Thursday, May 7, 2015

Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone

Title: Some Kind of Normal
Author: Juliana Stone
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
What is Normal?

For Trevor normal was fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves Trevor with no band, no teammates and no chance of graduating. It’s kinda hard to ace your finals when you’ve been in a coma. The last thing he needs is stuck up Everly Jenkins as his new tutor—those beautiful blue eyes catching every last flaw. 

For Everly normal was a perfect family around the dinner table, playing piano at Sunday service and sunning by the pool. Until she discovers her whole life is a lie. Now the perfect pastor’s daughter is hiding a life-changing secret, one that is slowly tearing her family apart. And spending the summer with notorious flirt Trevor Lewis means her darkest secret could be exposed. 

This achingly beautiful story about two damaged teens struggling through pain and loss to redefine who they are—to their family, to themselves, and to each other—is sure to melt your heart.

I’m always on the lookout for contemporary books that go a little deeper than just a fun and adorable romance. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fun and I love the adorable, but sometimes I want something a little more. And that’s how I found myself reading Juliana Stone’s Some Kind of Normal.

Trevor Lewis used to have a normal that consisted of playing guitar with his band, playing football and being thief of the party. But then a car accident puts him in a coma and takes away that normal. Hoping to get his life back on track and graduate high school, Trevor ends up being tutored by Everly Jenkins. The last thing Every wants to be doing is tutoring Trevor Lewis. She already has enough to deal with trying to keep up appearances that her family is the perfect family. But pretending all the time is exhausting. And around Trevor, Everly discovers she doesn’t have to pretend. She can just be who she wants to be. Together, Trevor and Everly are discovering that just because they lost one normal, it doesn’t mean they can’t ever find a new normal.

Some Kind of Normal was the first time I read anything by Juliana Stone and I have to say I will be going back and reading more. Some Kind of Normal surprised me. I mean, I had read the synopsis so I kinda sorta knew what to expect, but at the same time you can never really tell much from just a synopsis. I expected this to be a story that would go deeper than just your typical contemporary romance, I just didn’t expect it to go as deep as it did. And I liked that it dug deeper, that Juliana Stone decided to tackle a number of issues with this story. And I loved that though those issues were all different, they all tied back to that idea of “normal” and what “normal” means whether you’re a teenager graduating high school and making your way into the world, or an adult trying to figure out who you are again. It’s a topic that can resonate with everyone because everyone, at some point in their lives, will have wondered whether they are normal or what normal even means. I know I’ve been there many times already in my life and I’m only 24. Hell, I wonder about “normal” every other day. It’s just what we do. We look at ourselves and at others and try to see what normal looks like. In that sense, Some Kind of Normal really resonated with me and allowed me to really relate to what the characters were going through.

I could definitely understand Trevor’s struggle with figuring out what normal was. I mean, the guy was in a coma following a car accident and had to find his way back to himself after a brain injury. Anyone would struggle with that. But I really felt for Trevor when I was reading his story. I could see how much he hated not being able to do what he used to be able to before the accident, how much he hated the way people were treating him differently because of the brain injury, and most of all how much he hated the fact that he was hating all of that. It was hard to read at times because I just wanted everything to work out for him, for him to just stop feeling like he would never be able to get his life back. And then there was Everly who struggled for different reasons. Her family was so focused on proving to everyone that they were a perfectly normal family that they stopped taking into consideration whether or not they were happy with their normal. And Everly struggled with it most of all. Her problems were definitely different from Trevor’s, but they worked together. They were able to help each other find their way back to some kind of normalcy. And it was really touching to see them together.

I really enjoyed reading Juliana Stone’s Some Kind of Normal. It wasn’t the story I was expecting and I loved how much it made me think about my own life and all the worries I have about “normal.” If you’re looking for a contemporary story that goes a little deeper, than this is the one for you. 

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