Saturday, 6 June 2015

Review - The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

In one word I thought that The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson was beautiful. It really got to the heart of its subject matter and was one of those books that went to great lengths to accurately describe the way in which the world or, more precisely, those who live in it can be so cruel towards those who are in any way different. 

The story follows David Piper and Leo Denton who first meet at Eden Park School. It’s safe to say that David has never really fit in and has suffered mercilessly at the hands of school bullies, although he does have two very supportive best friends - Essie and Felix. In fact, as he has difficulties in opening up to his parents, it is, at first, only Essie and Felix who know David’s biggest secret; that he is a girl born inside a boy’s body. 

Then we have Leo who is the new kid in David’s school having left his previous school for reasons which many of his peers at Eden Park School are quick to start spreading false rumours about. One day, not very long at all into his time at his new secondary school, Leo stands up for David when he is being bullied. From this moment on we see an unlikely friendship begin to develop between the two characters who, as the story progresses, share some of their biggest secrets with eachother. 

What’s nice about this particular book is that we get an insight into how both Leo and David are really feeling with the author writing chapter’s from each of their perspectives throughout the novel. Regarding this particular aspect, it was also nice that it was very easy for the reader to recognise whose side of the story they were reading because the author used a different font for each character.

It was one of those books that I could definitely have read in a day, but with a full-time job this wasn’t possible. However, every other moment I got - on my lunchbreaks, in the evenings - this book was in my hands. Indeed, whilst I was reading the novel there was never a point when I felt bored or that the novel was lacking pace. 

The Art of Being Normal is most definitely an incredible d├ębut novel by Lisa Williamson, that so deserves all of the praise it both has received and will continue to receive. I sincerely hope that we will soon see more of Lisa Williamson’s work reach the shelves of local bookstores and, indeed, libraries as I can tell that her writing is not something I will ever tire of reading.