Book Review: “Normal People” by Sally Rooney

I am writing at 1AM because I just finished a book that’s making me feel all different types of ways. “Normal People” by Sally Rooney was a trip and a half, lemme tell ya! I really, really, really enjoyed reading this book and if life didn’t get in the way, I wouldn’t have put this book down until I finished it! Like some of the reviews on the back said, this book is wildly insightful. I know that for some people, fiction is a lot harder to relate to. But like all the books I’ve read, “Normal People” taught me something. It shared the importance of a child’s upbringing and how your past can shape your present!

The story surrounds Connell and Marianne and their evolving relationship. They’re two unlikely friends that meet in high school due to unusual circumstances. Connell, is really intelligent and liked by everyone at school. However, unlike most of the other students that attend his school, he doesn’t have much money. His mother is a single parent and works as the cleaning lady of Marianne’s household. Marianne is not as charismatic and likeable as Connell. Although she has money, she is kind of an enigma at her high school and everyone seems to find her weird. She’s also really smart though. Her and Connor are the top two of their class.

One day, Connell comes a bit earlier to pick up his mother from work at Marianne’s house. He spends some time with Marianne while waiting and finds himself attracted to her. Scared of what his friends might think, he keeps it to himself and continues to come earlier to see Marianne/get to know her. They end up hooking up and it becomes this huge arrangement where none of them want to fully admit their feelings but it’s obvious that they have a special connection. Connell doesn’t want to ruin his reputation at school and Marianne could care less because she doesn’t even have one. It works for a period of time. For a long period, actually. Because of his feelings for Marianne and her influence on him, Connell and Marianne end up attending the same college/university. There’s a lot of drama that happens between them and there’s a lot of “on again, off again” action. Their communication with one another sucks. No one says what they really feel. They both have very different lives at home (Marianne’s family is verbally and physically abusive towards her), and they both are trying to figure out who they are and what they want in life. The only real thing that is constant is their love for one another and I’m going to leave the story at that.

However, I think if you do read this, I should warn you that you might get a little frustrated while reading. I found myself smacking my forehead a couple of times because to the reader, it’s so obvious that they should be together. Without each other they’re lost! I was constantly rooting for them to finally get together and have an actual relationship but something always happened or got in the way. Like I said earlier, this was a trip.

If you don’t want to be yanked around, I promise you that I still enjoyed reading this book so much! It was worth it! I learned that communication is so important. I also learned that everyone is dealing with something. No one is perfect. Everyone’s got something going on behind closed doors so don’t ever think you have someone fully figured out. And whatever’s going on behind those closed doors has, in some way, made them who they are. People are complicated so don’t be ignorant and don’t judge.

If you decide to pick up this novel and read it, let me know what you think!

Until next time!

– Tiny ❤

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