Title: Am I Normal Yet
Author: Holly Bourne
Release date: August 1st, 2015
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
This book has been on my TBR for a couple of months now and last week I finally decided to pick it up. All I can say is “Why on earth did I wait so long?!”
WANRING: This book may be triggering to people who suffer from OCD and/or Anxiety, so be careful if you decide to pick this book up.
This book follows a girl named Evie, who suffers from OCD and Anxiety, during her first year of college. Nobody in her new school knows her as the-girl-who-went-nuts and Evie desperately wants to keep it that way. She wants nothing more than to be a normal teenage girl.
She wants awesome friends. She wants to be kissed. She wants to go to parties. She wants a boyfriend. And she wants to make up for all the time she lost when she was unable to leave the house.
But can she cram all these years into such a short span of time and stay sane?
Let’s start with the main character, Evie. I thought she was great! There were a couple of times when I was slightly annoyed with her, but that was only because she reminded me so much of myself when I was 16. Holly Bourne did a great job of making sure that there was more to Evie than just her mental illness. She was very fleshed out and felt so real!
Evie meets two lovely girls, who later become her best friends and fellow spinsters, called Amber and Lottie. I want to talk about Amber first. The thing I probably loved most about her is that she is such an amazing friend! She is the type of person who will walk 5 miles to your house at 2 A.M. if you need her to. She is the kind of friend who will punch someone in the face for hurting you and I just love her a lot, okay? I’m so excited to read the book from her point of view (How Hard Can Love Be?)!
Next we have Lottie. She knows exactly what she wants and is not afraid to speak her mind. I really liked her (I know, I love them all. They’re just awesome, leave me alone!). The thing I enjoyed most about Lottie as a character is that she dared to question feminism. She brought up some very valid points that I think every person who identifies as a feminist questions sometimes. She shows the reader that as long as you don’t let anyone tell you what you should think and want, then you are a valid feminist (even if other people say that you’re not)
“Being a spinster means you value your female relationships as much as your male ones.” I thought of Jane. “Being a spinster means not altering who you are, what you believe in, and what you want just because it makes a boy’s life easier.” They both smiled wider and Lottie took over. “Being a spinster means you’re not afraid to look at society and say loudly ‘I don’t agree with this, this is wrong.’ Being a spinster means not worrying that boys wont find you cute or sexy for saying those things.” I smiled and Amber finished up. “Being a spinster means looking after your girlfriends through whatever they need.”
Oh boy, I don’t even know where to start. There were so many things I liked about this book! Firstly, I want to say how much I loved Evie’s family in this novel. I really liked the fact that we got to see how a family of someone who suffers from a mental illness also has a lot to deal with. Evie’s parents were by no means perfect, but they did what they thought was the best for their daughter. I also really enjoyed reading about Evie’s little sister, Rose. She was a very refreshing character, having a sister with OCD and Anxiety wasn’t easy for her to deal with, but she never blamed Evie. She handled everything very maturely and wasn’t at all judgemental.
The next thing I liked about this book was how the mental illnesses were portrayed so realistically. Even though Evie was almost off her meds at the beginning of this book, there was no pretending that it was easy. The book shows how mental illnesses are something that someone has to work on constantly, you have to keep on fighting in order to get better. You don’t just get some meds and get better right away. It’s not that simple and I appreciate that Bourne acknowledged that.
Lastly, I want to say that I loved the feminist aspect of this book. As a girl, I felt so empowered when I finished this book! All I want is to start a Spinster club of my own and discuss feminist issues with my friends.
As you might have guessed, I don’t have a lot of negative things to say about this book. The only thing I want to mention is that I thought it was kind of a bummer that the LGBTQ+ community wasn’t really represented in this book. That’s the reason I knocked it down half a star.
My final thoughts:
This is the kind of book I want every young girl to read!
Lots of Love,
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