Am I normal yet?

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

All am-i-normal-yetEvie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?


14 Comments

Olivia

10th January 2017 at 5:40 pm

Olivia:

I have recently read “Am I normal yet” by Holly Bourne. I thought that it was a very realistic view of living with OCD and how at any time that gentle slope of recovery can suddenly become covered in jelly and tipped vertical.
The plot begins with Evie starting a new school and slowly coming off her medication which controls her OCD and anxiety. I like the way it makes the point that she does not want anyone to know about her OCD, or as she calls it, how she “went mad”. Having joined a new school recently, I know that I don’t want to tell everyone everything about me.
When she starts sliding back down the slope towards her OCD, she doesn’t want to admit that she is, even to herself. This time the OCD manifests itself in a way she doesn’t recognise, forcing her to touch lampposts a certain number of times and trace around mirrors in order to give herself good luck. I think this is very realistic of how it is with OCD because sometimes you do not recognise the symptoms until it is too late.
When the scene changed it was done almost seamlessly and the different chapters flowed from one to another with ease, making for a fluid and relaxing read.
The characters were introduced very well and I felt an attachment to all of them, making me want to read on just so I could find out about the characters! Evie was not made to seem like someone “different”, she was introduced as “a normal girl who happens to have OCD and suffer from anxiety”, making the reader feel as though Evie is a girl like them and that OCD is something that any of us could get at any time, as it is, instead of thinking of Evie as different, or separate.
I also like the way Evie compares how Jane is now to how she used to be, when Evie was in the hardest stages of her OCD. Evie remembers listening to Jane play the clarinet, the retro dresses, the butterflies on her wall, and everything that made Jane the person she was. Now, she has changed everything, the butterflies replaced by rock band posters, the retro dresses gone and too many piercings to count. And all just to please her boyfriend Joel.
I really liked the style that this book was written in, and I thought that the way the author wrote in the first person for Evie was really convincing and I would never have guessed that it wasn’t an autobiography!
Overall, I loved the book, and am planning to read all the other books by Holly Bourne and would not hesitate to recommend it to other people!

Amelie – Year 9 – Roedean School

22nd November 2016 at 1:22 pm

I really enjoyed this story, and I am extremely fond of Holly Bourne as an author. I find that she’s depicted Evie’s OCD and anxiety in a way that makes you believe the main character is almost real, and in some ways it really gives you a wholesome view on the way she thinks. I really liked the use of the “Bad thought” and “good thought” parts because it just personalised Evie more and helped me to understand this disorder better (even if it was the “stereotypical” version, and even Evie acknowledging this point made it more of a believable perspective).

The plot line was good, and in some parts I could definitely relate to the whole sense of never fitting in, feeling like you are growing away from a friend, etc. All in all, I really enjoyed this book, it was gritty and realistic, and not being brief about what mental illness was like. I also really liked the parts about the spinster club and feminism; it really broadened my understanding of this topic. I have already read two more of Holly Bourne’s stories and would definitely read more about the spinster club in the future. Rate: 9/10

Maia – Year 9 – Roedean School

22nd November 2016 at 1:22 pm

Am I Normal Yet was an amazing book. It follows the story of Evie, a young girl with OCD and anxiety, and her attempts at being ‘normal’. It’s a book about feminism and friendship, describing her life in college and her journey growing up and learning to love herself. This book, though funny and fiction, has taught me lots and has been a book which I simply didn’t want to finish.

Tabitha – Year 9 – Roedean School

22nd November 2016 at 1:22 pm

Am I Normal Yet is a very special and incredible book. It is about a young girl called Evie who suffers the difficulties of OCD and anxiety. It is about her journey to try and become a ‘normal’ young girl and the problems she faces on the way. It really opened my eyes and helped me to understand what the world is really like for those who suffer from similar things and how they cope with growing up into a world that could perhaps do with changing the way we think about people like Evie. Overall, I loved this book and would thoroughly recommend it. Rating: 9/10

Islay – Year 9 – Roedean School

22nd November 2016 at 1:21 pm

This is a book that talks about a girl called Evie with OCD and generalised anxiety disorder, trying to go to college and live a normal life without anyone finding out about her medical history. She makes two friends quickly but doesn’t tell them about her ‘conditions’. She struggles with relationships and though she thinks her bad thoughts have gone away, they come back…

This book is also about strong female friendships and feminism: Evie and her friend set up the Spinster Club that takes on modern day taboos and restrictions on girls and women.

I love this book because it provides a new insight to someone who has to live with a mental disorder and how that is different from how people casually discuss them. This is a really good book with good character development and plot line about something other books haven’t really touched. If I could be critical about one thing it would be the date with her second boyfriend in the book which I think wasn’t as in depth as it could be.

Tabby – Year 9 – Benenden

22nd November 2016 at 1:21 pm

Am I Normal Yet follows a girl called Evie who just wants to be normal and fit into her new school. Evie suffers from OCD but is getting better. Evie has friends, a college, she goes to parties and now all she wants is a boyfriend.

Holly Bourne describes Evie in such a way that we feel very attached to her as we go through the story and she really illustrates what it is like to live with OCD.

