Synopses & Reviews
Given the chance, fifteen-year-old Peregrine "Perry" Eckert would dedicate every waking moment to Creatures & Caverns, an epic role-playing game rich with magical creatures, spell casting, and deadly weapons. The world of C&C is where he feels most comfortable in his own skin. But that isn't happening — not if his parents have anything to do with it. Concerned their son lacks social skills, they ship him off to summer camp to become a man. They want him to be outdoors playing with kids his own age and meeting girls — rather than indoors alone, with only his gaming alter ego for company. Perry knows he's in for the worst summer of his life.
Everything changes, however, when Perry gets to camp and stumbles into the World of the Other Normals. There he meets Mortin Enaw, one of the creators of C&C, and other mythical creatures from the game, including the alluring Ada Ember, whom Perry finds more beautiful than any human girl he's ever met. Perry's new otherworldly friends need his help to save their princess and prevent mass violence. As they embark on their quest, Perry realizes that his nerdy childhood has uniquely prepared him to be a great warrior in this world, and maybe even a hero. But to save the princess, Perry will have to learn how to make real connections in the human world as well.
Bestselling author Ned Vizzini delivers a compulsively readable and wildly original story about the winding and often hilarious path to manhood.
"In a departure from the realism of 2006's It's Kind of a Funny Story, Vizzini turns to fantasy with a twisted sendup of the alternate fantasy world genre. Fifteen-year-old Perry Eckert is obsessed with the D&D-style role-playing game Creatures & Caverns, to the point that his parents send him to summer camp to take a break from his obsession. There, Perry finds his way to the World of the Other Normals, a parallel world filled with fantasy creatures and danger. Flipping between worlds, Perry joins a band of stalwart rebels, embarks on a quest to save a lost princess, and tries to master his destiny. Sometimes funny, sometimes painfully awkward (Perry is so socially incompetent, he takes the stereotype of the nerdy, conversationally inept gamer to the extreme), this coming-of-age adventure captures the confusion and drama of adolescence. It lacks either the bite of satire or the earnestness of a more straightforward fantasy, leaving it somewhere in the middle, as out-of-place as Perry himself. Nevertheless, fans of surreal adventures like Libba Bray's Going Bovine will appreciate the story's odd appeal. Ages 13 – up. Agent: Jay Mandel, William Morris Endeavor. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"The Other Normals is wildly imaginative, incredibly funny, and weirdly wise. I don't know where Vizzini gets this stuff — it's like he's tapped into the collective unconscious of alienated adolescents everywhere." Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author of The Magician and The Magician King
"With a deft sense of humor and a keen ear for funny and realistic teen dialogue, Vizzini explores one teen everyman's quest to become a hero, one roll of the six-sided die at a time....Great geeky fun." Kirkus Reviews
"A fast-paced coming-of-age story with a fascinating premise which, to the great credit of the author, is seamless and strangely believable." R.A. Salvatore, New York Times Bestselling author of Charon's Claw and The Dark Elf Trilogy
"[A] lighthearted yet bitingly funny fantasy....Through the protagonist's incisive observations, rampant insecurities, and unapologetic embrace of nerd-culture, Vizzini depicts the teen male experience with authenticity and honesty." The Horn Book
"Perry is lovably awkward, and his goofy eagerness is offset by his bitingly funny observations.... Vizzini's true strength is in authentically depicting the skills needed to survive growing up." ALA Booklist
About the Author
Ned Vizzini began writing for the New York Press at the age of fifteen. At seventeen, he was asked to write a piece for the New York Times Magazine, and at nineteen, he published Teen Angst? Naah . . . , his autobiography of his years at Stuyvesant High School. He is also the author of The Other Normals, It's Kind of a Funny Story, and Be More Chill. In television, he has written for season two of MTV's Teen Wolf and currently writes for ABC's Last Resort. His work has been translated into seven languages. He is the coauthor, with Chris Columbus, of the forthcoming fantasy-adventure series House of Secrets.