The Art of Being Normal - Lisa Williamson.

The first book chosen to be read for the newly created GirlGang Book Club - #GGBookClub, Lisa Williamson's The Art of Being Normal was not a book I had come across before, but the cover really appealed to me.

Fourteen year old David Piper has only two friends who know his secret - his best friends Essie and Felix. Essie & Felix have been supportive of David's biggest desire & need, something he has hidden from the world since he was a small boy - to be a girl.

David has written a letter to his parents, who he thinks suspect that he is gay, explaining that he wants to be a girl, but he cannot bring himself to give it to them.

Leo Denton, the mysterious new kid at school, wants to remain invisible to everyone and keep his secret of why he left Cloverdale High, a secret.

Already the resident "freak" at posh school Eden Park, David certainly isn't prepared to tell anyone else his secret. When David fights back against the school bullies one lunchtime, his journal falls into the hands of his tormentors. Held down and powerless to prevent his secret from being released, he is saved at the last moment by Leo, who interrupts and stops the bullies.

The fight forces David & Leo closer while serving detention, and an unlikely friendship begins to form. David is drawn by Leo, for reasons he cannot work out. Now he has to get to know Leo, and David is about to become the first person to learn of Leo's secret.

I have never read a book before that talks about transgender issues. Lisa Williamson offers a highly emotional read full of love, happiness, wit, confusion & sadness - while exploring "normal" teenage issues, such as relationships, fitting in and trying to understand normality, which most of us can relate too.

Williamson's approach to transgender issues among teenagers is beautifully done, at one point I did have a tear or two in my eye! It has really made me think about the difficulties teenagers facing these issues must be facing on a daily basis.

I really enjoyed, loved even, The Art of Being Normal. I felt like I could really connect with & understand the characters on a personal level, and particularly loved David's character.

I think the mark of a good book is when it leaves a lasting impression and wanting to understand more about the issues covered, and The Art of Being Normal certainly does this!

If you are looking for an easy read, full of wit & emotion but tackles a rare literary topic, then The Art of Being Normal is most definitely for you.

Have you read The Art of Being Normal? What did you think of it?

1 comment

  1. This book looks really good, really up my street! I am annoyed I missed the girl gang book club! I am rubbish at keeping up with those kind of things X

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