I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Normal is a riveting and magnetic story of abuse, love, and hope. It pushes the reader in every way possible. It is raw and genuinely portrays one girls painful story and her finding her way to living...again. It challenges your definition on love and how much love can heal. How love doesn’t see obstacles, it over comes them. It shatters them. Normal is one of the most thought provoking stories I’ve ever read.
“This here? This is the sweetest, most beautiful heart in the goddamn world.”
Aurora (Rory) Pike has left the Florida sunshine behind for a new life in New York. She wants nothing more than to be...Normal. She wants to fade in the background and just exist. Her past leaves her with major anxiety. Her triggers are devastating but she is determined to finish off high school and continue on to college. Little does she know that existing isn’t enough, she will also learn to live. Sam “Cap” Caplan doesn’t do girlfriends. But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t look and touch. But something in him awakens the moment he sets his eyes on Rory’s as she is on the brink of another anxiety attack in the school hallway. He recognizes something in her that he’s dealt with internally. Later he finds out that he not only feels a connection to Rory, but his soul has found the one that his heart wants.
“Come on, Rory. We’re kindred, aren’t we? I don’t know why, but we are- you and me.”
Sam is a trigger for Rory. But with time, she realizes she cannot breathe without him. They begin a genuine friendship. Sam has never wanted more with someone, until Rory. But he rather have her in his life as a friend than not have her at all. With time, Rory let’s Sam in, slowly. But Sam is also battling demons of his own. Deep down he knows Rory is the one to make him strong enough to fight these demons and win. This is not your average broken girl falls in love. Normal goes way deeper than that.
“And surviving is a choice. And you’re not just surviving. Not anymore...That’s not surviving , Ror, that’s living.”
Rory becomes Sam’s without realizing it. Her broken pieces slowly mend in his presence. Rory’s past truly demonstrates resiliency and the will to live. This story is no rainbows and butterflies. It is a gritty and dark account of a girl’s past and realizing that only she has the power to take back what was stolen from her. Normal isn’t finished and Rory and Sam have so much more healing left. Rory and Sam’s story is breathtaking. Your heart will flutter over this story, as mine did.
“...and somehow, in the short time I’ve known him, he has become the center of my universe-my anchor to it. I’m no longer just surviving, as he said, I’m living.
The brilliant portrayal of this beautiful heartbreaking story puts this author on my buy anything she writes shelf. The writing is absolutely seamless and flawless as it transitions between past and present. You are fully immersed into the painful details of Rory’s past as she is living in the present. There are so many other characters in this story that add to its depth. But this story is to be lived. To experience. This story challenges love and all it’s capable of. You will feel Sam’s love for Rory slowly put her shattered pieces back together piece by piece as Sam’s broken heart becomes whole. Normal is everything I wanted in a story. It grabbed me by the heart and I am not sure if I will get it back.
Danielle Pearl is a novelist focusing on the New Adult genre. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two delicious little boys, and has been writing since she could hold a pencil. Danielle is a book addict and spends every free moment consuming as many novels as humanly possible. She grew up on Long Island with her parents, twin brother, and younger brother and sister who are also twins. She is the eldest granddaughter of Zus Bielski, famous for leading the Bielski Partisans who saved over 1,200 Jewish men, women, & children in Nazi occupied Poland. Her grandparents and family were featured in the 2010 film Defiance, starring Liev Schreiber, who played Danielle's grandfather, Daniel Craig, and Jamie Bell, and was directed by Edward Zwick.