The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson


The Art of Being Normal
Title : The Art of Being Normal
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1910200328
Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 353

Two boys Two secrets.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 eleven 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


The Art of Being Normal Reviews


  • Raeleen Lemay

    I spontaneously decided to pick this up today, and I absolutely FLEW through it I had a couple of minor problems with it, but overall I found it to be very enjoyable.

  • May

    UNA NOVELA REAL, CERCANA Y QUE ABORDA EL TEMA DE LA TRANSEXUALIDAD DE MANERA SUBLIME IMPRESCINDIBLE.El arte de ser normal es una novela juvenil que trata el tema de la transexualidad y que cuenta con una historia con giros muy buenos Es una novela muy bien escrita, con una prosa bonita y unos personajes muy bien cosntruidos Si bien ya la portada da a entender de qu trata la novela, no solo se centra en el tema de la transexualidad sino que toca otros como la violencia de g nero, el alcoholis UNA NOVELA REAL, CERCANA Y QUE ABORDA EL TEMA DE LA TRANSEXUALIDAD DE MANERA SUBLIME IMPRESCINDIBLE.El arte de ser normal es una novela juvenil que trata el tema de la transexualidad y que cuenta con una historia con giros muy buenos Es una novela muy bien escrita, con una prosa bonita y unos personajes muy bien cosntruidos Si bien ya la portada da a entender de qu trata la novela, no solo se centra en el tema de la transexualidad sino que toca otros como la violencia de g nero, el alcoholismo, los problemas de cualquier adolescente y el bullying En s es una novela cargada de valores y que hace reflexionar.Como digo si por algo se caracteriza esta novela es porque trata diversos temas que me parecen muy importantes y que hacen reflexionar La pobreza y el abandono, por ejemplo, es uno de los temas que tienen m s peso en la novela por uno de los dos protagonistas Y adem s nos hace ver c mo la situaci n personal y el contexto en el que vivimos influyen en todas nuestras acciones diarias El hecho de ser pobre y estar abandonado hace que Leo sea un ni o conflictivo y que tenga salidas de tono que no son normales, por ejemplo.La historia de El arte de ser normal se construye alrededor de dos protagonistas Ambxs nos cuentan su historia como narradores homodieg ticos ya que son actantes directos en la obra en primera persona Lo que hace que nos transmitan much simo m s todo el c mulo de emociones que sienten d a a d a por su condici n de g nero Se va alternando la narraci n de uno y otro y suelen narrar varios cap tulos seguidos Me gust mucho el tipo de narrador elegido para la novela porque nos acerca m s a la situaci n de los protagonistas.Tenemos dos protagonistas que parecen muy diferentes y que al final resultan no serlo tanto Ambos son personjes redondos, que nos sorprenden, nos emocionan y tienen muy buenos giros David es el personaje m s predecible, mientras que Leo guarda toda una sorpresa muy inesperada.En s la novela no es para nada predecible Me gust much simo que no se centrara en una historia de amor sino que se centre en la evoluci n de una joven transexual y en c mo afronta el serlo d a a d a Y no solo su evoluci n, sino el de todos los personajes que lo rodean y tienen que hacerse a la idea Adem s me gust que los personajes fueran tan reales y que ambos protagonistas no sean para nada predecibles.La novela se lee muy r pido, no tiene una lectura muy f cil porque es densa y la autora nos contextualiza mucho para entender bien qu es la transexualidad Pero lo hace a la perfecci n, dej ndonos ver c mo evoluciona una persona transexualidad que es consciente de su g nero.Me ha gustado much simo poder leer al fin una novela que trate el tema de la transexualidad Si bien es cierto que ltimamente algunas editoriales apuestan por los conflictos de la orientaci n sexual, esta es la primera novela que puedo leer con un protagonista transexualidad La comunidad LGTBI no est para nada asumida en la literatura, y si bien la comunidad gay es la m s normalizada en la misma la transexualidad sigue siendo un tema marginal Evidentemente, no ya en la literatua, sino en la sociedad actual.Es una novela muy buena, muy bien escrita, que normaliza la transexualidad, nos muestra c mo la afronta una joven de quince a os y est cargada de valores Una lectura imprescindible

