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review 2017-04-17 14:35
ReCAP: A NORMAL Novella - Danielle Pearl

I enjoyed reading 'Normal' by Danielle Pearl, which was told from the heroine’s POV. I thought seeing the events unfold from the hero’s perspective would have made the story that more effective. Therefore, when I discovered that Recap provided Sam's perspective I could not resist acquiring a copy of this instalment.

The title depicts the storyline. It is a recap of some of the events in 'Normal' through Sam's aka Cap's eyes. Seeing these events unfolding through Sam’s eyes was refreshing. This was not a blow-by-blow account of Normal. What the author did was to focus on important scenes where Sam’s voice had an impact.


When I first met Sam, I believed him to be a special guy, and this instalment confirmed my beliefs. He believes that relationships and romance were not his things, but that was before he met Rory. Now he wishes for Rory to reciprocate his feelings. In ‘Normal’ Sam appeared to be in control of emotions, however, in 'Recap' we are privy to his daily struggles with anger. His issues with anger is a product of his abusive past. Growing up, he learned from an early age to protect the women in his life, so his wish to protect Rory is understandable. Here we see that Rory is not the only one who has triggers. Sam has them too, which, is clear from his emotional outbursts whenever he perceives that Rory is in crisis.

‘Recap’ gives insight into who Sam was as an individual. The author aptly portrayed his emotions. I got a firsthand look at the lengths he was willing to take to ensure that Rory was fine and that she would remain in his life.


Verdict
I enjoyed Sam’s perspective of the events in ‘Normal’. If you read the earlier book, then I recommend you read this instalment. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

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review 2017-03-31 00:29
Review: Normal
NORMAL (Something More) - Danielle Pearl

‘Normal’ by Danielle Pearl was anything but normal. It completely blew me away. It was inspiring and heartbreaking. It was nothing like I expected, but what it delivered was all I hoped for and more. I believe that every female, teen or adult, should read this book.  This is the type of story that will stay with you days after you have finished reading. It is a story of one girl’s desire to get her life back to normal.  It will break your heart into tiny pieces.

 

Now and again, I come across characters that are inspiring and make my reading experience worthwhile. Rory is one such character.  She is relatable and it helped that I got the story from her POV. Seeing the story through her eyes helped me to understand her emotional turmoil.  I admired her strength in conquering her demons.  She may not have seen it, but it was there. I could not fathom all she had been through, but one thing I knew is that she was a survivor. Her desire to get her life back to normal was a perfect demonstration of her survival skills. The pain, the grief and struggles she faced daily were heart-wrenching, but watching her overcome them one day at a time was inspiring. I know there are persons who would be quick to judge her, thinking that she made poor choices, and as a result placed herself in her current position.  In addition, some may believe that because she lived in the electronic age, she should not have made those choices, but I consider that as sheer rubbish. I haverealised that it is easy for persons who have never been in the situation to passjudgement, but until they are in the position, they will never truly understand. Yeah, her actions may seem frustrating, but who are we to judge?

 

The highlight of this story was that Rory did not have to fight her battles on her own. Rory had trust issues when it came to the opposite sex, so meeting Sam and becoming his friend was a life altering experience.  I appreciated how he treated her. At no time did he judge her. He was patient and gentle with her, even when herbehaviour bordered on erratic. He was just what she needed. Thanks to him, she was taking charge of her life and finally living again. He showed her what it meant to enjoy life and helped her acknowledge that she was a survivor.

 

‘Normal’ is a well-written story that took me on an emotional journey, which I may not recover from anytime soon. There were times I found myself putting the book down so that I could absorb the events, as they were intense and overwhelming. The story was well- developed, captivating and the pace fitting. It moved between the past and the present, thus providing readers with insight into Rory’s life and the events that led to her current state. There was some repetition, which was due in part, to how the story was presented.

