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The Art of Being NormalThe Art of Being Normal

by Lisa Williamson

Secondary List 2016-17 SHORTLIST

So far we have received 15 reviews of The Art of Being Normal.

You can read them below. Why not add your own review?

Abby from Year 13, Don Valley Academy and Performing Arts College:

The Art of Being Normal is a brilliant book that portrays an honest, and heartfelt perspective of what it's like to be transgender and what transgender teenagers face on a daily basis. As someone who knows trans youths I feel like the portrayal of the characters was really accurate. I think that the plot and the characters were great - the plot having twists and turns, but still sticking to a reasonably realistic portrayal. Also, the characters were portrayed in a way that made me really feel them. However, I didn't enjoy the way this book was written - I think the writing, and prose of the book was really monotonous (even though the events of the book were quite the opposite). I loved every other aspect of the book, apart from this, though.

Marks out of 10: 7

Wiktoria from Year 8, Don Valley Academy and Performing Arts College:

'The Art of Being Normal' by Lisa Williamson is a really well written and emotional book. I feel like I can relate to the character Leo because I also want to be invisible and I end up crying when I get mad. This book took me on an emotional rollercoaster. There wasn't a second I was bored reading this book. I'd recommend this book to anyone else.

Marks out of 10: 10

Tessa from Year 8, Don Valley Academy and Performing Arts College:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it was really interesting and emotional. I think that it is very well written and it really touches upon the subject of being transgender and what it's like; you are able to relate to some of the things that happen in this book and feelings of the characters themselves, I felt a mixture of emotions while reading this. The storyline is absolutely amazing and I extremely enjoyed reading it. I will definitely be reading it again at some point. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something that's unpredictable and outstandingly written. If you want to experience a rollercoaster of emotions while finding out what it feels like to be a teenager who's MTF or FTM then this is the book for you. 10/10, well done Lisa.

Marks out of 10: 10

Faith from Year 5, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Primary School:

I rated this book a 9 because I am not normal in a good way and I hope other people are as well no just me ok.

Marks out of 10: 9

Sophia from Year 7, Healing School - A Science Academy:

Wow! What a book. If you haven't read this- where have you been? The story is all about transgender and how the people all around Leo and David (the main characters) struggle to understand and come to terms with their decision. It is especially hard for David as his parents have no idea at all and when all of a sudden he drops the bombshell, he has no idea how his parents will take it. With his parents not knowing anything about this, how will they take this? However, on a different side, there is Leo, who is also a transgender, he comes to Eden Park School- David's school- this year, hoping for a new start, however, this isn't at all going to plan. There are lots of rumours flying about him which are as far from the truth as possible. He just keeps his head down until...he meets a girl called Alicia, who yep you guessed it,he falls deeply in love with. Will his secret make all that come to a standstill? In this book, there is rumours, romance and a big....secrets!

Marks out of 10: 9

taylor from Year 7, Rossington All Saints School:

I loved this book it was funny and upsetting it also had some great surprizes David wanting to be a girl and doing inspections every week but then finally telling his parents I was so relieved Leo going out with Alicia and telling her he was born a girl her running away was heart breaking also the book ending with a cliff hanger I want another book out Lisa Williamson stop the tension But seriously it's a really funny book I loved it thank you yours sincerely Taylor Nevill

Marks out of 10: 10

Nell from Year 8, Don Valley Academy and Performing Arts College:

I think this is a brilliant and powerful book. It portrays what it is really like to be transgender through two strong characters. 'The Art of Being Normal' is a book to be read by everyone and I couldn't put it down. It was very interesting with lots of plots twists plus, I think it was very effective writing the book through two characters perspectives. It takes you on a great journey and it written in a way that makes you able to visualize the scene and develop the characters in your head.

Marks out of 10: 9

Anna from Year 8, Healing School - A Science Academy:

WOW. This book was so great! I could not begin to express my love for this novel! It is so sad and deep with a great story line. The characters were created beautifully and the story offers great advice to deal with gender issues. The way that the words were crafted created such a fantastic bond with the book. I have never read a book so lovely and open and honest. The writer has pure talent and I hope to read many more of her novel because if that is anything to go by, she is amazing. Honestly, everyone must give this a go because it gives a whole new meaning to life and the way I now think.

Marks out of 10: 10

charley from Year 7, Ridgewood School:

This book was written exquisitely with characters portrayed with extreme accuracy. While this book takes you through the many heartfelt struggles of transgender teenagers, it also demonstrates a beautiful story line that is hard to put down. I would recommended this book greatly to those a little older because of its complex content. This book is grand and I am rather surprised at how much I have felt towards this book and the great atmosphere it created. I am so glad I chose to read this book, it was worth every hour I spent with my head stuck looking at perfectly written words!

Marks out of 10: 10

Chloe from Year 7, De Warenne Academy:

Why I liked the book!! I think the book was very interesting. The main characters are very similar in ways and have a lot of characteristics. And they are very funny and when you read it prints an image of what's happening in your mind. I would rate this book for children 12+ as there is inappropriate words [swear words] I would rate this 10/10. There are many different features in the book like different chapters, so for every different character there was a different font and a different chapter. This book is about 2 boys Leo ,Who wants to be invisible, and David , who wants to be a girl. They both meet at school and become mutual friends. But as time goes by they become very close friends and help each other out 'This is a very interesting book that'll make you never want to stop!' Chloe

Marks out of 10: 10

taylor from Year 7, Rossington All Saints School:

This book by far was the best ever I've read a lot of books but this was the best the bit were Leo told Alica he was transgender locked me in a mind of imagination it made me cry when Alicia left him because of his problem was crazy they became best friends again it melted my heart

Marks out of 10: 10

Jade from Year 8, Rossington All Saints School:

The art of being normal is beyond amazing! It is not only a prodigious read it an inspiring, heartening story. It's an exhilarating incite on what its like to be transgender and what a transgender teenager goes through on a daily basis. There wasn't a second that I was bored while reading this book. From the highs to the lows, I felt like I was there with the characters. Lisa Williams made this book relatable and, whilst writing a compelling story, has intertwined some valuable life lessons. I love the way Lisa defined the two characters' feelings. I could hardly put this book down! I love reading but this book took it to a whole new level! I hope to read more of Lisa Williamson' books in he future!

Marks out of 10: 10

Tasha from Year 7, Ridgewood School:

The Art of Being Normal is actually (believe it or not) an abnormal book. It is extremely strange and really quite confusing. I was disappointed with this book because I was really looking forward to reading it as I thought it would be so good and weird but amazing, but unfortunately I got a strange and hard to get into. I thought it was hard to read as well because there was two different fonts for two different people. It was quite hard to catch up with who was who and what was happening in who's life. I gave The Art Of Being Normal a 5 because it was also so realistic and original. It was so different and unique. This book was so unexpected and surprising. It was amazing and brilliant, on that sense.

Marks out of 10: 5

Tessa from Year 8, Don Valley Academy and Performing Arts College:

I read this for the second time and it is still absolutely amazing. When you read a book more than once you notice tiny details that you never noticed before and I think it's really fun. This book is my favorite book of all time and I rate it 10/10 because it is interesting, intriguing and moving. The characters and story are developed really well and it truly is a work of art.

Marks out of 10: 10

gracie-rose from Year 8, Don Valley Academy and Performing Arts College:

th art of being normal by lisa williamson is an amazingly written and moving book. its shown from the perspective of a transgender teen. the character are perfectly portrayed and it shows the daily troubles of trangender teens. In my opinion the book is overall a brilliant read. I rate this book a 9/10.

Marks out of 10: 9

 

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