uni but they’re also my way of escaping from the world, much like Evie and this is why Holly Bourne is such a flipping fantastic author! The biggest theme within the book is Mental Health; OCD and anxiety in particular. Not only is it Evie telling us her story, she also gives us some facts and home truths about MH in general which is extremely beneficial to anyone (with or without a history of MH).

“…now people use the phrase OCD to describes minor personality quirks; ‘Oooh, I like my pens in line, I’m so OCD.’ NO YOU’RE FUCKING NOT.”

At 30% into the utterly phenomenal plot, I wanted to cry.. BECAUSE IT IS SPOT ON! I didn’t know what to expect with two characters having Mental Health; how they would differ, would they would work together to help each other or if they went down different routes. Oli was such a sweet character yet I understood completely why Evie went in the direction that she did. The only part of the plot which I questioned was Evie’s drinking at parties; surely if you’re on medication, you can’t drink? Well, you can but not a great deal unlike this 16 year old narrator.

“That’s the thing about anxiety. You can worry about anything and everything, dream up all sorts of weird and wonderful situations to be terrified of in the hope your fear will control the world somehow..and yet the world remains uncontrollable. Nothing you can imagine is ever as weird and wonderful as reality and what it chucks at you.”

GUY. He was funny, smart and most of all, he made Evie forget about all the bad thoughts going on in her brain 24/7. He fooled both Evie and myself – OH MY LIFE. What an idiot who needs a giant slap! Speaking of the male species; the plot isn’t just about Mental Health (well it is but there are other topics). The whole idea of girls changing themselves to suit a particular boy is spoken about quite a lot with the main example being Jane (Evie’s supposedly BFF).. Why change for anyone? Shouldn’t you be loved for who you are and nobody else? Holly continually hits the nail on the head with these topics; she is a Literature genius. Speaking of friends.. Amber and Lottie were the ideal girls to be friends with: funny, caring, smart, unique yet it was obvious that Evie found it difficult to trust them 100% with her health issues.

“My room stunk of pine. If I opened the cupboard I wouldn’t be surprised if Robin Hood was squatting in there.”

Towards the end, Evie’s condition takes a turn for the worse and I felt the impact of her life hit me like a ton of bricks. Her family were incredibly realistic with their ‘it’s easy to stop this’ comments, because we all know: IT IS NEVER EASY! She is by far, the bravest character I think I’ve ever come across in my twenty-four years of reading. If you’re reading this review and you have any type of Mental Health (OCD or anxiety) or you know somebody who is clueless to the definition, then I strongly suggest you read this and then make them buy a copy.

Holly Bourne, you’re a genius and I can not wait for the second book in the Normal series. BRING IT ON.

Twitter: @holly_bourneYA 

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