ARC Review: Faking Normal + A Giveaway

Faking Normal by Courtney Stevens (Feb. 25)

I just recently finished reading 'Faking Normal' by Courtney Stevens and I gotta say: I am so, very thrilled to have been able to read this book before it releases. Not so I can say "na na na boo boo!" but because I am so excited to be able to tell you without a doubt that you should pick this book up. You will absolutely not regret a single second that you spend reading it. 
Faking Normal is set in a small town in Tenneessee, where everyone knows everything about everybody. Lexi is a girl, that like so many, many girls has had trauma in her life, trauma that she blocks out without knowing why. Mostly, you'd have no idea that she's ever had a rough day in her life. She's smart, she's fun, she has friends, and from the outside? There's no better life to live. However, there are just secrets, like with every family. 

Bodee, is a guy that no one has ever paid much attention to outside of talking about what color his hair will be tomorrow. He's poor, doesn't have a lot of friends, and really doesn't seem to want to try to change that. These are normal high school dynamics, and normally, realistically, these things would very rarely change..until there's a tragedy. 
(oh yeah. THIS is happening, too) 

Bodee's mom is killed, and since Lexi's mom and Bodee's mom were in a prayer group together at church, Lexi attends the funeral with her family (and the rest of this tiny town). When Bodee can't find his voice during his time to remember his mother, in front of everyone, Lexi's mom urges her to help Bodee. She does, by just being silent and being there. Bodee - due to circumstances you will read about, and I won't spoil - ends up being a staple in Lexi's life. It's totally unplanned, extremely unexpected, and to her surprise, the only thing she's probably ever needed. Bodee helps Lexi find her bravery, all while she helps him find his courage.

 Every girl wishes for a Bodee. He will become one of your most coveted fictional boyfriends. I think, the most beautiful thing about Bodee is that we never have to go on and on about how hot he is to fall in love with him... you love him because he's an amazing person, even when his clothes don't fit, and his hair is the color of cherry kool-aid. 
Here's the thing about 'Faking Normal' - and if this is all you read, and all you take away from this review, that is fine by me, because it's the most important thing I'm gonna say. - Courtney Stevens addresses the topics that are almost taboo in YA. She's not scared to go where most people (not just authors) are scared to go. That alone, is reason to read this book. If you've been touched by tragedy, regardless of what it is, this book will speak to you. It's so very easy to fall in love with her writing, with her characters, and ultimately, I think with yourself. This book really shows you that you have to love yourself. You have to be brave for yourself, because while you may have someone who pushes you to do it, you can only ever be brave for you. I highly recommend this book to anyone - regardless of your age, your gender, or your preference in genre. I believe you'll find it's one of the better books you'll ever read. 

Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. Faking Normal is her first novel.

I'm gonna giveaway a couple of these 'Channel Your Brave' bracelets and signed Courtney Stevens bookmarks, just use the raffelcopter below to enter! International! 

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