Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Review of Normal by Danielle Pearl

The bit on the back…

It's the kind of situation most people would dread. Starting at a new high school, in the middle of my senior year, in a new town, in a new state. I know no one. No one knows me. That's what I'm counting on.

A year ago, Aurora "Rory" Pine was just a normal teenage girl - just as sweet and naive as the fairy tale princess she was named after.

But this isn't a year ago.

Rory is broken, and now suffering from a debilitating anxiety disorder, wrought with precarious triggers, she moves across the country to escape the source of her troubles. Her plan is anonymity, but that's easier said than achieved for the new girl having a panic episode outside of calculus. The worst part? There's a witness - and a gorgeous one at that.

Sam is a walking trigger for Rory. Incredibly handsome, built like the star athlete he obviously is, and undoubtedly popular, Sam outwardly represents everything Rory despises about high school. But as the fates keep throwing them together, a connection sparks that neither ever expected, and certainly couldn't ignore.

But Sam has issues too, and Rory's past won't just stay in the damned past. When friendship evolves into something deeper, can a girl utterly destroyed by the worst kind of betrayal and a boy battling demons of his own ever have a normal relationship? Is that even what they want?

I bought this book on a recommendation from a friend of mine who enjoys reading the same books as I do. It’s the first book in Danielle Pearl’s Something More series and is all about Aurora Pine. 

Aurora has been through something horrific, so bad that she’s left her home state and is starting over in a new town and at a new school. The blurb really made my mind up about buying this because it sounds exactly like my usual read but it also sounded like it might tackle some more difficult to deal with issues too.

Firstly let me say there are good points and bad points about this book. Firstly it doesn’t have a happy ever after ending and for such a long read to end on a cliff hanger I felt kind of put out, tres disappointing. The second thing is actually the length of the book. It took me a while to get into the story and when I did achieve that I found that I was tempted to skim through some of the narrative. On the other hand it does hold your interest in parts and there is a clever time flip thing going on between present day and before Rory moved to New York. It seemed natural and helped the story to progress.

It’s glaringly obvious that Rory has been through a lot and that she’s still suffering from the after effects of her past. I’m not going to go into detail about it as the blurb doesn’t give much away but it’s not pretty, it’s not fun to read and I’m sure there will be some readers who can identify, if not fully, with the situation Rory found herself in.

Having said that, I found that almost instantly Rory’s attitude changed and I found it quite unbelievable that she could “be” with Sam quite so readily and without incident. That might just be me but it didn’t feel natural.

Sam seems like a great guy, moulded by his own less than pleasant past and I actually liked him more than I liked Rory in parts of the book but I think that’s perhaps naivety on my part towards the anxiety that Rory deals with. I’m sad that I didn’t get the happy ever after I was expecting, and I’ve still not decided if I want to carry on with the series.

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