Ellie – Year 9 – Benenden

22nd November 2016 at 1:21 pm

Am I Normal Yet? follows the struggles of Evie, a teenage girl, who after battling with OCD, wants to be ‘normal’. In her mind this includes: attending parties, making new friends and having a boyfriend.

I loved Am I Normal Yet?, in particular, I really liked the way Holly Bourne addressed feminism through the spinster club. I really felt a part of the book and despite not directly relating to Evie’s position, or disorder, I found myself completely empathising with her. One way I felt this was encouraged by the text through the use of the ‘good thoughts’ and ‘bad thoughts’, as it helped me to understand her disorder and how there was this voice in the back of her head, possibly representing her OCD.

Reading this book definitely extended my knowledge on this topic and I would recommend it to anyone. I would also love to read more books by this author in the future.

Aoibh – Year 9 – Mayfield School

22nd November 2016 at 1:21 pm

Am I Normal Yet? gave a gripping insight into the life of a teenage girl discovering who she is as a person and developing relationships as a young woman battling mental illness. I personally felt that Holly Bourne’s idea of `good thought` and `bad thought` helped me form a connection with the character and made the story even more nail biting. I can really relate to Evie’s perspective on friendships and making new friends during her teenage years and I think that this book gave a voice to all of the mental illnesses that we all view as something foreign and not a part of our lives. This book opened my eyes to the personal struggle of people struggling with mental illness and showed three girls discovering their femininity and being empowered in their own body. 9/10.

Oliver – Year 9 – Brighton College

22nd November 2016 at 1:21 pm

This book goes into feminist relationships and mental health issues. It is a page turner and you can clearly connect with the main character even if you don’t have much in common.

At some points it gets confusing at the beginning if you don’t know she has mental health problems. However, the labelling of ‘good thoughts’ and ‘bad thoughts’ help you to understand.

I think it is a good book as it shows what it is like to be different and I would recommend it to other teenagers.

Sam – Year 9 – Ratton School

22nd November 2016 at 1:21 pm

“Am I Normal Yet?” is a book written in the perspective of Evie. Evie has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and she absolutely despises germs. We’re taken on a rollercoaster of a adventure, ranging from breakdowns to boy issues. We’re introduced to “The Spinster Club” created by her and her two friends, while dealing with all sorts of feminism issues.

The novel doesn’t romanticize the aspects of the mental illnesses Evie and some over characters have. In fact, there is a part where Evie laughs at the romanticized forms of the illnesses. It’s a fresh perspective of a girl in college with her own problems.

I would recommend this serious, but mostly funny, book to anyone who thinks anxiety is “attention seeking” or that someone with OCD can “just stop”. It’s a new look at something serious that’s been fetishized, with the serious tone needed. I could go on and on about this marvelous book, however, I’ll stop now and give it 5 stars out of 5.

Leo – Year 9 – Brighton College

22nd November 2016 at 1:21 pm

I think this book gives a deep insight into both the life of a teenage girl and also the life of someone suffering from mental illness. There is a good mix of seriousness and comedy which makes it an easy read. I definitely felt a strong element of sympathy for the main character as most of her childhood was taken over by obsessive compulsive disorder. Although I am not a great fan of romance in books, this book neatly spreads it through the chapters while still gripping the reader. The book is based on the main character trying to find a boyfriend and I would definitely recommend this book to all readers even if Romance isn’t your main interest.

Mallory – Year 9 – Benenden

22nd November 2016 at 1:21 pm

The protagonist, Evie, is a 16-something new to college, almost off her meds and no longer known as the girl-who-went-mad, aspiring to be ‘normal’. Readers follow excerpts of Evie’s recovery diary and a story written in the first person with twists and turns peppered throughout. Bourne is incredibly talented and gives readers plenty of material in order to empathise with Evie’s daily struggles. This is a definitely a book I would recommend to readers of all ages and very much looking forward to continuing reading the Spinster Club Series.

Jazzie – Year 9 – Ratton School

22nd November 2016 at 1:20 pm

‘Am I Normal Yet?’ is an amazing book it tells a lot about the struggles people have to deal with if they have disorders.

It shows how everyday issues, can affect people who are ill in different ways.

It also demonstrates strong opinions towards feminism which I basically agree with 100%.

Evie, the main character, a victim of G.A.D and O.C.D, all she wants is to be ‘normal’. But eventually she realises, in her own way, there is no such thing as normal.

I think media, makes people think there is something to fit into. But the message Holly Bourne brings across in her work is a strong one. I think this book is amazing and I would love to read more of Holly Bourne’s work.

I rate this book 9/10

I think she needs to work on her description. But I do adore this book.

Khadijah – Year 9 – Ratton School

22nd November 2016 at 1:20 pm

This book is about a girl called Evie and she has just started college. She has great friends, has fun at parties but doesn’t have a boyfriend. She also has bad thoughts that control her. She tries her best to find a good relationship and still doesn’t want to tell her friends her dark secret. However she didn’t know that not telling made her make the biggest mistake in her life.

I like this book because it shows that college is difficult and you should trust your friends and don’t get mixed up with the wrong people. Also you have to accept things even if you don’t want to. I rate this 10/10

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