- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: David Fickling Books; 01 edition (7 Jan. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1910200522
- ISBN-13: 978-1910200520
- Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 3.4 x 13 cm
- Average Customer Review: 169 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Art of Being Normal Paperback – 7 Jan 2016
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"A sensational, heart-warming and life-affirming debut. Lisa Williamson writes witty, charming characters you can't help but root for." - James Dawson; "The Art of Being Normal is the best YA novel I've read this year. David and Leo are unforgettable characters whose story will break your heart - and then mend it again. A truly remarkable debut; I can't recommend it highly enough. Everyone - and I mean EVERYONE - should read this incredible book." - Cat Clarke; "This book is anything but normal - it is extraordinary. My book of 2015." - Non Pratt
From the Inside Flap
David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he's gay. The school bully thinks he's a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth - David wants to be a girl. On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal - to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year 11 is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long.See all Product description
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The Art of Being Normal is the first book about being transgender that I've ever read, and before now I didn't know much about it. I've always been 100% accepting of it - I believe that people can be born into the wrong body and that no amount of pretending to be someone you're not can change who you are inside - I believe the brain can be wired in ways so that it doesn't match the body of the person it's encased in; the mind and body are two separate things. As far as I'm aware I've never met anyone trans, but, reading this book has made me feel like I do now. Lisa Williamson managed to create two very real people, who I both believed in and felt emotion for. I actually think I'm a little in love with Leo.
There were times when I felt so much sadness for both Leo and David/Kate, but both characters also made me laugh and smile too. I loved Essie and Felix as well, the real world needs more people like them in it. I also have to admit that I liked Alicia too - I think her reaction is probably very common, and although I felt no anger or annoyance at Leo, I can't help but feel sorry for her; I think people in her situation probably feel lied to and hurt, even if they are totally accepting of trans individuals. And I think as long as they are eventually understanding and forgiving, they're allowed that moment of confusion and hurt. Additionally, Lisa Williamson created a school environment so well that I pictured every school scene taking place in my secondary school - her description of the seating plan in the canteen was so perfect that I sent a picture of that paragraph to a school friend so we could laugh about the accuracy of her description of the popular kids in the middle of the canteen.
I feel like this book has definitely taken me on a journey, but I know I'm nowhere near a place of full understanding of what trans individuals have to go through. This world can be very cruel, as Lisa Williamson has shown, and although I've dealt with abilism coming against me, I can't imagine what some people must experience when faced with the knowledge that the body they're in isn't right, and how the world reacts to this. Teenagers, and children, (plus adults too) can be very, very nasty and I can know that there must be people out there that have experienced what Leo and David/Kate did; and that honestly breaks my heart. I'm really glad I read The Art of Being Normal and I will definitely read other books that share the same themes as it.
The Art of Being Normal has helped educate me, but more importantly I'm sure there's people out there who feel more at ease with knowing they're in the wrong body by reading this book (and others like it), because it highlights the important fact that those people aren't alone; and that not all people are like Harry. The Harrys of this world are a waste of organs, and I hope this book helps to show that.
As someone who knew that situation once myself, I enjoyed Lisa Williamson's take on it. Thankfully, I don't have David's size 9 feet, but much of the other stuff I could relate to. However, it isn't a book about changing gender, it just happens to feature a transgender character and allows us to watch 'her' grow as her friendship with Leo, another outsider, develops with some interesting twists.
Everyone should read it and if they do, they'll enjoy it and be uplifted.
I have never read a book featuring a transgender main character before this one, but since reading "The Art of Being Normal" I would also recommend George by Alex Gino if you loved this.
This is mainly a story of self-discovery and most importantly, love and support.
I will definitely be picking up more by this author, 100% recommend.
David piper is a normal teenager who enjoys binge tv watching and spending countless days scrolling through his social media feed. However David has a deep secret that if anyone finds out even his parents, he feels that his life will be over. When one of the bullies in school finds his secret in his diary and spreads it,David goes balistic and consequently faces suspension. However mysterious new boy Leo saves David from public humiliation by befriending him and scaring away all the mockers and haters. David and leo become close friends and soon realise they have more in common than they both thought…
A really enjoyble and easy read, the plot was gripping and very clever and the ending was a real shocker, NOT PREDICTABLE AT ALL!!! The message in this book should be preached to all ages as the main subject is very topical and current at the moment, i think that everyone sbhould be educated on this topic so we can become an accepting generation to our diverse world we inhabit in. Howeverf there is some mild explicit content in this book so i would recomend for ages 12+ . SERIOUSLY A MUST READ!!
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Two sides of the story both going through the same thing but differently.