Review: The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

First of all, I would like to apologise for not updating in so long – I’ve actually read quite a few books but I’ve been so busy these past few weeks because I’ve been getting ready for university and now I’m finally here! As it’s Fresher’s Week I might have time to catch up on reviews but who knows how much time I’ll have after that? I will try and keep updating regularly though!

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So I mentioned an event in my previous review that I was going to which was a book talk/signing with Louise O’Neill, David Levithan and Lisa Williamson which was extremely interesting and funny and I got my books signed!

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The Art of Being Normal – Lisa Williamson

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Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill

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Another Day – David Levithan (I guess he misread my name as Mozzie?)

I’d write a review about the signing but to be honest I can’t really remember what was said – I do remember meeting them and Louise telling a story of how I accidentally made her feel disappointed on Twitter which was a pretty funny but anyway, back to the point.

I finished this book the day before the signing so I’ve only just had the chance to write a review about it. ‘The Art of Being Normal’ is told from the point of view of two characters called David and Leo. David is a girl trapped inside a boy’s body and is too afraid to tell her parents the truth. Leo is the mysterious new guy. Both of them have their secrets and after Leo stands up for David in a fight at school an unlikely friendship forms.

There is nothing I love more than reading about characters that are massively underrepresented in most YA novels so to have a transgender protagonist was just a breath of fresh air to be honest. David was easy to connect to and I instantly liked her straightaway. The book starts in his point of view and then switches to Leo’s point of view in the next chapter. At first I didn’t particularly like Leo that much and didn’t see what exactly he brought to the story but as the book progressed I started to love him and now I’m so glad Lisa made the choice she did to write from two different points of view.

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David’s story is mostly centred around the fact that she wants to be a girl and is too afraid to tell her parents, the typical stuff you imagine you would read about a transgender protagonist but then she ends up helping out Leo with his ‘quest’ to find his real Dad so luckily, the story wasn’t just about David working up the nerve to eventually tell her parents.

I love this book and I think it’s a real stepping stone to having transgender characters whose storylines aren’t purely revolved around the fact that they’re transgender. A book with a transgender character where the fact that they’re trans has little to no effect on the overall storyline would be awesome. And by that I mean, I want a ‘Harry Potter’ style book with transgender characters.

I would definitely recommend this book to any readers that I have (and I hope I have some?) because it’s written so brilliantly and tells an amazing story that you won’t forget anytime soon. So go and buy it!

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