Practicing Normal

Available: June 6, 2017

Thank you to for the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Ah – the great debate about “normal”. Are you normal if you’re happy? If you have money? If you have an important job and your children are smart/popular/athletic? As new definitions of normal or accepted are hurled at us every day, maybe normal is getting through the day and not hurting anyone?

What I loved: To see into the mind of Jenna was my favorite part of the story. As the mother of a teenager, I gained insight into my own child (minus the whole breaking and entering thing) while remembering my own teen angst against my father. My friends who have children “on the spectrum” (aren’t we all on one sort of spectrum or another?) or other learning abilities have told me time and and time again how they have to walk the very fine line between getting everything their child needs from the district and being such a demanding shrew that everyone groans when you walk into a room. I would have loved a chapter or two from JT’s point of view for his insight into the world because he was a fascinating character.

What I didn’t love: We could easily say the obvious (Everett - who I picture in my head as a cheezy Eric Estrada type from CHiPs but that’s probably because I’m seeing commercials for the movie reboot) but the character I really didn’t like was Kate. She was such a pushover her forehead said “Please Wipe Your Feet”. Between her mother and her husband, I’m shocked she hadn’t cracked yet. Towards the end she started to slowly gain a spine, bit by bit, but I think it would be crushed again by Everett.

What I learned: I’m locking my garage windows.

Overall Grade: B

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