Synopses & Reviews
Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.
At school, nobody sees the scratches or her pain. The only person she connects with is the mysterious Captain Lyric, who writes song lyrics on her fourth-period desk for her to complete. With pencil marks and music, Alexi carves out a comfortable space for herself as she and the Captain finish each other's songs — words on a desk feel safer than words spoken aloud.
But when Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend who understands her better than anyone. He has secrets of his own and knows all about suffering in silence. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally speak up.
With her powerful, moving debut novel, author Courtney C. Stevens emerges as an extraordinary new talent to watch.
"Somewhere between Sarah Dessen and Laurie Halse Anderson lies Stevens's rich debut about two adolescents grappling with extraordinary trauma. Alexi Littrell has two close friends, dates football players, and has a family that her older sister's fiancé describes as 'the best family in the world.' But she is carrying a secret about something that happened to her over the summer and is self-harming to mute the pain. Her classmate Bodee's Kool-Aid dyed hair and quiet demeanor already set him apart from peers, but after his father kills his mother, he becomes even more of an object of pity and curiosity. When Alexi's parents invite Bodee to live with them, the pair become friends, with Alexi helping Bodee release his guilt over his mother's death and Bodee encouraging Alexi to speak out about what happened to her. Though the busy plot sometimes swallows Alexi herself, the mood is intense and the story moves briskly, complete with an ending so surprising that some readers may flip back to the beginning to start fresh. Ages 14 up. Agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
An edgy, realistic debut novel praised by the New York Times
bestselling author of Between Shades of Gray
, Ruta Sepetys, as "a beautiful reminder that amid our broken pieces we can truly find ourselves."
Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer by her backyard pool. Instead, she hides in her closet, counts the slats in the air vent, and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.
When Bodee Lennox — "the Kool-Aid Kid" — moves in with the Littrells after a family tragedy, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in this quiet, awkward boy who has secrets of his own. As their friendship grows, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her summon the courage to find her voice and speak up.
About the Author
Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. Faking Normal is her first novel.