Sunday, May 3, 2015

Some Kind of Normal~Juliana Stone | Review

Title: Some Kind of Normal
Author: Juliana Stone
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 304 Pages
Release: May 2015
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I received a copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What is Normal?

For Trevor normal was fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves Trevor with no band, no teammates and no chance of graduating. It's kinda hard to ace your finals when you've been in a coma. The last thing he needs is stuck-up Everly Jenkins as his new tutor—those beautiful blue eyes catching every last flaw.

For Everly normal was a perfect family around the dinner table, playing piano at Sunday service and sunning by the pool. Until she discovers her whole life is a lie. Now the perfect pastor's daughter is hiding a life-changing secret, one that is slowly tearing her family apart. And spending the summer with notorious flirt Trevor Lewis means her darkest secret could be exposed.

The cover and title of this novel are what originally drew me to it. I'm not generally a fan of cover models, but with this view and perspective, it really worked. And the title on its own is very intriguing. Once I read the synopsis, I knew I had to give this novel a try. 

Trevor and Everly were both compelling characters. The story is told with a dual perspective first person narrative, which I love. We get Trevor and Everly's take on things. Each of these characters is fighting some sort of demon, trying to find their way back to normal. 

One of the main things I really enjoyed about this novel was the development of Trevor and Everly's relationship. Trevor is struggling with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) after a car accident the previous year left him in a coma for weeks. Everly is dealing with the stress of a failing family that everyone else sees as perfect. The two are forced into each others company, but soon start to actually care.

I liked seeing Trevor's growth. We get glimpses of what he was like before his accident and how he wants to change now. He makes some major mistakes concerning Everly and their situation at points, but I appreciated that when he realized he didn't want her to be like the other girls he's been with that he actually treated her differently. So often in novels the guy says this but doesn't actually follow through. Here I thought it was done beautifully. And we get to see him fighting his battles and facing the fact that his life isn't going to be what he thought it was. 

Everly is trying not to fall apart. She knows something that no one else does. She knows a secret that could-and is-tear her family apart. She just doesn't know what to do about it. Seeing her struggle through her day to day life, pretending that everything is fine, was painful, but satisfying. We get to see her grow as she faces all of these new developments with the family that everyone around her always thought was perfect.

Throughout the novel you're kind of kept in the dark as to what exactly is going on with Everly's family. You know that something is happening, and you get some of Everly's take on the situation, but this doesn't become apparent until nearly the end of the novel. It makes sense from a story telling point of view, but it was frustrating to not be given at least a little more toward the beginning.

Overall I really enjoyed this novel. It was a bit vague at points, particularly concerning Everly's family issues, which kept me from enjoying the story as much as I might have, but it was fast paced and emotional, which kept me reading. 

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