Title: Am I Normal Yet? (The Spinster Club #1)
Author: Holly Bourne
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: August 1st, 2016
Publisher: Usborne
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | National Bookstore | Fullybooked

All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?

* Review *

*Reviewer’s note: This book review has been long overdue. I’ve been going through something these past months. I’m in the process of catching up. Apologies to the publishers and authors I owe book reviews. Going there. – Cheers, Erika 

There are three major things that I like about Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne:

  1. It is a fun, easy, and fast read.
  2. A book that will make you feel like you are playing the main protagonist. Like, whatever is going on in her head, is also going on in my head.
  3. It talks about important issues.

After reading Am I Normal Yet, the first thing that came to my mind was – “I have to get the second book! ASAP!” T(hankfully, Usborne YA was kind enough to provide a review copy of the sequel.) But before jumping unto the sequel, let me talk about Am I Normal Yet first.

Am I Normal Yet is the first book in the Spinster Club series by Holly Bourne.

If I’m not mistaken, the series was formerly called Normal series. The Spinster Club is a feminist series, but it also focus on other important topics such as mental health awareness, and I’m going to talk a lot about it on this review.

The main protagonist, Evie, is a teenage girl suffering from a mental illness, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She was tired of getting called the “crazy girl” back in high school, so, now that she’s going college, she wants to live a normal life. So, she decided to hide her OCD from the friends she’ll soon meet.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect before reading this book, because honestly, it’s not in my TBR until I got my copy. I don’t usually read synopsis when choosing a book, which is probably weird (lol), but just like that, I dived into this without any idea of what it’s all about.

A fun, yet serious story with important topics.

Considering the sensitive topics that are addressed into this book, which also turned some events in serious situations, Holly Bourne still managed to add fun and humor into the story, overall. I don’t think I got bored in any way, because I just kept going. The fun parts were always when Evie is together with her friends Amber and Lotte – whom you’ll see in the next books in the series.

Holly Bourne’s writing is also very easy to absorb. I also already mentioned how reading this feels like I’m inside the head of Evie. Holly Bourne manage to pull me. When Evie is experiencing panic-attacks, it’s as if I am also experiencing the same thing in the real world. Which is the thing about this book! It is realistic.

Let’s talk about OCD.

You’ve probably heard about people say stuff like “I’m feeling OC.” Or in the cases of bookworms, when we own a book series that are not in the same height or formats, we get anxious. I am guilty of that! I sometimes use that expression, or rather, I sometimes misuse the term.

The thing here in Am I Normal Yet is the “more serious” case of OCD. The real thing. This book is an eye-opener about OCD. Many people use the term OCD as a means of expression, when they feel like, or when they see people arranging, or organizing things – a stereotype about OCD. People often think that individuals suffering from this disorder are just those being extremely neat, or organized. Which can be the case, but there’s certainly more than just being a neat freak.

It’s in my head.

Reading in Evie’s voice, made me realize how hard it is to suffer from mental illness. Not just OCD, but all kinds of mental health disorders – anxiety, depression, etc.

I may not be someone knowledgeable about mental disorders, but after reading this, it just felt like I somehow understand, at least a little. Your own mind is eating you. You are fighting against yourself.

Evie is suffering from an OCD, and anxiety at the same time. Her panic-attack are hard to forget. And there’s one thing that broke my heart. She’s just washing her hands, like any other people do. Nope. She’s not satisfied. She washed her hands until her hands bled.

It stuck in my head, that I tried to do it for my bookstagram.

Final verdict

This book means a lot to me. As someone who has a family member diagnosed with depression, I think people should read this book to further understand mental health disorder. Or at least, read more books that talks about issues like this – to be aware of what’s going on inside the head of an individual suffering from these kinds of mental disorders.

If you are looking for a book that empowers women, and that talks about important topics like mental health awareness, this is the perfect book to pick.

Holly Bourne deserves an award for her amazing portrayal of what a real OCD is. Read this book now!

* My Overall Rating *

Author: Erika

Erika is a freelance content writer and illustrator from the Philippines. She used to hate writing in high school, but later discovered that it is something that she’d enjoy doing. Asides from books. she also enjoys the presence of few art materials, camera for bookstagram, and other bookish merchandise, on her own fantasy realm.

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