  • maggie

    Normal kids don t see therapists Normal kids don t have mothers like mine, who tell you life isn t fair with messed up glee, like the unfairness of life is pretty much the only thing they know for sure I ve spent my whole life being told I m the complete opposite of normal I m sorry, but I loved this I don t know why I m apologizing, since I m on this website to either hate or love a book no matter what others thought about it, but I feel like this is another one of those books that Normal kids don t see therapists Normal kids don t have mothers like mine, who tell you life isn t fair with messed up glee, like the unfairness of life is pretty much the only thing they know for sure I ve spent my whole life being told I m the complete opposite of normal I m sorry, but I loved this I don t know why I m apologizing, since I m on this website to either hate or love a book no matter what others thought about it, but I feel like this is another one of those books that are underrated and many people don t know about It s another underrated book like We Are the Ants that I wish had a little hype to it where people knew about it This wasn t heartbreaking, but it was another one of those books that make you realize how hard it is for different people to live their life because they feel like they won t be accepted The Art of Being Normal follows David Piper who knows he isn t who he wants to be When his teacher once asked the whole class what they want to be when they grow up, everyone wrote normal things like wanting to be a doctor, or a famous soccer player, or a computer genius, but David wrote that he wants to be a girl He was 8 when he wrote this, and now that he s 15, there s nothing that has changed It s been hard for him because no one knows about this, not even his parents, which he is afraid to tell, and he doesn t want anyone at school to know because he s afraid of what they will think Although David isn t known for who he wants to be, he is known for the different person that he is at school, so he gets teased and bullied a lot that he ends up being called freak show and weirdo especially by Harry, a popular boy at his school that makes other students lives miserable and tortures them because he can and wants to When Harry makes fun of David and finds his scrapbook, filled with pictures that make David happy and his inspections, including height size, hip size, foot size, and even penis size, he starts making fun of David, which makes David elbow Harry for doing so When Harry tries to get back at him, Leo Leo Denton , a new student that was expelled from his previous school, stands up for David and punches him Because of this save, Leo and David end up in detention and begin forming a small friendship that ends up in a trustworthy status, where both end up telling the other something they ve never told anyone else It s either for the best, or for the worst, but both don t expect what they find out.I don t know man, but I ended up loving this I thought I was gonna cry because I felt bad for both characters, but I didn t shed a tear I wouldn t say this has a plot twist because, in reality, one can see it coming but I really didn t expect anything from this I expected Leo and David to fall in love with each other and form a friendship since that s what the synopsis of this book kind of hints, but it really wasn t this This was about acceptance, coming out, confidence, and friendship If it wasn t for my friend, I wouldn t have known about this book She s the one who got me into reading LGBT books and I couldn t be happier I m not part of the community, but I m a supporter, and reading these books make me realize how important it is to realize how difficult it is for these different people around us to live their life because they re afraid They make me realize how important it is to accept these people because they re different David Piper was different, so was Leo Denton, and I loved them both for that.I m pretty sure the message this book was supposed to deliver was about acceptance and confidence David was struggling to accept who he wanted to be and he was afraid to show it to the world, even to his best friends and parents, because he was afraid of what they would think I loved how supportive they both were, how his parents were happy for him and wanted the best for him and how his friends would tease him for it and don t really care because they were happy being with him as well They wouldn t tease him in the you re disgusting because you re different way but instead in the he s in love with him and it s cute way I loved how David grew out of his stranger zone and came out, not caring what others thought He and Leo would make memories together and be who they really were inside, not outside I m not sure if the author herself is in the community, but she really managed to pull off this one, being her first novel especially with 2 characters that are transgender I actually thought about marking this as another DNF but I really didn t want to, so I kept reading and boy am I glad The reason for that was because the writing was dull and not that good I m not saying I m better than her in any way but it was lacking in many ways and the story itself was pretty boring, but when Leo punched Harry, I was completely interested in finding out what would happen next and how exactly Leo and David were gonna start their friendship This wasn t my first LGBT book, but it was the first book I ve ever read that deals with a trans character There are important issues in this book that are dealt with in real life and that we see in society that many people don t stand up for including bullying, abandonment, poverty, and family issues and Lisa Williamson managed to handle them well enough in this The book isn t about being transgender or being normal after all, but it s about David learning to find his normality It s a respectful story that can capture a readers attention from the very beginning because you can get so intrigued by David s journey and just want to follow him as he goes Both characters deal with family and school issues, but especially Leo You just feel bad for him when it comes to his chapters He has a mother that just doesn t love him because she s so addicted to alcohol that she comes home late at night and stumbles and falls on the ground because she can t control herself she calls her son miserable and tells him to go away because she can t stand the sight of him her teeth are so yellow because of how many cigarettes she has smoked and doesn t pay attention to the fact that she s very dirty and doesn t clean up after herself she acts like a little girl with her new boyfriend, Spike, because she s so drunk or is just acting stupid and like a fool she isn t the mother her son and small daughter, Tia, Leo s small 7 year old sister, should have and doesn t care she doesn t try at all to make their children s lives a better one and doesn t bother paying attention to it Leo doesn t even have a dad and when he meets his dad, he doesn t even believe him It was just really sad seeing Leo having to deal with this abandonment and not having a mother that loves him properly because his dad left her when he was a baby.David, on the other hand, had a supportive and wealthier family I loved how his parents accepted who he was and just wanted him to take as much time as he needed His mom even applied makeup for him and that just made me a little too happy I loved how they understood where he was coming from and even decided to play along, saying it was great to not be normal and how it s better to be different because you re just, different. I did hate David s sister, Liv, and found her to be a little bitch I guess it s because she didn t know about it until after, but she was also like the bullies David had at school, which made it worse because it was at his house and from his little sister She d call him weird and would say he looked like shit when he didn t sleep well and I don t know but she just got on my nerves a lot Overall, The Art of Being Normal talks about issues going around nowadays, especially right now, that are solved bit by bit, and I loved how Lisa wrote this I did say the writing was a bit lacking in the beginning, but the story made progress as David and Leo follow each other s journey together and manage to get through it all It s got an emotional ride to it, depending on the reader, and it s got the small humor bits that add laughter to it, but it s also got the respectful diversity a book should have

