Book Review: Normal People

I’ve been doing Book of the Month for 4 months now and so far, I am super happy with the choices offered. You can try it too, with this link. My April book was Normal People by Sally Rooney and I snagged a copy before it was even released in the US. I feel like a VIP getting my hands on books early.

At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. Then, as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship.” Goodreads


I ended up giving this book 4/5 stars. The beginning of this book for me was a strong 5– they second half felt like a 3 so I averaged it out to a 4.

The beginning of this book made me feel. It ripped my heart open and I felt so connected to the story and the characters. Connell and Marianne were in this weird dance I think so many of us have been through.

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As the story went on I didn’t feel the growth in the characters I was hoping for. I think the author did this on purpose– it was to show that we’re just normal people and sometimes we mess up, and we miss opportunities, and we hurt people and ourselves because we don’t know to effectively communicate.

Although, I didn’t love the second half as much this story was beautifully written and I want to check out Rooney’s other novel Conversations With Friends. 

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