Date finished: Sunday 16th July 2017
First time reading?: Yes
From Goodreads: “Two Outsiders. Two secrets.
David longs to be a girl.
Leo wants to be invisible.
When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…”
“The Art of Being Normal” is the story of a transgender character named David, and his journey to finally telling his family (and the rest of the world) that he wishes to be referred to as Kate, and would like to begin transitioning.
This book was completely fantastic.
The way it was written between both David and Leo’s points of view broke up the novel nicely: I think having the whole book told from just one of our main characters’ perspective would have ended up tedious, and we wouldn’t have been able to see the divide between our two characters lives quite as starkly.
The mystery around Leo was kept quiet until the perfect moment in the book, and while the plot twist was completely unexpected when it did come around, I cannot think of any other path this novel could have taken.
I also liked the real life aspect that we, as readers, can tell that David’s parents will be accepting of David when he finally tells them his wishes, but his fear of telling them is genuine.
This was such a fantastic, insightful, brilliantly written book. I absolutely flew through it, the writing style was so comfortable and easy to read and flowed smoothly between each perspectives. It broke my heart reading about David’s terror at growing up and turning into the wrong gender, and I’m glad the characters had some kind of resolution at the end, even if they do still have a long way to go.
My rating: 8.5/10