  • Neo

    I m a trans person and when I saw this book I was super excited It had a cool cover and a premise I was personally interested in.However, once I started reading I was honestly very disappointed.I know that trans people have different experiences and points of view on their gender, but so many things about this book seemed off to me The book isn t written by a trans person, and that was my first clue In the blurb Two boys and David wants to be a girl Being trans isn t about wanting to be I m a trans person and when I saw this book I was super excited It had a cool cover and a premise I was personally interested in.However, once I started reading I was honestly very disappointed.I know that trans people have different experiences and points of view on their gender, but so many things about this book seemed off to me The book isn t written by a trans person, and that was my first clue In the blurb Two boys and David wants to be a girl Being trans isn t about wanting to be another gender We actually are that gender, but have been seen as our birth gender And that wanting to be a girl shtick continues through the whole story.Understandably, David has some internalized transphobia and says some pretty transphobic things to Leo I can t remember any specifics because I have lent the book to a friend, but I remember this And Leo also says some transphobic things to David, which was odd, as he s trans too Also, David uses he him pronouns throughout the whole book which I guess goes with the whole wants to be a girl thing I can t really put it into words because my brain is silly, but as a trans person, I felt uncomfortable reading this, especially as it was written by a cis author and it was specifically taking about someone being trans To me, it wasn t an accurate representation of what it was like to be trans, and this goes on the list of disappointing trans books along with What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

  • Sarah Churchill

    Fantastic Highly recommended The Art of Being Normal is the story of a transgender character named David, and his journey to finally telling his family and the rest of the world that he wishes to be referred to as Kate, and would like to begin transitioning.I have to be honest and say that I don t believe I ve read a book about a transgender character before, certainly not as the main focus of the story I know they exist, so it s either down to my own lack of diverse reading or a distinct l Fantastic Highly recommended The Art of Being Normal is the story of a transgender character named David, and his journey to finally telling his family and the rest of the world that he wishes to be referred to as Kate, and would like to begin transitioning.I have to be honest and say that I don t believe I ve read a book about a transgender character before, certainly not as the main focus of the story I know they exist, so it s either down to my own lack of diverse reading or a distinct lack of books covering this topic I suspect it s a bit of both.I enjoyed this immensely, it s very easy to read and I liked both of the dual POVs I also appreciated the use of different fonts for both just to keep me on track It features some serious and important themes, all of which were handled well, including of course sexuality and gender but also bullying, family relationships, poverty and abandonment probably a few too But beyond the struggles of David and Leo it never felt heavy , if that s the right word I certainly felt sad and angry, as well as happy and warm, but I enjoyed the whole journey.As others have said, a must read if you enjoy the work of David Levithan and Maureen Johnson

