Description: Fifteen-year-old Stacy questions the strange world of high school, love, her role in a harsh universe, and life, in Normalish.
People tell you high school’s so great and wonderful, but they’re lying. It’s mostly horrible and full of disappointment. It sucks. Your best friend abandons you. The jerk you’re in love with pretends to be into you, and then the big dump. The boy you’ve really clicked with as a friend decides to go all crushy over you, so you break his heart just like yours was — smashed into little pieces. Your sister goes mental, and you get involved with a guy who’s even crazier than she is (who you know is a very bad idea, but you do it anyway). Math only adds another stink of failure to the whole thing. High school blows. Just ask freshman Stacy. She’d want you to know.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a crush on some boy. Ricky from preschool was my first love. He was cute, but what I really remember about him, more than anything else: he had some great toys, really high-quality stuff. Toys that an only child would have—not all worn-out and crappy looking. He also had the softest hair, and he’d let me pet it. (Now that I think of it, Ricky was more like a dog than a boyfriend.)
Then there was Ted in kindergarten. I called him “Tiger Ted” for some reason. He didn’t look like a tiger at all. He wasn’t mean and ferocious. I think I just liked the way the words sounded together, “Tiger” and “Ted.” Our first week of school, Mrs. Shaw picked the two of us to take the attendance sheet to the office. We walked the halls together; I held the classroom’s drink order form, and Ted held the roll sheet. He wore a red, white, and blue sailor suit, and I loved him. So much that I reached over so we could walk hand in hand. When I did this, he jerked away from me. I guess that’s why I socked him. And I guess that’s why he stayed away from me after that. I loved him the rest of kindergarten from afar.
In first grade, Matthew, the only boy with glasses, looking at me very earnestly with all his heart, said, “Stacy, will you marry me?”
I turned him down, though, because he’d already asked two other girls. (Right in front of me!) I would’ve said yes if I hadn’t been the third in line. I do have my pride.
Since then I’ve had about a million crushes, but I’ve never had a real boyfriend. And I really want that. Just someone to listen to music with. Someone to watch movies with. Someone to write songs about me. (Okay, I know. That’s ridiculous.)
I’ve been kissed once by a boy. It was quick, maybe two seconds. Davey Schwartzman, last day of fifth grade.
Martina handed me a note that said, “Do you like Davey? Circle Yes or No.”
I hadn’t thought about Davey that way. I looked over at him and considered it for a few seconds, then circled “Yes” and handed the note back to Martina. She immediately opened it and clasped her hand over her mouth before passing it back to Davey.
We kissed once behind the big tree in the field during lunch. It was a nice kiss—lips only—but fast. And I never saw him again, because his family moved away that summer.
So I really want a boyfriend this year. My hope is for Anthony, who I’ve quietly longed for, but I also know that deep down inside of me—in the part of me that knows the truth about things—it’s like all the other hopeless crushes.
But a girl can always hope, can’t she?
REVIEW: I am usually skeptical when it comes to YA, I can’t help it. When I started reading Normalish I was a bit taken aback because I thought this was just another story of a whiny teenager, but I kept reading. Normalish is different, because though the main character is quite young she is also very mature.
Normalish is written in a series of journal entries, in which the main character Stacy records the different events developing in her life. From her thoughts about the death of her father to finally kissing her crush, to experiencing pain after the death of the guy who showed her love for the first time.
This is a heartfelt story, it had me laughing, shaking my head and at times crying. The writing style is different, not necessarily in a bad way. Stacy is usually doing a mental inventory of what is happening to her. I think the author did a good job developing her character, she showed us a sarcastic & mature teenager who dealt with pain and death in many different ways. It also shows us that age does not always determine maturity. Stacy understands right from wrong and knows that every action has a consequence.
This is a very deep and insightful story, it is well written and it will keep you turning pages. Readers of YA may want to keep an eye on Margaret Lesh. I enjoy this book and I am looking forward to reading more of her work.
So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what normal is. I even asked Joy, and she just laughed and said, “No such thing.”
Am I normal? Well, I still hate school, I still think most of the kids are idiots, and I still feel sometimes like I’m an alien from another planet observing the habits of Earth teens. I still have no idea, no clue, what normal is. So I think I’ll just shoot for Normalish.
End of Spoiler Scene
Readers, if you enjoyed stories such as Pushing The Limits you will definitely enjoy Normalish. Expect mature characters and drama all over the place.
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Do I recommend this book? Yes