A Mini book review of Normal People by Sally Rooney.
I have been reading for a long while, and I totally got out of sync with it all, until I read Normal People… I saw the cover on Instagram for ages before I finally decided to order it.
I’m glad I did! There are lots of elements to this book that I loved, and a few that I would maybe change. Not that I disagree with the writer or anything, the whole book is extremely well written, there’s just parts I found uncomfortable, and I think a few others agree.
Anyway, a slight disclaimer; I only review books I have actually liked otherwise I see no point, and all views in this post are my own.
So, here is my mini book review! (Sorry if it’s a bit squeaky, I haven’t done one for a while).
My last book review was actually How To Stop Time by Matt Haig, (which is a great book, I 100% recommend).
About Normal People
Normal People is about Marianne and Connell.
The novel tells the story of their life from their school years, and through college.
The two of them have a secret romance which is too graphic for me to write about here on the internet.
ANYWAY, despite it being slightly awkward at times… It’s nice to read about how they change and people and develop differently throughout.
They both move away after school to go to a different college, Marianne in fact was the one who convinced Connell to do the same, if she hadn’t, his life and hers would have turned out very different.
Connell, who was once seemingly confident, and a friends with everyone person, and Marianne who didn’t really have any friends and was deemed as the weirdo, reversed roles. They were now living each others social status, and it’s great.
I don’t want to really go into much detail because I want you to read the book and I hope I am not giving away too many spoilers (I may already have…)
But, in a nutshell, Normal people, I think, is really about how no one is normal, what is normal?
There is no such thing as a ‘normal person’. We are all our own selves, with individual personalities and appearances.
In one aspect of their life Connell was totally normal, but in another, it was Marianne.
Although her life is very different to most, there are lots of people with lives like her, and lives like Connell, so in turn, they’re both ‘Normal People’, just living hard lives!
The book basically portrays how their friendships and their romances are affected by their status and the people around them throughout the book, splitting them up, but always finding a way for them to be magnetised back together.
Wow I hope that makes sense…
What I Liked
Since this is a ‘mini book review’ I’ll keep this short and sweet.
I loved how easy it was to read, the words and sentences flow into one, and the dialogue is very pleasing to read throughout.
I do love reading contemporary writing because it does feel real. It’s like these people do exist, especially because there isn’t too many main characters, or characters you really needed to focus on other than Connell and Marianne.
Although I wouldn’t want to live their life, it helps me connect with the characters and really visualise them.
I liked how there was lots of twists and turns in their relationship throughout, and how different characters changed the dynamics.
The main thing I liked, is the size of the book, it’s the perfect length. Not too long, and not too short.
What I Didn’t Like
I’m not sure if I liked how detailed and graphic it all was, or maybe it’s me just being a baby.
I suppose I would read another book like this though, I think I feel this way because I personally wouldn’t be able to write in that context, purely because I know my parents might read it! I suppose as an adult, that shouldn’t really be a problem…
Well, I think I’ve just convinced myself to try a new style…
I didn’t like how it ended! Only because I want to know more.
I do think it’s really clever when a book just ends with a cliffhanger, it makes me think about it for a long time. Which I suppose is the aim of the author really. So well done Sally.
Some of the content is a little harsh, I however am fine with reading things that might suggest triggering content; however, I did find a lot of the writing rather sad and depressing, and it did affect me slightly…
Although I was, and am fine, I can understand why some individuals might not like all of it.
I do like how Marianne has a supposedly better time at college to begin with, as the reader I felt happy for her since she now had friends, and was living the life of a ‘more normal person’.
I also enjoyed the parts where the two main characters found themselves back together, but they always found a way to be apart again!
So as soon as you read a positive part, the negatived seep in and weight it all back out again.
Overall, I think this book was amazing. I loved reading it. I didn’t find it at any point boring or a drag.
Also, I didn’t want to rush through it at all.
There are probably some parts I would have liked to have been a little bit milder, but then maybe that would have taken away the end feeling of the book?
So again, overall. Great read and I do really recommend.
I am giving this book four and a half stars.
I want to give it five but there’s just something there that is stopping me!
Maybe it’s my babyishness to reading detailed intercourse scenes haha.
You can buy the book here! This is an affiliate link.
I have more mini book reviews to come so stay connected via my Instagram page for updates on new blog posts!
Older book reviews from AGES AGO can be found here;