 

My advice to you is, read this book. However, do not expect a sweet and fluffy story. It is definitely not a story for the faint of heart. It touches on sensitive issues of abuse and assault so if this is a trigger, then this is not for you. However, if these issues do not bother you, and you take my advice be ready for an intense and emotional journey.

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review 2015-03-05 17:37
It's the kind of situation most people would dread. Starting at a new high school, in the middle of my senior year, in a new town, in a new state. I know no one. No one knows me. That's what I'm counting on.

A year ago, Aurora "Rory" Pine was just a normal teenage girl - just as sweet and naive as the fairy tale princess she was named after.

But this isn't a year ago.

Rory is broken, and now suffering from a debilitating anxiety disorder, wrought with precarious triggers, she moves across the country to escape the source of her troubles. Her plan is anonymity, but that's easier said than achieved for the new girl having a panic episode outside of calculus. The worst part? There's a witness - and a gorgeous one at that.

Sam is a walking trigger for Rory. Incredibly handsome, built like the star athlete he obviously is, and undoubtedly popular, Sam outwardly represents everything Rory despises about high school. But as the fates keep throwing them together, a connection sparks that neither ever expected, and certainly couldn't ignore.

But Sam has issues too, and Rory's past won't just stay in the damned past. When friendship evolves into something deeper, can a girl utterly destroyed by the worst kind of betrayal and a boy battling demons of his own ever have a normal relationship? Is that even what they want? Find out in NORMAL, a gritty story of trust and abuse, heartbreak and salvation, and if they're lucky - love. This is not a flowery romance - not for the faint of heart.

 

 
 
I'm a sucker for having my heart broken. Let's just start there. This book does that a thousand times over, but as it shatters you into a million infinitesimal pieces, it rebuilds your hope one small section at a time. 
 
Normal dives into a subject matter that I usually try to avoid at any and all costs, as I'm sure most people do when it comes to rape. But while the author gives us what I can only assume is a realistic representation of what it's like to be a victim of emotional and physical abuse, she also gives us something to see beyond the horror. 
 
Hope. Surviving. Friendship. Support. Love. Determination. 
 
Rory is no doubt lacking in self-confidence, but she does cling to all the above mentioned, whether she always realizes it or not. But she doesn't have these things on her own - she has them because of the people around her. 
 
I'm not going to lie... Rory frustrated me beyond measure sometimes. She kept seeing herself as the victim rather than the survivor that she most definitely was, and she constantly puts the blame on herself for the actions of others, drawing conclusions that are so completely blind to the reality that people make their own choices. On the other hand, I could also empathize with what she had been through. Who's to say I wouldn't make the same decisions as she did if I had been through a trauma like she experienced? She'd been through a world of shit, and not just at the hands of her attacker. 
 
I love how this book focuses on the relationships that Rory forges. The forced ones, the real ones, and obvious differences between the two.  I feel like a lot of books focus on the romance between two people, but Normal extends to the friendships, emphasizing the importance of those relationships as well, and it's amazingly refreshing. Up until the freakish cliffhanger, I felt like every character was significant to Rory's story of survival; not only that, but vital to the story's development. 
 
This is a long, long read - one that had me up way to late and up way to early to finish. I will admit, I felt that some of it repeated the same sentiments, making some of the reading long-winded, but I can honestly say that it doesn't take away from the emotional upheaval that you will, without a single doubt, experience. 
 
Like I said, there's a cliffhanger and an annoying one at that. But LUCKY YOU, the second book was just released, so you don't have to go through the agony of waiting. 
 
Beware: This book, at its core, is about a survivor of emotional and physical abuse. I didn't know that when I started it, but once I did, I was in it with no way of escaping. I was slammed in the face with Rory's trauma, but while this book brought what are very real and abhorrent circumstances out in the open, it gave me hope, "like a fucking cliche." 
 
How could I not recommend this book? Please read it, but know that you're entire life outside the book will be put on hold as you do. 
 

4.5/5 STARS

 
Cheers!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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