LGBTQA+ · Reviews

“Define ‘Normal'” by Julie Anne Peters

By looking at this book’s cover, would you ever expect it to discuss mental health, stereotypes and self-acceptance? Oh yes, expectations are also something this book takes into consideration.

Extremely clever books disguised as light young-adult fiction. This is only the second novel I read by Julie Anne Peters, but this seems to be her thing. It’s like a magical power, writing about heavy topics as if they were made of cotton. You can feel its texture, its slight resistance as you try to pull the pieces apart, to deconstruct it. Still, no matter what you do to it, it remains soft to the touch.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

This story is about two young girls from two completely different backgrounds that are brought together by their school’s counselor with the purpose of helping one another. How does said counselor get them to work together? He tells them both, separately, that the other needs help, that this is the other’s last chance. Little do they know that by helping each other they are helping themselves.

Honestly, there’s not much of a plot. There are no breathtaking twists, no twisted revelations. It is what it is, and it’s great. Thought-provoking, this is a book that can be everything or/and nothing, depending on who’s reading it.

Give it a chance. Give yourself a chance.

Being different is one of the things we all have in common.


One thought on ““Define ‘Normal'” by Julie Anne Peters

  1. I loved this book when I first read it…I was about fifteen or sixteen. So naturally, back then, I didn’t see the plot twist of the two helping each other, and thought it was the most brilliant idea in the world. “Everything and/or nothing…” – that describes it perfectly. I need to reread it this summer and see what I think of it now.


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