Bookreview: Normal People by Sally Rooney

This year hasn’t been great so far when it comes to reading. I finished óne book in January and then it was just a big blank. Didn’t read anything for two months. But I’m very happy to report that my reading slump is finally over. I decided to pick up Normal People by Sally Rooney, I heard good things about it and it was different from my usual type of reads. I mostly read YA, but I figured it might be a good idea to read something else entirely. Well, that ended up being a good decision!

Normal People by Sally Rooney
Published by Faber & Faber on August 28th 2018
266 pages
★★★★☆

At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. Then, as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

Normal People is a book about an on/off relationship between two young adults. You’d think that is quite a cliché subject, but honestly, even though that is the main story there’s so much more to this. I don’t want to tell you to much about this book, so this review will stay quite short and maybe a little vague, but that is just to ensure you’ll have the best reading experience. I feel like this is a book you just need to dive into. A book that is best read with not too much knowledge about it beforehand.

The book is really fast paced because it is full of time jumps. Which I think is brilliant, because this just means that all the information you get in the book is necessary. The chapters you read are short and snappy and I absolutely love that. It also means that you get to know the characters throughout multiple years. You can see them progress and change – sometimes not for the better though. I found myself wanting to shake these characters multiple times throughout the book and scream WHAT ARE YOU DOING. And I guess that is the beauty of this book. It’s relatable in some ways and totally not in others.

The best way to describe Normal People in a couple of words is complex, emotional, honest, heart-wrenching and sometimes even engrossing. I also would say that this book is not for everyone, but since it’s only 200+ pages it doesn’t hurt to find out. I would definitely recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a book that is a bit different and unique.

Have you read Normal People?

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