Mental Help Net
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Basic Information
Introduction to Trauma and Stressor-Related DisordersSigns and Symptoms of Trauma and Stressor-Related DisordersDiagnostic Descriptions of Trauma and Stressor-Related DisordersWhat Causes the Symptoms of Trauma-Related Disorders? Treatment of Trauma, PTSD, Abuse and Other Stressor-Related Disorders Conclusion, Resources and ReferencesDealing with the Effects of Trauma - A Self-Help Guide
More InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews
Therapist Search
Find a Therapist:
 (USA/CAN only)

Use our Advanced Search to locate a therapist outside of North America.

Related Topics

Anxiety Disorders
Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Addictions: Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Dissociative Disorders

by Courtney C. Stevens
HarperAudio, 2014
Review by Christian Perring on Apr 29th 2014

Faking Normal

Faking Normal is a teen story of trauma and romance.  Alexi Littrell and Bodee Lennox are both troubled young people who are smart and sensitive.  Alexi does not say what her problem, but she keeps on scratching her neck and she understands girls who cut themselves now.  Her classmate Bodee is in worse shape, because his father just murdered his mother.  Alexi's family arrange for him to start living with them, and although he has a reputation as a freak, and he colors his hair bright colors from the rainbow on a regular basis, Alexi comes to know him better and trust him.  They are able to help each other and understand each other's pain.  But they also have self-destructive tendencies and they have major problems to face, so future happiness is not guaranteed.  Bodee has to decide whether to testify against his father at the murder trial.  Alexi has to decide whether to reveal a secret that could split apart her family.  All of this is set against the usual high school background of friends, romance, schoolwork, parties, and family tensions.  There's a mystery of who is the boy Alexi calls Captain Lyric, who exchanges lyrics with her on one of the desks in her class.  She is sure he understands her feelings because he always chooses the perfect lyrics for her.  But the heart of the book is learning to cope with anxiety and pain, and getting the courage to face life.  Alexi narrates her story, and she is a charismatic writer, sympathetic and sweet, but feisty too.   She is ready to talk about her feelings about boys, sex, her friends, and her family, and she can be funny, but mostly her tone is anguished and questioning.  Faking Normal doesn't supply great psychological insight, and it is heavy on pathos with heavily emotional language about how her heart is affected by Bodee and his troubles.  It won't appeal to all readers, but it is a story well told and it has a hopeful ending. The performance of the unabridged audiobook by Emma Galvin is consistent and has plenty of energy, but might emphasize the melodrama a bit too much.


© 2014 Christian Perring


Christian Perring, Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York


Follow us on Twitter!

Find us on Facebook!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Powered by CenterSite.Net