Audiobook Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens!

This book and/or review may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of language, sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Audiobook Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens!Faking Normal
by Courtney C. Stevens
Published By: Harper Teen
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: 02/25/14
Narrator: Emma Galvin
Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 321
Source: Audiobook Received for Review
Amazon B&N Audible 

four-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-stars

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.

I received this Audiobook Received for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Goodreads

Oh how this story was so determined to break my ‘no crying rule!’  I knew as soon as I read the summary of this book that this would be brutal and emotional.  Since I hate to cry and I’m a big baby about issue books like this, I kept putting this book off even though I really wanted to read it.  When the opportunity came by to review the audiobook, I jumped at the chance.  Because I love audiobooks and also because Emma Galvin narrates this, who I really like.  It doesn’t matter if I read the book or heard the audiobook because I felt all the emotions all the same!

We meet Alexi in the beginning of the story and she is an emotional and psychological mess.  She’s struggling to understand and heal with what happened to her over the Summer.  Rape books in general are such a touchy subject which is why I usually tend to stay away from them.  But something about Faking Normal stood out among the rest.  Among trying to block out what happened to her and pretend she’s normal, Alexi is struggling with feeling of guilt and doubt.  Was this rape?  Even if she didn’t specifically say no?  Does this (or anything else) make this her fault?  It’s so sad that Alexi felt like this and even sadder that this really happens in real life more often than not.  Among everything else, Alexi’s parent shave taken in Bodee into their house after his dad killed his mom.  Bodee is also known as the kool-aid kid (for his crazy and ever changing colored hair) and is a loner.    He also knows that Alexi is hurting and he seems to understand her better than anyone else.  I absolutely loved seeing Alexi and Bodee’s friendship slowly grow and seeing how Alexi could trust him with her secret a little bit more each day.  The moments between them were so heartwarming and hopeful.

Oh wow, I am blown away by how emotional this was!  I was expecting it to be but it still blew me away.  Seeing how Alexi would cope with her situation would break my heart a little bit more each time.  I loved how Bodee helped her deal with everything.  Throughout the book, we don’t know who the person is who raped Alexi.  Even though the person that did it was one of my two suspects, it was still a shock when it was revealed and it was another emotional blow.  What I loved the most about this book was that for every sad and tragic thing that happens, there is a sweet Bodee moment to tip the scales back into the ‘hopeful’ zone.  The writing is what really stood out for me.  I wanted to highlight almost everything in the book.  Even the sad parts because the way that they were written was just beautiful.  While this didn’t bring on the full on waterworks, (I’m pretty much a robot) it did make my eyes very watery and even though I wasn’t reading the physical book, I still had to stop the audio a few times.  I’m looking forward to reading Bodee’s novella as well as anything else by this author.  Faking Normal was a brilliant and emotional debut novel!

Audiobook Comments:  One of the main reasons I decided to go with the audiobook for this book is because I’ve already heard two books by Emma Galvin (Divergent and Insurgent) and I really liked her ability to bring stories to life.  It was a little bit weird at first, maybe because I heard those books not too long ago, but I couldn’t help thinking ‘hey it’s Tris’ at the beginning of the book.  That quickly changed once Emma got further into the story and was able to bring these certain characters and story to life.  She really captivated the sad but beautiful and hopeful element of the story.  The narration was a little bit on the slow side but I’ve found that I prefer to listen to audiobooks at 1.25x speed so once I changed it to that, the story really flowed so much better.  Another narrator to add to my ‘must listen’ list!

Listen to a sample of Faking Normal below:


Some of my favorite non-spoiler quotes from Faking Normal:

Right now we’re both yard sales of emotions. A penny for pain. A dime for bitterness. A quarter for grief. A dollar for silence. It binds us together, but I don’t want him to pay the price for the parts of me that are used and broken.

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.

There are no words to this music, and that makes me sad. Every song deserves lyrics. Deserves a story to tell.

The power of Bodee is in the way he reads me, sees through me, and then understands the truth behind the facade. He’s the guy who can walk straight through the House of Mirrors on the first try. It’s almost annoying. No one should ride tragedy like a pro surfer while I drown.

I know we’re still broken. Both of us. But Bodee’s got the glue to make us whole.

About Courtney C. Stevens

Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. Faking Normal is her first novel.

Comments

  1. I really loved this one! Bodee was definitely one of the most supportive YA heroes I’ve encountered thus far. And I’m really glad you liked the narrator and that she was able to really bring out the emotions of the novel!
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Discussions & Confessions: Being the Black SheepMy Profile

  2. I absolutely love crying because of books and am planning on reading this one soon! Celine read it a while back and absolutely adored it.

    Great review, Nereyda! <33
    Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) recently posted…Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye WaltonMy Profile

  3. You listed my favorite quote from the book too! <3 The writing was so beautiful. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. It's so emotional but somehow I managed to keep it together and I usually cannot. I can't wait to read what this author has in store for us next!
    sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books recently posted…Review: Starling (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #3) by Fiona PaulMy Profile

  4. This is such a great book and I’m so glad you loved it as much as I did, Nereyda. I loved how emotional it was and the friendship that turns into a romance between Alexi and Bodee was one the highlights of the book for me. I agree with you about the writing. It was so gorgeous! Lovely review, Nereyda!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : Plus One by Elizabeth FamaMy Profile

  5. I usually feel like audiobooks aren’t my thing when it comes to contemporary lit, because it’s so emotion-based and during audios I find myself zoning off at least a few times and during contempos it’s not something one can afford to do. I’m glad to head that you still got that punch of emotions this book promises with its premise. Soooo cannot wait to meet this incredible Bodee guy who everyone loves. Plus, the writing–everyone talks about it. Cannot wait to see it for myself. Ha! You and I are so different in the crying aspect. I almost always cry so when a book doesn’t make me cry (and was intended to)–nahahahahhhhhh you will not get bonus points for that. Anyhow, sooo happy you enjoyed:)
    Siiri recently posted…Hothouse Flower Promo Tour: Character Interview and GiveawayMy Profile

  6. I absolutely loved the writing as well. It takes a lot for me to cry while reading a book, but this one definitely made my eyes watery. I read the book on my Kindle, but it sounds like the audio is a great way to go with this one. Especially with Emma as narrator! :)
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…Audiobook Review: Cinder by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  7. For the most part, I liked most of the characters because they’re very realistic and complex. I loved the way it turned out and Alexi’s story is just so raw and relatable! But unlike you, I adore books like these because they’re just so emotional and eye opening. I agree that it’s horrible that this sort of things happens way too often. Lovely review by the way.
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  8. Great review girl :) This all I need it to hear, I already have it on my wish list, and it’s going to be moving to my phone pretty soon. I love Emma Galvin too so it should be a win win for me.
    I hear what you saying about the speed of the audiobook, it really can make a huge difference. My preferred speed is 1.5. That works for me beautifully, and it has saved a lot narrations from not being as enjoyable.

    Thanks!
    Lupdilup recently posted…Spring Cleaning Review-A-Thon – Day 1My Profile

  9. Awesome Review! You’ve made me want to read this! I love emotional reads, and Bodee sounds like such a great character!
    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape recently posted…Book Review: Til Death (Fractured Souls #1) by Kate EvangelistaMy Profile

  10. I’ve seen this, but didn’t request it for some reason. I never really paid attention to what it was about. Even though it is emotional, it sounds awesome and you have definitely made me want to read it. Great review. I can’t wait to meet Bodee.
    Ellen recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (3/26/14) – Burn For You by Marquita ValentineMy Profile

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