Saturday, January 19, 2013

Normalish by Margaret Lesh

Normalish Book Tour Stop hosted by Xpresso Book Tours
I was so excited to take part in this tour and after reading Normalish, I have to say that it wasn't what I was expecting.

Title: Normalish
Author: Margaret Lesh
Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Release Date: October 5th, 2012
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Pages: 175
Format: Electronic Copy
Acquired: From Publisher
Age Group: Young Adult

Fifteen-year-old Stacy questions the strange world of high school, love, her role in a harsh universe, and life, in Normalish.

People tell you high school's so great and wonderful, but they're lying. It's mostly horrible and full of disappointment. It sucks. Your best friend abandons you. The jerk you're in love with pretends to be into you, and then the big dump. The boy you've really clicked with as a friend decides to go all crushy over you, so you break his heart just like yours was -- smashed into little pieces. Your sister goes mental, and you get involved with a guy who’s even crazier than she is (who you know is a very bad idea, but you do it anyway). Math only adds another stink of failure to the whole thing.

High school blows. Just ask freshman Stacy. She’d want you to know

I'm really glad that I got the chance to take part in this tour. I was  surprised just how interesting things turned out, both the bad and the good. I wasn't expecting half of what happened, and this is me who still remembers very clearly what it was like to be in high school.

For the most part I had a really hard time relating to Stacy. No offense, but she seemed to view life with two extremes (either things were going exceptionally well or things were going down the gutter). And I remember being fifteen and feeling the extremes (hello hormones) but at the same time I feel like it was too much to the point of being unrealistic. I was really nervous at where Lesh would take Stacy or where Stacy would take herself.

The subject of mental illness has always been a sore one for me, since I come from a family that has a long history of mental illness and there is no secret that my middle and high school life I was riddled with nothing but my own mental illness. It was interesting, to say the least, how Lesh made me see it from the other side. I always slightly prided myself in being someone who can see both points of view, but even I never knew what my own actions would effect people. Seeing how Stacy and her family had to deal with her older sister gave me at least some insight at what a lot of families go through who have similar experiences.

I was a little thrown off by the romance, but at the same time found myself liking it. I know Stacy's young, so obviously everything she's feeling can be blown out of proportion, and yes, she probably won't be deciding who she'll be spending the rest of her life with just yet, but at least Lesh was consist in Stacy's own inconsistency. If that makes sense, I think it does.

Anyways, Lesh brought to life what the first year of high school can be like for many people. And while I personally couldn't relate to Stacy, I had no trouble making connections to the supporting characters to people in my own school. I was friends with the Chads, the Anthonys, the Samanthas, and others who Stacy had to interact. In a lot of ways, I think it was them more than anything that kept me coming back.

Lesh takes a moment in a lot of peoples lives that can be both exciting and scary (first year of high school) and showers readers with all the extremes that could be felt. I was impressed with the style, and no matter how whiny, Stacy's voice came out in the end, which I found to be what gave this at least one more star in my rating. Four for originality and hitting a spot that most can look back at fondly (or some can look forward to, depending on where you stand!).

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