May 13, 2015

Review: Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone

Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone
Publication date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received ARC via Netgalley (Thanks!)
Summary: For Trevor normal was fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves Trevor with no band, no teammates and no chance of graduating. It's kinda hard to ace your finals when you've been in a coma. The last thing he needs is stuck-up Everly Jenkins as his new tutor—those beautiful blue eyes catching every last flaw. For Everly normal was a perfect family around the dinner table, playing piano at Sunday service and sunning by the pool. Until she discovers her whole life is a lie. Now the perfect pastor's daughter is hiding a life-changing secret, one that is slowly tearing her family apart. And spending the summer with notorious flirt Trevor Lewis means her darkest secret could be exposed. (greads.com)

The good
Some Kind of Normal alternates between Trevor and Everly, two teenagers whose definition of normal has changed drastically in the past year. Before, Trevor was a football player, talented guitarist and quite frankly, Mr. Popular. Now, after an accident that left him in a coma for months, he’s dealing with an aftermath that doesn’t include anything of the things I’ve mentioned. At this point he’s not even sure he can graduate and the future is murky at best. This is where Everly comes in, as his tutor, and she’s been going through some changes of her own. Before, she was the pastor’s daughter who came from a picture perfect family and now.. now she knows a secret that changes everything she’s known about her life. Things at home are slowly but surely falling apart and she doesn’t know what to do. The last thing Everly and Trevor expected was to find a friend (and more) in each other.

This is definitely one of those books where the two different perspectives work really, really well. The author draws parallels between Everly and Trevor’s lives, despite how different their problems are, in a way that shows you just how right they are for each other in this moment. Trevor’s incident is so tragic and goes to show how a single moment or decision can change your life in ways you can never anticipate. We experience the full spectrum of his emotions: frustration, regret, embarrassment and then as he gets to know Everly, moments of joy and normalcy. He was this honest and raw character that I sincerely felt for. Then Everly is also going through something huge. Regardless of what the actual secret is, her parents are fighting and she’s witnessing things no child should have to deal with. It’s sad and I understood where her anger came from. What I loved about Everly was that even though she could’ve easily just lost herself in a boy to avoid her inner turmoil, she doesn’t. I mean, yes to a certain extent Trevor does distract her but it’s clear how much her family (and who she is) means to her. More than anything, Trevor and Everly help one another and bring something positive (and romantic!) to each other’s lives.

(Super minor) Reservations
Even though I was ultimately happy with the ending, I remember seeing that I was at 90% of the book and thinking to myself, what?! There’s still more to address. That’s not enough time! And while the author does address everything, I wanted a little bit more of an ending with the two characters. Which goes to show how invested I felt in them.

Do I recommend?
I do! I’ve been taking some chances with contemporaries lately and luckily, they’ve all worked out great and been super enjoyable reads. This was one of them! Also, I didn’t realize that this book is a companion novel (kind of like The Hundred Oaks series where technically they all could be standalones). You don’t need to read the first book first but I will probably check it out sometime soon!

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like such cute but emotional read, looks like something I would enjoy. So here I go to Goodreads adding it to my never-ending list of TBR books. Great review XD

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  2. Some Kind of Normal sounds pretty good! I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it but your review makes me think that I'd end up enjoying it if I did. Might have to add this to the TBR :)

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  3. I was just looking at this. I actually might check it out now!

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