  • Natasha

    It s been a while since I read this but I feel there s two things I should point out that really bothered me about the book 1 Leo is a trans guy but him being trans is treated as a plot twist, and is found out when a girl he likes sees his genitalia Not a fan of that 2 Kate called by her birth name for most of the book is referred to by he him pronouns by Leo in his internal monologue after he finds out she s a trans girl but only refers to her as she when she s wearing feminine clothin It s been a while since I read this but I feel there s two things I should point out that really bothered me about the book 1 Leo is a trans guy but him being trans is treated as a plot twist, and is found out when a girl he likes sees his genitalia Not a fan of that 2 Kate called by her birth name for most of the book is referred to by he him pronouns by Leo in his internal monologue after he finds out she s a trans girl but only refers to her as she when she s wearing feminine clothing That s something that really irked me.Update Since reading this I ve become a lot educated on transphobic tropes The above are all very transphobic tropes When Leo found out Kate was trans he should ve only used she her pronouns, and when he found out she wants to be called Kate he should ve switched to Kate, not only when she worse a dress It s clearly a book by a cis person who did minimal research This book is just a transphobic mess

  • Stacey (prettybooks)

    You must have heard about The Art of Being Normal by now and, if not, I m not sure how you have managed to miss it Published on 1st January, it s one of the most talked about UKYA novels published this year so far, and has certainly set a high standard.Fourteen year old David Piper has only told two people his two best friends, Essie and Fox, who have both been incredibly supportive that he has wanted, needed, to be a girl ever since he was a small child David has written a letter to his p You must have heard about The Art of Being Normal by now and, if not, I m not sure how you have managed to miss it Published on 1st January, it s one of the most talked about UKYA novels published this year so far, and has certainly set a high standard.Fourteen year old David Piper has only told two people his two best friends, Essie and Fox, who have both been incredibly supportive that he has wanted, needed, to be a girl ever since he was a small child David has written a letter to his parents explaining how he feels but cannot bring himself to give it to them He already suspects that they think he s gay, but he s not ready tell them the whole story just yet And he s certainly not going to tell anyone else at school he s already being called a freak show David meets newcomer Leo Denton on his first day at Eden Park School He walks over to him even though Leo doesn t seem to want to talk to anyone at all, let alone make friends When the school bully just won t leave David alone, Leo steps in, and now David just has to get to know him But Leo s had to move schools for a reason and David s about to be the first one to discover why.I ve been reading a lot of American young adult contemporary novels lately and so it was a bit of a shock to step into such an obviously English voice, even though I knew The Art of Being Normal was UKYA It made me realise how much I miss it I don t know why are we really that different , but even though the world of school and the struggles of growing up are essentially the same across the pond, UKYA just makes teenage life feel that little vivid and relatable But what is normal, huh I have yet to meet someone who didn t enjoy The Art of Being Normal It has a brilliant as well as important title because it s not an issues book It s not really about being transgender, but is a story that just happens to have a transgender character David doesn t feel like he s not normal, he s just trying to find a way to communicate that to everyone else It s about what it s like to grow up, make friends and deal with family It s about class and identity, and how people are perceived by others It s all heightened when you are a teenager because it s difficult not to care less you can t live on your own and you can t do what you want It can be quite suffocating, so it s helpful to hear stories about teenagers going through the same experiences as you.The Art of Being Normal is one of the first books I ve read that talks about transgender lives Lisa Williamson not only writes an incredible contemporary novel, full of laughs and emotion, but also a responsible and respectful one If you ve never read a book that talks about being transgender, if you want to read diversely, or if you just want a realistic, empathetic coming of age story, pick up The Art of Being Normal and start to dismantle the definition of normal bit by bit I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books.

