Book Review: Normal


Author: Danielle Pearl
Release Date: August 11th, 2014
Series: Something More
Genre: New Adult | Romance | Contemporary
Edition: Mobi
Pages: 445
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon


It’s the kind of situation most people would dread. Starting at a new high school, in the middle of my senior year, in a new town, in a new state. I know no one. No one knows me. That’s what I’m counting on.

A year ago, Aurora “Rory” Pine was just a normal teenage girl – just as sweet and naive as the fairy tale princess she was named after.

But this isn’t a year ago.

Rory is broken, and now suffering from a debilitating anxiety disorder, wrought with precarious triggers, she moves across the country to escape the source of her troubles. Her plan is anonymity, but that’s easier said than achieved for the new girl having a panic episode outside of calculus. The worst part? There’s a witness – and a gorgeous one at that.

Sam is a walking trigger for Rory. Incredibly handsome, built like the star athlete he obviously is, and undoubtedly popular, Sam outwardly represents everything Rory despises about high school. But as the fates keep throwing them together, a connection sparks that neither ever expected, and certainly couldn’t ignore.

But Sam has issues too, and Rory’s past won’t just stay in the damned past. When friendship evolves into something deeper, can a girl utterly destroyed by the worst kind of betrayal and a boy battling demons of his own ever have a normal relationship? Is that even what they want? Find out in NORMAL, a gritty story of trust and abuse, heartbreak and salvation, and if they’re lucky – love. This is not a flowery romance – not for the faint of heart. For fans of Colleen Hoover, Jamie McGuire, and Abbi Glines!





I don’t usually read books like Normal. It’s too close to reality for my taste. That being said, I was hooked from the start of this book. Rory is starting a new school and her first day there she has a panic attack in the middle of the hallway, just in time for Sam to walk out and find her. I knew there was going to be a love story in it and I was excited to see how the story progressed.

Then, I read where the story was going, what had happened to Rory and I was suddenly sick and ready to read the end to see if Rory found a happy ending like she should.

I have never been a victim of rape (thank God) and I don’t know the emotional turmoil that comes with that, but I felt like this story really gives you the truth. The panic attacks, the low self worth, and the idea that maybe it was all your fault.

This book covers one of the most controversial topics we have right now. Honestly, I feel that every girl should read this book once. I felt that it could be comfort to others who have been in similar situations, where they were made to feel they were raped because of what they wore or did. That they asked to be raped.

Yeah, the love story was adorable, but the real meat of this book was the damage that had been done to Rory and how she was dealing with life after.

The only problem I had with this story is that there is a very graphic sex scene that I felt was a little out of place. I feel that it lost its YA rating with that scene.


I loved Rory and admired her for all of the wonderful things she pushed through after her traumatic experience. She is a strong female character. For Sam, who doesn’t love the boy who always comes to the rescue, the only boy who may understand what Rory needs at the moment. And then there is the sickening ex-boyfriend who I honestly wish had been killed somehow.


There was only one death and I won’t say who. It’s tragic and heart breaking. There is romance of course, and it will make your heart flutter when things go right.


I think the author did a fantastic job with this novel. Nothing stood out that annoyed me about the writing and everything seemed to be in place. Although, some chapters were a little lengthy and I was ready for the story to get to the point.


The beginning is what pulled me in. It makes you ask just enough questions to push you to continue reading. And it takes most of the book for all of the questions to be answered. 


I am going to be honest here…as I am sure you are all hoping I am. The ending really ticked me off. I felt like there was so much left unsaid that could have been said in the first book. Also, it reminded me a lot of how Fifty Shades of Gray ended. I wasn’t happy, but I did hurry and purchase the second book so I could find out what happened next.

Cover Art:

The cover is simple and rather perfect for the story.


I feel like the blurb could have been a little better. It says something about Sam and his issues, but his issues take a back seat to Rory’s problems and it isn’t really a main focus in the story. Also, I think that the blurb should include the fact that this story is about rape, because no one should go in blind to a story like this.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: It’s the kind of situation most people would dread.

Highlights: Rory is a strong female lead that girls can look up to.

Lowlights: The detailed sex scene.

Final Thoughts: This is a good book for girls to read, to learn their own self worth and to never let anyone tell them that they asked to be raped.

Review contributor:

pics-2Heather Mostella:

I’m a reader, writer, dreamer, and crafter. I like to create things and I love to see what others create. I avoid reality as much as possible, and often pretend I’m a vampire. I also own a group of black cats, so my neighbors think I’m a witch and I’m okay with that. I am a fan girl.

I love shows like Doctor Who, Supernatural, and Grimm. I love anime and dream of one day going to Japan. I just like to have fun, enjoy life, and do what makes me happy.

Read more about Heather here.

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