Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.
When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Expected publication: April 1st 2014 by HarperTeen (first published February 25th 2014)
Genre: Young Adult
* I received an advanced readers copy from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*
There is so much going on in this book that I don't even know where to begin. Faking Normal is a gut wrenching story of one girls struggle to cope after the unthinkable happens to her. Not only is it about her struggle to lead a normal teenage life but the power of trust and friendship in the healing process.
First I have to say that Steven's does an incredible job at describing the turmoil going on inside Alexi. The way she pens her thoughts and emotions are so real and believable. Everything from the way Alexi thinks about "him" and how she is unable to say "r" speaks to how messed up she is inside. The way Alexi blames herself, her hurt, her anger, sadness and her efforts to "fake" a normal life so that nobody knows what happened are spot on. The teenagers in this book are very believable as well. Their conversations and actions are what you would see in any high school on any given day. It was very honest.
What can I say about Bodee? The relationship between Alexi and Bodee was stunning. It wasn't the typical boy to the rescue then jump into bed story that is so typical these days. It was a beautiful and heartwarming story of friendship and mutual understanding between two equally broken people. Bodee, dealing with the unthinkable himself, was the only one that could truly see Alexi and the hurt that she was so desperately trying to hide. He was also the only one that she could trust and help her to see that she couldn't continue to live the way that she was. I enjoyed this aspect of the story line tremendously.
I won't go any deeper into the story, you'll have to read it to find out what happens! All I can say is that fans of this genre are going to love this book. I think we are going to hear a lot about this book in the coming months.