I am a bit late in reviewing April’s Book of the Month pick. However, better late than never right?
This month, I read Normal People by Sally Rooney. The novel is about Connell and Marianne. At the start of the novel, Connell is the stereotypical, well adjusted popular kid with little money, and Marianne is the outcast. The two developed a connection, then an exploratory relationship.
Over the course of the novel, you see them blossom from teenagers to young adults. Readers will see Connell go through a deep depression, and Marianne in a relationship that is pretty much abusive. All along though, the two maintain a bond — while readers cheer on the sidelines that the two end up together.
So, here’s my thoughts on the novel. It’s a very realistic love story. In many of the novels that I read — ahem many by Nicholas Sparks or Sophie Kinsella — the characters get their act together at some point and ride off into the sunset together. Not going to lie — I am a huge fan of those books. But, with that being said, it’s not always real life.
This novel keeps it real about what it’s like to be in college in the early 2010s — and the relationship that millennials such as myself would share with each other. I liked that the novel kept it real, as spoiler alert, they do not end up together. I liked that brutal honesty, because it felt very real.
Although they did not end up together, I felt almost as though they might eventually do so since the two share a strong bond, a good connection, and they love and care for each other. Therefore, I do have faith that they may end up together.
Now, mental health is one of the major themes in this novel. We see Connell deal with depression — something that is extremely common in relationships. In some ways, Marianne has her own struggles to deal with, as throughout the book, readers get the sense of that when seeing her relationships.
So, what did I think? Overall, this was a good novel. For me, it was sort of in the middle — not the worst that I read, but not the best book that I have read this month. That is partly because I have been reading a ton of Christina Lauren and Colleen Hoover lately — all are books that I just can’t put down.