{Bee’s Reviews} The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson ~ Cute, Sweet & So Important!

Posted May 16, 2016 by Bee in Reviews / 8 Comments


{Bee’s Reviews} The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson ~ Cute, Sweet & So Important!

The Art of Being Normal

by Lisa Williamson
Published on May 31st 2016
by Farrar Straus & Giroux
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Goodreads

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 his class 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 , and soon everyone knows that Leo used to be a girl.

As David prepares to come out to his family and transition into life as a girl and Leo wrestles with figuring out how to deal with people who try to define him through his history, they find in each other the friendship and support they need to navigate life as transgender teens as well as the courage to decide for themselves what normal really means.

I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

4 Stars

Oh gosh this was so very sweet, you guys! I didn’t expect it to be this cute and sweet as it was and I loved it! Though, and I’ve been thinking about this for a while, it’s missing something and I can’t put my finger on what exactly that is.

The Art of Being Normal is about David and Leo. David’s family really everyone around him, think he’s gay. At school they call him a Freak Show. Only his two best friends know what’s really up with David. Leo is new to David’s school. Leo didn’t expect to meet a pretty girl on his first day at his new school. It wasn’t part of the plan. After defending David from bullies, they form an unlikely friendship. But the two of them have something in common without knowing it. They were both born in the wrong body. David wants to be a girl and Leo used to be one.

Before I start attempting to explain why I didn’t give this one 4 stars, I’m going to give you all the positives. First off, I want to say how important this novel is. It’s about two transgender teens finding themselves in their own version of normal. I don’t even know what normal is supposed to mean anymore these days. Is it being a white, straight, skinny human? Because in that case I’m not normal and I’m fine with that because normal is way overrated and boring. Also, I have a transgender nephew-turned-niece, so it’s fun to get a better idea of how she feels by simply reading a book. So yes, this book did celebrate diversity, which is all kinds of awesome! We need more books like this, honestly. BRING ON THE LGBTQIA BOOKS PEOPLE! They’re my favorite kind of books.

This book is also incredibly cute and so very sweet. Aside from its great message, I also love the main characters and their growing friendship. I really connected to David and Leo and I loved them right away! Their friendship was so amazing and I really adored the two of them together. Yeah I also kind of shipped them but since Leo was set up with a girl from school right from the start, I knew it wouldn’t go that way. But that’s also were the negatives of this book start.

The absolute best way to describe it for me is that there was something missing. I can’t even put my finger on what that is exactly. I didn’t really get into Leo’s romance (partly because I was rooting for him and David to get together… *pouts*) and I didn’t really connect with the other characters. Not because they were one-dimensional, not at all! I just feel like there could’ve been more focus on them. It feels like it comes up short and I could be so very wrong about that. I still loved all the characters. I just missed something and it’s bugging me so very much that I can’t give a definitive answer as to what that is.

The Art of Being Normal is a very cute, sweet and touching story that sends out an important message. I highly recommend it to fans of contemporary and those who love diverse books and love learning more about this specific group of amazing people.



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8 responses to “{Bee’s Reviews} The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson ~ Cute, Sweet & So Important!

  1. This sounds lovely even though it was missing something for you. I haven’t read any book with transgender main characters, but I’m definitely interested. Especially since you said you got some better idea as to how transgender individuals might feel.
    Great review!

  2. This book sounds absolutely adorable and diverse, I’m glad it’s about the transgendered teens because we don’t hear from their perspective much. Lovely review Bee, I’m glad you enjoyed it, even though there felt like something missing.

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