Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Book Review: Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date: February 2008
ISBN: 9780060890902
Source: Library

Waiting for Normal

Waiting for normal is taking a lot longer than Addie wants.  She and her mother just moved into a tiny trailer in a new part of town.  While her mother spends her time online and in chat rooms, Addie looks on the bright side of things: she's made friends with the people across the street, her stepfather and stepsisters love to spend time with her, she gets to play flute at her new school, and she loves her pet hamster.  But, things start to get harder for her to smile about as her mom become increasingly absent in her life and she watches her stepfather start a new life without her.  Will she ever arrive at normal or will she always be waiting?

Things I Liked:
The best word to describe this book is bittersweet.  Addie stole my heart and the way she faced the difficulties in her life often broke it to pieces.  The way she sticks by her mother, also while realizing she is not doing much to help their lives, just makes you want to cheer and cry.  I think Addie is so real because, of course she'll defend her mother, of course she won't want people to know she's in trouble or alone.  You keep wanting her to tell someone so she won't have to deal with it anymore, but you know why she doesn't.  The book had me in tears in places, particularly when she decides she can't spend time with her stepfather and stepsisters anymore.  Addie, who is very young, acts so much older than her age, though you can see sometimes how young she is.  It was so sad to me that she had to grow up and basically care for her mom, when she should have been a little more carefree.  Sobering, inspiring, heart-breaking.

Things I Didn't Like:
I don't know if I disliked it about the book, but her mother really drove me mad!  Sometimes I wanted to slap her, but sometimes she really helped me understand how people like her become the way they are.  We all know people like her in our lives and they usually make us angry, especially if they have children they can't take care of.  But, I think this book helped me understand them better.  

Invisible Lines by Mary Amato

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: *****

This book made me cry, unabashedly.  What's a recent or favorite crying book for you?

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. My daughter, who loves to read books about child abuse, liked this. I prefer Connor's Crunch, which was awesome. Always good for a similar title is Roberts' Don't Hurt Laurie.

  2. Ugh-I hate parents in books that make me mad and I want to reach in the book and slap them. I think it affects me more now that I'm an adult and reading it from an adult perspective.

  3. Ms. Yingling, I haven't heard of either of those titles. I usually avoid the child abuse titles, but since this was more child neglect (not that I'm trying to make it sound less evil) I managed it.

    GreenBean, I definitely notice it more as an adult. There seem to be a lot of slappable parents, too!


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