Tuesday, 18 March 2014

DNF Review: Faking Normal

Faking Normal
Publication Date: February 25th 2014
~Won an ARC from Amy Plum~


An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.
Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.

Lets make this clear, it is not a DNF- Just not a now.

This is why I hate saying DNF, because this really isn't one. It's nothing to do with the writing of the story, well, it is, In a way but not in a bad way. If anything, it's too good, too real, and that's the scary part.

Faking Normal is a struggle. I read up to page 166 of my ARC and had to leave it there for my own sanity. I didn't not finish it because I wanted to, because I wanted to finish reading Lexi's story, but I left it there because I had to.
Abuse stories and abuse in general is not easy to read, or talk, or hear about and it's something that's kind of become a taboo subject. Especially rape.

I'm the type of person that things get stuck and mess with my head, and this book is not entirely about rape, it's about the emotional response to it. The things that stir up inside you, that makes you second guess things, makes you evaluate every angle over and over and over. It's not just about losing things, seeing things differently, it's about seeing yourself differently.
About the worst thing possible. Losing yourself.

And it's horrible. The things Lexi thinks about herself, the things that she does to stop herself from thinking. Feeling on edge, shut off, numb, thinking about herself in a way that no one should feel, ever after what she's gone through. Embarrassed, dirty, somehow that it's her fault, that just because she didn't say no, she thinks it's her fault. I think by that, too is the fear,  that by not saying no, she's not fully acknowledging what happened to her. She doesn't have to say it. And if she said no, then she'd have to admit it.

As I said, this isn't a story just about rate, but about abuse in general, in all its variations, especially when it comes to Bodee's story. Things happened at the time that kind of drew them together, they both desperately needed someone who understood. Their stories are different, but the pains the same.

Maybe I'll go back to it one day, but for right now, I'm putting it aside.