Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Review: The Art of Being Normal

Author: Lisa Williamson
Started reading: March 4th 2017
Finished the book: March 8th 2017
Pages: 309
Genres: GLBT/YA/Contemporary
Published: January 1st 2015
Source: Borrowed from library
Goodreads score: 4.22
My score:

Two boys. Two secrets.
David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he's gay. The school bully thinks he's a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth - David wants to be a girl.
On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal - to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan.
When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long...

My thoughts
I liked to read a book about a boy that wants to be a girl. I think everyone should read this book. It gives you a good insight on how people feel when they are "born in the wrong body". In the Netherlands we have a television program about people who want a sex-change and I believe being open about it is inspiring to people who live with a secret like that.

  • Good depth in characters: The characters all have a great depth to them. You get to know David and Leo very well. The whole story was easy to picture and I was touched very easily, because the characters felt real. I also liked the way the different POV's were written; with a different font. 
  • Loved the humor: I'm a sucker for a great joke now and then. I loved the humor in this book, especially David together with this parents or David with Essie and Felix. Those conversations were nice to read, loved it.
  • Describes the feelings very well: I was about to cry at some point in the book, more than once. I really felt with those two boys in the book and that's a big compliment to Lisa Williamson. The way of describing the feelings was so strong.
  • Leo: At some point I wanted to slap Leo. He's so mean to David when David is being the most friendly person ever. Leo is so grumpy all the time. Kinda reminded me of Grace from Our Chemical Hearts. At some point I'm just done with the nagging people.
  • Figured the plot out quick: I figured the "big secret" out pretty quick. So it felt to me like there was no real plot. It was a nice read though.
This is a must-read for everyone. It makes you understand a person in "the wrong" body so much better. The whole transition when David is changing into girls clothes and the way he's being happy with that.. Everybody should just accept one another for who they are and the choices they want to make for themselves. 

Other opinions about this book
"An important addition to collections for its first-person perspectives on the experiences and inner lives of transgender teens." 
- School Library Journal

Memorable quotes from this book
"Besides, who wants to be normal anyway? Fancy that on your gravestone. 'Here lies so-and-so. They were entirely normal.'"

Do you believe people should always be allowed to express how they feel, even if family doesn't approve?



  1. I REALLY want to read this book. I've actually never read a book about a transgender person before so I really want to give it a go!

  2. This sounds like a very powerful story! Great review!

    1. True! It was a light read with a heavy message :)
      Thanks for the compliment


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~ Esther