Exceptional and Special – Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Posted 27 January, 2014 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review / 17 Comments

Exceptional and Special – Faking Normal by Courtney C. StevensFaking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Published by Harper Collins, HarperCollins on 2014-02-25
Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, Girls & Women, Sexual Abuse, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.

Clearly, Faking Normal comes with a premise that promises a lot of tears and agonizing moments. I was prepared for this, yet I was not prepared to what was really to come and that I would fall head over heels with this wonderful, touching debut!

Truly Broken and not ready to Speak! 

Alexi is damaged and broken, but for the sake of her family tries to hide what happened to her, and she does this so very well! No one realized that there is something wrong with her, that something insanely horrible happened to her.  But we do!! We didn’t understand right away what happened to her, but we have some pretty good guess. But since Alexi is not ready speak out exactly what happened, we are not entirely sure.
It was a process of understanding and realisation and it was done so perfectly.
And even though I had some pretty good guesses, but the true revelation still shocked me to the core.

When Friendship Turns Love, Turns Savior!

Being alone and broken, Alexi is not ready and sure what it will mean for her when the boy next door Boddee starts to live with them.
Gosh my heart broke for this boyhen we hear that his Dad abused his mother and finally killed her. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. Having only his 19 year old brother left, Alexis family take him in. This boy is outstanding. There is so much to tell about this boy, yet I know I have no real words describing him!
Bodee is such a fantastic boy, but no one really sees him like this. He’s super silent, but he observes so much… He’s the only one who ever saw Alexis marks on the neck, the ones she inflicts on herself and always tries to hid it, until Bodee comes along! Poor, wonderful silent and observant Bodeee.
Thank goodness for people like this!!!

The Power of Love, Trust and Friendship!

Slowly, so very slowly they form a friendship that is so insanely moving and touching and wonderful. Their friendship turns just as slowly into something more and they both would do anything to protect each other.
Two broken kids, that even though they have both insane issues themselves do anything to protect and heal each other.
The power of Bodee is the way he reads me, sees through me, and then he understands the truth behind the facade. He’s the guy who can walk straight through the House of Mirrors in the first try. It’s almost annoying. No one should ride trendy like a pro surfer while I drown. – ARC, Faking Normal
Gosh and the writing!!!
Absolutely captivating, mesmerizing and beautiful. Courtney Stevens is incredible talented.
A hand to hold instead of lips to kiss. He’s my fort, my sanctuary. And I won’t do anything to jeopardize this. – ARC, Faking Normal
I know we’re still broken. Both of us. But Bodee’s got the glue to make us whole.  He is love. 
– ARC, Faking Normal

Even just reading these quotes and remembering these scenes and the lines in the book brings me back to tears!

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

Faking Normal  was exceptional,  heart wrenching, touchingly tragic but in between the sadness was so much wonder and beauty that melted my heart. Most definitely, Faking Normal is a brilliant debut from a fresh new voice and I’m excited to read more from Courtney C. Stevens.



Additional Info

The Blue-Haired Boy tells a short story from Bodee’s POV, set before the happenings of Faking Normal. This Novella (which I’m soooo going to read) will come out soon.
Did you hear about Faking Normal already and do you plan to read it? I so hope you are giving this book a chance!
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17 Responses to “Exceptional and Special – Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens”

  1. Danny, I love that you’re such a sucker for tragic stories about broken people finding themselves and love! There’s just such passion in your reviews – it makes me want to read books that I usually wouldn’t pick up!
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted..Mini-Swarm Reviews: Fanciful FantasiesMy Profile

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    Danny 1/28/2014

    Aw Mary! Now you make me blush! Yes, I do sometimes go a little ove the top when a story completely won me over. This one just did, gosh it was so wonderful! I hope you might have time to read it and love it just as much!
    Danny recently posted..Heather Finally Reads – Allegiant by Veronica RothMy Profile

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  2. You told me I need to read this Danny, so it’s on my list already and I cannot wait! I have to shore up my courage a little bit though, because it’s clearly a hugely emotional read and I have to be in the right mood for it. It just sounds like such a beautifully heartbreaking story, but as long as it ends well or with hope I’ll be good to go!

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    Danny 1/28/2014

    Oh I know how you feel and often enough I just feel the very same. For an “issue” book like this one I need to be in the mood for it. But please, as soon as your mood allows please pick it up, it’s so wonderful and YES totally happy good ending!!
    Danny recently posted..Heather Finally Reads – Allegiant by Veronica RothMy Profile

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  3. I WANT!!!! Beautiful review!! You make me want it so much!! Must pre order!!
    Heather @ Buried in Books recently posted..Red Rising by Pierce BrownMy Profile

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    Danny 1/28/2014

    Yes YES go and pre-order right this second. Heather, it’s such an intense but wonderful book!
    Danny recently posted..Heather Finally Reads – Allegiant by Veronica RothMy Profile

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    Heather @ Buried in Books 1/28/2014

    Danny I was sticking to a strict book budget. I am either going to have to stay away from your blog or I am going to have to enlarge that budget! Hmm, I like the second one better!!
    Heather @ Buried in Books recently posted..The Warrior and The Flower Audio Book Review and GiveawayMy Profile

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  4. I felt my heartstrings go the moment I started reading your review. If I can fall in love from just that, I can already tell I’ll love this book. Alexi and Boddee sound like amazing characters, and I’m really interested in seeing their relationship and how they work through their issues together. Definitely adding it to my “buy in March” list!
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted..I’m Taking a Blogging BreakMy Profile

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    Danny 1/28/2014

    At first it was just friendship and two broken kids find each other during a time they both thought they had no one else to go to. And I loved the way they friendship formed and then morphed into something more!
    Danny recently posted..Heather Finally Reads – Allegiant by Veronica RothMy Profile

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  5. I’ve been seeing this book around, but this is the first review that I have read. I didn’t really know what it was about. But after reading this, it looks like it would be heavy yet beautiful and moving. I’m very curious about it now. I think I would definitely want to read this after your review. I hope I remember to pick it up when it releases. 😛
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  6. Omfg, thank you so much for posting this! It is gonna be so helpful when I am thinking about going to Lyric Cinema Cafe in Fort Wayne! I am from Warrington so I am not familiar with Fort Collins. Next time I see my family will be much better! Beautiful!

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