Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens is a great teen novel about the power of secrets. At first it reminded me mostly of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson because of its focus on a girl who’s hiding a secret and the stress is ruining her life. But the more I read, the more it reminded me of Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. It made me think of that book because the focus expands to include a boy and a girl who would not normally have even spoken to each other, but who end up forming a very powerful bond. I think what I’m saying here is that you should DEFINITELY be able to find a big audience for this book!
Alexi has a secret that’s eating her alive. The secret makes it hard for her to trust people, or even talk to them. The secret makes her curl up and hide on the floor of her closet when she comes home. The secret makes her scratch herself until she bleeds. But the whole point of a secret is that nobody else knows. She can’t tell anyone.
One of the only things that can distract Alexi from the secret in her head is Bodee Lennox, a boy in her school who’s always been quiet and weird. His nickname is the Kool-Aid Kid because of the way he colors his hair. That was the most famous thing about him … until now. But everything has changed for Bodee, because now he’s famous for a different reason. Because his father just killed his mother.
Alexi has a secret that’s trapped deep inside of her. Bodee’s home life was a secret until now … but that secret has been revealed to the world, and now everyone knows how terrible things were at home.
In a perfect world, Alexi and Bodee would never have hung out together. They would never have spoken to each other. And they definitely would never have become friends. But this isn’t a perfect world, and Alexi and Bodee are both damaged goods. Alexi and Bodee are going to need each other’s strength and support to deal with the secrets that have the power to destroy their lives.