  • Kate (GirlReading)

    This was such a fantastic, insightful, brilliantly written book I absolutely flew through it, the writing style was so comfortable and easy to read and flowed smoothly between each perspectives This somehow both broke my heart and filled it with joy at the same time Some of the issues dealt with and scenarios present in the plot crumbled my faith in humanity It hurts to think about what some people have to go through when simply wanting to be themselves It was difficult to read but I think This was such a fantastic, insightful, brilliantly written book I absolutely flew through it, the writing style was so comfortable and easy to read and flowed smoothly between each perspectives This somehow both broke my heart and filled it with joy at the same time Some of the issues dealt with and scenarios present in the plot crumbled my faith in humanity It hurts to think about what some people have to go through when simply wanting to be themselves It was difficult to read but I think Lisa Williamson did such a fantastic job at balancing the emotions of the reader Yes it was heartbreaking but there were also many moments that made me smile a huge amount and helped to, once again, restore my faith in humanity Honestly this was such a rollercoaster of a book There were twists I didn t see coming, an array emotions from start to finish and within all of that, a genuine insight and of an education on this topic This was my first book I ve read that surrounding the topic of being transgender and I feel as though this was a really great book to start with I definitely hope to read in the future

  • Thomas

    3.5 starsLoved the introductory exploration of trans issues in this book, even if it faltered in other areas The Art of Being Normal follows two protagonists who both go to Eden Park School David Piper, a biological male who has always wanted to be a girl, and Leo Denten, an outsider with dark secrets of his own Though the two seem quite different David, reserved and wistful, Leo, moody and confrontational a twist of fate brings them together in ways neither of them expect.I app 3.5 starsLoved the introductory exploration of trans issues in this book, even if it faltered in other areas The Art of Being Normal follows two protagonists who both go to Eden Park School David Piper, a biological male who has always wanted to be a girl, and Leo Denten, an outsider with dark secrets of his own Though the two seem quite different David, reserved and wistful, Leo, moody and confrontational a twist of fate brings them together in ways neither of them expect.I appreciated Lisa Williamson s willingness to tackle a trans character and the challenges they face She makes David s struggle to accept himself a central part of the plot while writing his dual perspective with Leo in a way that maintains a solid pace for the story as a whole David and Leo both have strengths and weaknesses, which humanizes them way than if they had been perfect Christ figures The Art of Being Normal flowed well, which I attribute to Williamson s easy to navigate writing.I wanted from several domains of this book though Williamson s writing, while smooth, did not convey the nuanced underpinnings of the characters struggles Leo s family and David s two best friends both felt like accessories to David s desire to transition, and it would have been nice to see those characters relationships fleshed out Though I read The Art of Being Normal on my Kindle, it felt a bit too thin for me to build strong attachments to our protagonists.I liked this book and think others will too, though I feel even excited to read other, developed young adult books with trans characters Looking forward to reading Williamson s future work and I admire the effort she put into crafting this story

  • Reading Corner

    I couldn t finish this,it deals with an incredibly important issue and relevant topic in today s society but the book just felt like a generic ya book.I wanted to read this book for the trans character and to see how well the story would deal with the issue but after 110 pages I couldn t even really get to the core issue because the writing,dialogue and story were so painfully cliche.The story screams American cliche high school trash that we see in so many media outlets and the book isn t even I couldn t finish this,it deals with an incredibly important issue and relevant topic in today s society but the book just felt like a generic ya book.I wanted to read this book for the trans character and to see how well the story would deal with the issue but after 110 pages I couldn t even really get to the core issue because the writing,dialogue and story were so painfully cliche.The story screams American cliche high school trash that we see in so many media outlets and the book isn t even set in America,it s set in England so why are they acting so American The story was so painfully boring with the typical high school bullies who felt so unrealistic because they used pathetic insults like freak show.The dialogue was depressingly boring and failed in giving the characters any depth or personality,I think the worst thing I read was when one character uses the word Amazeballs.Cringe.No one ever says that,it felt like the author was desperately trying to make the story appeal to a younger audience.I looked up what happens in the story and it s incredibly predictable so I m glad I stopped reading.It s such a shame I couldn t carry on reading this book when I was so looking forward to it especially due to the trans characters but then the characters have literal no development,the story is depressingly generic and the dialogue is painful