Am I Normal Yet? (Spinster Club #1)
Author: Holly Bourne
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publication Date: August 1st 2015
Format: Paperback (434 pages)
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?
My Rating: ★★★★★
There is a big possibility I am the last person on the planet to read this trilogy but you know what? Sometimes arriving late to the party is the cool thing to do (not always, but sometimes) and I’m pretty happy that I’ve finally turned up to this party!
After getting just a couple of pages into this book I knew I was going to fall in love. I adore Holly’s writing style; it is sassy, edgy and so fresh. I loved the voice that she created for Evie and boy did this book ooze Britishness. Not only is Holly’s writing like a breath of fresh air but I immediately felt like I knew these characters, lived in their world and so badly wanted to hang out with them. The conversational style of writing really caught me and I felt like I was also in this fab friendship group and hanging out with my friends. I loved the way that there were little headed sections such as ‘Bad Thought’ to break up the sections and that the book is also littered with therapy pages. It had such a fun feel to it even though it deals with something really important.
Am I Normal Yet? is the first in the Spinster Club trilogy and is told from Evie’s POV. Evie has OCD which one minute she has under control and the next it is spiralling. This book takes OCD and wades right through all of those awful stereotypes of ‘I’m so OCD, I have to have my pens in the right order’, to the real nitty, gritty reality of suffering with OCD. Evie’s OCD consumes her every waking thought and as she spirals further we get more and more exposed to how manic her thoughts and anxiety become. It absolutely pained me to read how bad things were getting for Evie and I so badly wanted her to open up to Lottie and Amber who I was sure would be so supportive of her. I’m really glad that despite the narrative of this book having a fun feel to it, it did not shy away from the harsh reality that living with OCD can bring.
Feminism. This book is FULL of wonderful, blossoming, in your face WE ARE FEMINISTS feminism and I LOVED it. I’ve seen Holly talk previously and I knew she was a feminist (as am I, I might add) and I loved the way this came through in the book. This was as much a lesson in feminism as any non-fiction text could be and I’m sure it will have, and will continue to, inspire many readers to look into feminism further and to learn more about it. I loved reading about the Spinster Club meetings and thought it was wonderful to see feminism being embraced so openly.
The romances were okay but I was so invested in Evie, Lottie and Amber that I found myself more disconnected from the male characters. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because it goes to show how excellent the voices of the MCs were!
If I were to write out a list of my favourite quotes and laugh out loud moments I’d have to write out pretty much the whole book so I would highly recommend picking up a copy if you haven’t already. If you love YA, feminism and books about mental health, this is an absolute MUST read!
Have you read Am I Normal Yet? ?
What did you think? Who is your favourite Spinster?