Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Books // Am I Normal Yet?

Am I Normal Yet? By Holly Bourne

Evie is a teenager who suffers from OCD, simply longing to be normal. The beginning of the book starts well, as Evie is almost ready to come off her medication, she's doing well in therapy and she has a great set of friends who don't know that she suffers from a mental illness. However, as she is considerably better than she has been in ages, Evie joins in with what she believes is normal for teenagers - parties, drinking and relationships.

Evie begins to get involved with a boy named Guy, who isn't perhaps the nicest boy she could have chosen to fall in love with. The book follows Evie try to overcome her OCD whilst pretending to be fine, and keep up appearances with her friends and Guy. However, the pressure and anxiety becomes a little overwhelming, and Evie finds herself slipping backwards, consumed once again by her OCD.

Although I did enjoy this book, I should probably mention that this book is most definitely aimed at teenagers/young adults. It's written for a younger audience, very informal and that narrative is quite chatty, so it's probably not for everyone. However, I read this anyway because it is really good at explaining what it's like to live with OCD. People think that OCD is when you're obsessed with order and routine, for example consistently washing your hands, when really that's just perfectionism. OCD would be washing your hands in order to prevent an obsessive thought coming true. So, you'd be washing your hands because you fear getting ill, therefore by washing your hands, you won't contract an illness. That is a very simple explanation and I can only imagine that that is amplified one million times over. OCD is very intrusive, controlling and not what people really think it is, so this book is fantastic at explaining what it's really like.

Finally, it's also a great reminder to us all that there is no normal. We often chase 'normality' but it's a completely unrealistic expectation and therefore drive ourselves nuts because we're aiming for the unattainable. This book is great for reinforcing the idea that what is normal for you, is probably not normal for me, and that is more than OK.

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