Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Alexi Littrell is hiding a secret. Unable to face it and deal with the consequences, she fakes normal during the day and hides and self-harms at night.
Unlike Alexi, Bodee Lennox's tragedy has played out for the whole community to see. When Bodee comes to live with the Littrell's, Alexi and this shy boy find acceptance in an unlikely friendship. Bodee sees Alexi's pain even though it is invisible to everyone around her. Alexi sees Bodee as more than the Kool-Aid Kid who witnessed his mother's murder. As each struggles to deal with their own pain, they find strength in each other.
The themes in FAKING NORMAL are raw and painful. But I adored this book for the kindness that Stevens put on every page. It's not that the characters are nice to each other -- quiet the opposite. But Stevens reaches below the tragedy and creates empathy for her characters. The contrast between the public faces that Alexi and Bodee try to maintain and the small personal moments in their private lives is lovely.
FAKING NORMAL is a well-told story by an author to watch.
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