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Alluring Reads

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Normalish - Margaret Lesh You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.Due to my addiction to contemporary novels as of late, I was quick to sign up for the blog tour for Normalish when I got the invite. I didn’t know quite what to expect with it because the cover isn’t exactly my favorite but the blurb made it sound like a book I would enjoy. And quite enjoy it I did! We got off to a bit of a rocky start, I’ll admit, but at about the halfway point this novel sucked me in and I was hooked.We experience Normalish as Stacy, a high school freshman who isn’t having the greatest time transitioning into high school. The guy that she is NOT stalking doesn’t seem at all interested in her and her friend Chad is interested in her, which is not how she wanted their relationship to go. She’s also have a tough time at home, as her sister Becca starts acting weird and has to start seeing a psychologist. At first I didn’t like Stacy at all, and I think how she was in the beginning of the book really detracted from my enjoyment of the story. She was so judgmental and worried about appearances that I found myself wanting to smack her upside the head and tell her to get over herself. But the good news is that she does grow immensely throughout the story and once I realized that this story was not only about her life, but about her road to opening up her mind, I started to really enjoy it. Her family dynamic was great, she had an ever present mother and she had sisters that really loved one another. I loved how present the mom was in this story and how she was so in tune to her kids life and yet still let them live and have experiences. The love story was one that drove me insane. The way that she reacted to Chad’s interest in her had me so angry and it was pretty shallow that as soon as he got his braces off she noticed just how handsome he was. I mean I understand that that is how lots of high school girls act but it just really grated on me in this instance. As the story played out I couldn’t buy into their romance because in my eyes Chad is way too good for a girl who would treat him the way Stacy did. What I could appreciate was her romance with Bobby. I liked the progression and how it really opened up Stacy’s mind and essentially made her much more accepting of others.Normalish deals with some heavy issues, from mental illness to suicide, a lot of ground is covered and I think Lesh did a great job of capturing the emotions one goes through when facing these issues. As I connected with Stacy I really felt her plight, she was definitely having a rough time and a lot of it would have been difficult for an adult to handle let alone a 15 year old girl. I didn’t feel like she was handling any of it too maturely nor immaturely, which was perfect.My final positive point of this novel has to go to the format. Getting the story through journal entries from Stacy was a great way to connect with her and really get into her head. It has super short chapters (some only half a page) so it’s a very quick read that you can’t put down. Normalish will definitely satisfy contemporary lovers who like their issue books.