Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

May 8, 2014 Review 58 ★★★★½

Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 338
Release Date: February 25th, 2014
Genres: Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

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.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens


FAKING NORMAL is one difficult book to review. I kind of read it on whim when I was deciding on LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD as my next read and I ended up choosing this one. All the positive reviews had to be on to something. I was not disappointed.

The writing, the characters, the pacing, pretty much everything, was great. This is a book about a tough subject, but a very important one. However, I thought it was realistic and written very well. It was a book where you are almost never bored, and the pages fly by, especially as you try to figure out the true motives of all the characters.

Even with all of that, the best part of FAKING NORMAL is undeniably:


adventure time animated GIF*glitter and confetti rain down*

If you are undecided let me tell you that you need to read this book for one reason only, and his name is Bodee. This guy. This guy. Let me tell you, everyone needs a Bodee. He seriously just may be the best love interest I’ve ever read about in any book.

“If he were to put his heart in my hand, he might never find it again. And I’m not cruel enough to let him break while he tries to heal the impossible.”

adventure time animated GIF

I could go on about how they changed each other and gave each other strength but this is already showing how much I worship Bodee so we should probably move on.

There is the whole “Whodunit” aspect, and although I had a suspicion initially, it was quickly thrown away as the book moved on. Then it was all revealed at the end and I had been right. I actually enjoyed not knowing all the details of the assault going into the book, it made for interesting story progression.

I had very few issues with this book, and I overlooked most of them because no matter what I considered, I fell in love with this book and it will be a favorite of mine for a long time to come. Definitely recommended.

Rating Report
Overall: 4.6

58 Responses to “Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens”

  1. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    I love it when a book is so enthralling that any issues you might ordinarily have are overlooked (if they’re even noticed at all). I think this is an important subject too, and if it is handled with anything less than realism, I get . . . agitated–much too serious of a subject to be treated lightly. Will definitely be checking this out, Alise. Lovely review ;)
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach

    • Alise

      That’s exactly what happened! I was talking to someone about the various negatives and realized that even with all that, it was still one of my favorite reads. Same, it’s hard to pull off writing a subject like this without it either being unrealistic or coming across as pushy. Yay, I’m so glad! Thank you!

  2. Tanja

    One of my friends read this one a while ago and loved it, but she never mentioned any Bodee. I think that she and I will have a talk as she is hiding boys from me. Shame on her!!! I’ll read this one as soon as possible. Great review :)
    Tanja recently posted…ARC Review – Push by Claire Wallis

    • Alise

      She probably wanted him all to herself ;) (Can’t blame her, really) Haha
      Thank you! I hope you like it.

    • Alise

      I know what you mean, it can definitely be a little intimidating in that way but it’s really a great book :) Yay!

    • Alise

      Sure! It really does have a lot going for it, I’ll definitely be reading the author’s other books! I hope you like it if you ever get around to reading it :)

  3. brandileigh2003

    Oh, how I loved Bodee. Amazingly written. The tough issues in this one were handled well, I agree, and the hype was right about this one

    • Alise

      Right? He was perfect, and the two were just so cute together! Yep! I was pleasantly surprised about that.

    • Alise

      *whispers* It’s Bodee. ;)

      In all seriousness, though, it’s definitely both. I love all of it as a whole so much. Thank you!

  4. Summer/Sunny

    I always feel like I’m so behind when I come to your blog because SO MANY GOOD BOOKS ;) I’m really loving the sound of this. When it comes to who dunnits and all, I can be kinda picky, but this sounds like it would be great for me. Yay!
    Summer/Sunny recently posted…Where You Are

    • Alise

      Haha, we’ve been pretty lucky lately, I hope all the good books keep on coming :) It’s really great! I think the mystery aspect was frustrating for a lot of people, but I think it worked out in the end.

    • Alise

      It really is! The book is pretty thought-provoking and emotional and Bodee is an awesome bonus ;)

    • Alise

      I can’t imagine having that many freckles, you would almost be unable to wear face makeup.

        • Alise

          I never thought of that, because it doesn’t seem like they are on her neck either. Now I’m suspicious, haha. Yeah, I’ve had friends who complain about that too. I have like ten sprinkled around my face, not enough to give me any color :( Would be nice, though, I’m really pale and my skin likes to be around 15 different shades of… ghost? Lol

  5. Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    Okay, I’m convinced. I read a few mixed reviews so I pushed it aside, but now I’m pretty sure I’m going to put it higher on my list. My heart is already given to Bodee – I’ve heard so many amazing things about his character <3
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…Do You Preorder Books?

    • Alise

      Yay, that’s exciting! I can’t wait to read your thoughts on it, I hope you really liked it :)

  6. Kirsty-Marie

    YES. BODEE! Oh <3, and I only read 50% of it and had to leave it there because of the subject, and I just felt a little depressed by it. Which is weird, because Speak is one of my favourites. Probably will go back to it eventually, but that first half is just amazing. It is a tough subject to write/read/talk about, so I'm just glad that even though I never read all of it, I still felt felt it. I did skip to the back though to see how it ended, and to see if my suspicions were right (which, they were). But, again Bodeeeeeeeeeeeeee <3. :)
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Mutant City

    • Alise

      Aw :( The same thing happened to me with Living Dead Girl though, I read a few pages and was overwhelmed by it. Boo, skipping ahead ;) He’s great!

    • Alise

      It’s not much of a spoiler because I know a lot of reviews mention it so I’ll tell you: It is. I thought it was dealt with very well though!

    • Alise

      Thank you! Yeah this was a time where I actually liked a guy as a friend and as a love interest which I wish happened more often.

    • Alise

      It was kind of an impulsive read so I got sucked in pretty quick but I can see how it’s a particular mood read. I really liked it. Thanks!

    • Alise

      Bodees for everyone!
      *throws Bodees around*

      I did the exactly same thing! Definitely a few issues but I just liked it so much. Thanks :)

  7. Wendy Darling

    Ooo, Bodee sounds dreamy! I have heard this is a pretty emotional read, and I haven’t been in the mood to tackle anything like that recently, but your positive reaction makes me hopeful I’ll enjoy it, too. Thanks for the review!
    Wendy Darling recently posted…All Four Stars: Blog Tour Sign-Up!

    • Alise

      He’s so sweet! Aw, yeah, I know the feeling. Although it does have a good ending, make sure you have happier books lined up before and afterwards :P Sure!

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