Book Review : Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne

August 23, 2016 Book review 20 ★★★★★

Wow! Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne slammed me to the ground with all the feels. It broke my heart, made me roar with laughter, made me determined to fight more about feminist issues and most of all enlightened me about OCD.

Book Review : Am I Normal Yet by Holly BourneAm I Normal Yet? (The Spinster Club, #1) by Holly Bourne
Published by Usborne on August 1st 2015
Genres: Depression & Mental Illness, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, YA Contemporary
Pages: 434
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

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?

BOOKLOVE Must-Read Refreshing smart & funny Young Adult


First Line of Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne

“It started with a house party.”


5 Things I Love in Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne


1.   The Jarring Descent in to relapse

When we meet Evie first, she is in recovery from a breakdown caused by her OCD and Generalised Anxiety Disorder.  Evie is adorable but walking in her shoes is exhausting.  She worries about all the usual teenage dramas but she also worries about her rituals and being normal.  At times these overlap at lot and it’s impossible to see where the line ends between teenage worries and her illness.  Watching her descent back into crisis was so distressing but very honest and realistic.

“Okay, so I was stressing. And obsessing. ‘Obstressing’ times a million.”

2.  The Friendships

The girls are amazing!  Evie, Amber and Lottie form a gang called the The Spinster Club to help figure out how to be a feminist.  They aim to stay true to themselves, and not lose their personality or their friends while trying to impress guys, and at the same time not being ball breakers!  It was such a fun theme but also very powerful and inspiring.


3.  The relationships

Evie’s relationships won’t have you dreaming of happily-ever-afters or swooning dizzily about the guys in her life.  But they are far more realistic than any others that I have read about in YA fiction.  Huge bonus marks here not over romanticising teenage love affairs, but at the same time capturing the giddy moments.


4.  The Bechdel Test

While reading,  I was thinking that this book aces the Bechdel test (girls taking about things other than boys).  So I was amused and delighted to see that it was also IN the book as a topic of conversation.


5.  The Quirky Format

We see Evie’s recovery diary.  She describes good thoughts and bad thoughts as they burst into her day.  We get to nosy at test messages and watch Evie compile lots of lists.  All things I ADORE in books, so these were another huge highlight for me.


Overall I’m in love with this book and it tipped my TBR over the edge, as I now need to read all the Holly Bourne books.  The great news is that this is the first book in a series.  Each one focusing on a different member of The Spinster Club and I can’t wait to read on.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: five-stars


Who should read Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne?

I highly recommend this to you if you love YA contemporary books that move from light moments to dark moments with ease, and if you want to read an authentic portrayal of OCD and Anxiety (as experienced by Evie, I know everyone has their own journey).  Or if you want to read a book with a great feminist message at its core.  Similarly fans of OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu and Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill should appreciate this one.


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20 Responses to “Book Review : Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne”

  1. Rita

    I don’t read YA or NA unless it’s a mystery or fantasy, but I applaud the author for showing that strong women (or people) can have ongoing disabilities. I have members of my family that have mild OCD and it’s not fun, it’s not easy to live with, but it’s manageable. Nowhere near as debilitating as this young person has, though, thank goodness. I love when realistic angles (disabilities, high intelligence,etc) can be worked into a contemporary YA story. Let’s show YA females that we are not all “one size fits all” and that’s a good thing.
    Rita recently posted…My Weekend Update- 8/21/16

    • trish

      Totally agree Rita, it’s such a positive message and I love it! It did feel very realistic to me when I read it.

    • trish

      I’m on book 2 now Katherine and it’s just a good. I know you don’t read much YA but this series is worth it!

  2. Rachel

    Well. That’s it. I’m sold now! I’ve seen this one doing the rounds, and I’m not sure why but I had this idea that it would be young YA, and I never bothered reaching for it. Now it’s firmly on the wishlist. R xx
    Rachel recently posted…Review: The Dark Days Club

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