By: Wesley King
Reviewer Rating: Five out of Five Stars
Best for: 10 and up
Normal is exhausting for Daniel
Guest book review by Julie
Q: What’s the book about?
Daniel tries to fit in by being a kicker/bench warmer on the football team. His best friend, Max, is popular and helps him. He’s doing ok hiding some quirks in his personality until he gets a note that said his help is needed. This starts him in pursuit of a murderer with “Psycho Sarah.” It also starts him on a journey of self discovery and understanding of friendship. He can have friends from different backgrounds and he is a good friend himself.
Q: What did you love/not love about the book?
I read up more on the author. The book is a lot autobiographical.
Some things which resonated a lot with me :
Only feeling alone when hiding. Hiding what’s happening in mind is exhausting. Family would most likely be supportive but can’t tell what’s happening until really ready. It’s nice to have a person who understands what it feels like to be different but had to accept the risk of talking with Sarah who everyone called psycho. Sub story Daniel writes helps him sort out his actual life experiences. Attempting to be “normal” by doing what he thinks his parents and friends want from him does help him find a way to “fit in” but it’s not until he makes his own way does he truly BEGIN to accept himself. Co main character, understands herself better than does Daniel, but doesn’t even try to fit in. She’s not happy with her extreme way of resisting normalcy but reinforces it often. Finds friendship when she reaches out to Daniel, whom she somehow recognizes as a kindred. So much more. I just loved this book.
Q: Where there any content Issues?
Suicide. Mental health problems. Murder mystery. Spin the bottle game. All handled sensitively.
Want to be a guest reviewer? Do you love (or hate) a book and want other people to know about it? Fill out this form with your thoughts each time you finish a book and I’ll add it to the collection of reviews here on One Man Book Club!