‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney

(book review)

“I’ m not a religious person but I do sometimes think God made you for me.”
― Sally Rooney, ‘Normal People’

The writer tells us a story about two teenagers who both attend the same secondary school in County Sligo, Ireland, and have nothing in common. Marianne is lonely, proud and private person from a rich family. Connell is the most popular guy in school, a star of the soccer team, and his mom works at Marianne’s house.

It’s not one of those cute and sweet boy-meets-girl romance novels about the first love, high school and a cool boy that falls in love with a nerdy shy girl. This story has a highly revolving story line with many plot twists and ‘Irish logic.’

Before reading ‘Normal people’ you should definitely check trigger warnings, because some topics in this book could be harmful for someone’s mental health.

Characters struggle with bulling, depression and anxiety, throughout the book they have to deal with appalling abuse and experience the death of loved ones.

If I were supposed to name one trope that could perfectly describe Sally Rooney’s book, it would be miscommunication and its variant – non sequitur… The relationships between main characters are complicated and confusing. Connell and Marianne understand each other better than anyone in the world and yet they don’t understand each other at all. That’s no surprise cause these teenagers don’t even know themselves and their own feelings.

Connell and Marianne are not mentally stable, they make wrong decisions and show what real people can actually be like without all the masks and filters.

We follow characters through different stages of life from finishing their last year in school to studying at Trinity College in Dublin. With time, everything changes. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain.

They split up, take time for themselves and date other people but always find the way back to each other. However, the issue is that these characters could never have healthy and official relationships. Connell and Marianne struggle while being apart but the situations don`t change when they meet each other once again.

In conclusion, I would say that ‘Normal people’ makes you rethink the way you see the world and other people as well. From the beginning to the end, you ask yourself, “What is normal? Who are these normal people? Am I a part of them?” This book is an emotional wrecker; it’s a heartbreaking but sensible story that at some parts makes you pull your hair out and feel miserable. The author has created an unsentimental love story with a well-thought-out psychology of the characters. Personally, I advise everyone to read this book to experience these emotions personally. My rating is 9/10.

P.S. If you’re not familiar with Sally Rooney’s works, at first it can be confusing to read her books. Author’s personal style is based on not using any speech marks, so keep that in mind.

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