I used to think that being ‘normal’ meant having it together, being like everybody else. But everybody has their own struggles that you don’t get to see behind the scenes and so now I think that ‘normal’ means being completely messed up but being brave enough to carry on anyway.
What message did you take away from Am I Normal Yet?
For me it drove home just how tough being a teenage girl is in a society that sends you mixed messages and impossible standards to live up to. It’s a treacherous road to navigate. I’m so happy that there is a book out there that points this out and stands up for girls providing them with feminist main characters that I hope inspire them to speak out against these messages that society sends them.
What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism to me means absolute equality between the sexes. It means busting harmful gender stereotypes that hurt both men and women. It means a movement that benefits everyone.
What other YA novels about mental health would you recommend?
Another incredible YA book I read this year about mental health was All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. If you’re interested in reading another informative YA book about OCD in particular I’d recommend Amy and Matthew by Cammie McGovern.
And finally, what’s your go-to cheesy snack?
Wotsits. It really doesn’t get any better than Wotsits.
Today sees the start of our #100DaysofNormal YA Blogger series and we are SUPER excited about it. We’ve talked to some brilliant YA book bloggers and asked them 5 BIG questions inspired by some of the themes in Am I Normal Yet?
What is ‘normal’? I’ve always thought ‘normal’ to be a lie. Everyone is different, and it’s not like we’re given a manual at birth on how to be normal. No, we’re left to be our own person and to develop our own tastes. Everyone is so different that I don’t think ‘normal’ can even exist.
What message did you take away from Am I Normal Yet? So many! This book really is a goldmine. I think the main message I took away from the book is that the more open we are about things seen as ‘taboo’, the better. It’s okay to talk about your problems, whether the problem is that you’re seriously falling behind at school or you’re struggling with your mental health. Anyone who mocks you for it isn’t really your friend. And it’s okay to be open about feminism. If you’re given the opportunity to dent a stigma, throw massive rocks at it until the stigma has become a heap of junk on the floor.
What does feminism mean to you? Equality for all genders, always.
What other YA novels about mental health would you recommend? Am I Normal Yet? is the best book I’ve read about mental health. The next one on my list is Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. It’s about a fourteen-year-old girl who has social anxiety, like me, and whilst it gives a really good glimpse into that life and how it’s dealt with, it’s also really funny – much like this book!
And finally, what’s your go-to cheesy snack? Pizza dotted with juicy tomatoes and dripping with cheese. Is that a snack or a meal? Pizza is life, that’s what it is. (I also like cheesy Doritos.)
Thanks SO much for taking part in our #100DayofNormal blogger series, Amber!
Make sure you head over to Amber’s blog, The Mile Long Bookshelf for fantastic features and reviews. We especially love her ‘How I Deal with Anxiety and Panic Attacks’ post (which we featured for #100DaysofNormal earlier this week!).
The #100DaysofNormal Blogger series will be back on Saturday 15th August when we’ll hear from the brilliant Jo at Once Upon a Bookcase. Don’t miss it!
Follow our 100 Days of Normal Pinterest Board and make sure you never miss a day of posts about the trilogy, Holly’s inspirations, pinable quotes, exclusive extracts, giveaways, and most importantly – cheesy snacks!
Amy and Hannah here from Usborne – hello! We’ve hijacked Holly’s Tumblr for Day 2 of #100DaysofNormal because we want to tell you a little bit more about her amazing new novel Am I Normal Yet?, which is out on 1st August.
We asked the very lovely Holly to sum up the book for us in just 3 words:
‘NORMALITY. IS. OVERRATED‘
We completely agree! Holly’s main character, Evie, has OCD – she feels as if she is failing at being a teenager, let alone being ‘normal’.
Evie’s just come off her meds and is dipping her toe into the pool of man folk at college. But relationships can mess with anyone’s head – something Evie’s new friends Amber and Lottie know only too well (don’t we all!). The trouble is, if Evie won’t tell them her secrets, how can they stop her making a huge mistake?
OCD, feminism, bad boyfriends, and the importance of cheesy snacks – it’s all there in this wise, heartbreaking and funny novel.
And there’s more! If you didn’t already know, Am I Normal Yet? is the first in a trilogy – hooray! Yes – 3 books from Holly, so we asked her to give us a sneak peek at what to expect:
‘The trilogy centres around the friendship of three girls – Evie, Amber, and Lottie – and their grassroots feminism group. In book two, Amber spends the summer in an American summer camp to try and rebuild her estranged relationship with her mother. Expect road trips, prom kings with hidden depth, female chauvinist pigs (evil cheerleaders) and lots of tears. And, in the final book, Lottie takes on the ENTIRE PATRIARCHY in a one-girl campaign, calling out every instance of sexism she sees for an entire month. Imagine “Yes Man” for feminism, then add cheesy snacks and a totally inappropriate crush. I cannot WAIT for you to fall in love with these girls as hard as I have.’
We’re off to meet Holly now to do some top-secret #100DaysofNormal stuff. It’s VERY EXCITING but we couldn’t possibly tell you what it is until tomorrow!