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The Other Normal by Ned Vizzini review

August 5, 2015

If you have good eyes, you might have read on the picture above that this book is ''by the bestselling author of It's Kind of a Funny Story''. Why am I making this remark? Because this is exactly why I picked up this book. It's Kind of a Funny Story is one of my favorite stand alone; for me, Ned Vizzini had the same talent as Andrew Smith : his writing was real.

In IKOAFS, we were following the story of a suicidal teenage boy and how he ended up checking himself in the hospital.
In The Other Normals, we follow Perigrine ''Perry'' Eckert, a fifteen year old boy who would prefer to live in his role-playing game, Creatures&Caverns, than the real one. Perry is forced to go to summer camp with the explanation that it will help him make real connections with real people. Perry was excpecting a boring summer; what he didn't excpect was to be transported to the world of The Other Normal. He will be given an important mission to save this world, a mission that will involve him going back to the the real world.

I liked this book quite a lot. Firstly, because I loved the idea behind it. Perry is living in make beliefs, and has trouble figuring out how to live out of them. I can relate to that and I think every avid reader will too. A reason why I read is because it gives me an escape from the real world, like Creatures&Caverns does for Perry. Sometimes, I find it not so easy to act in certain situations because I have this pre-made idea of how things ''should'' go, thanks to books. Realating to the MC is obviously a big plus when reading a story.
Also, I loved the parallel dimensions theory in The Other Normals. I used to read only fantasy books when I was younger. Eventually, I got tired of them because they were all the same. But TON? It was different, a take on parallel universe that I had never read before and I enjoyed it quite a bit!

Another things that I liked about this book were the characters realtionships.
-Ada and Perry - adorable!
-Mortin Enaw and Perry - how Perry perception of him switch from basically worship to trusted friendship is really cool to follow
-Sam and Perry - the evolotion of their friendship is, again, really nice to follow. It's difficult to ignore the opinions of others, and Sam is not immune to that. But in the end, he accepts Perry, and THAT is what real friends do.

Speaking of characters evolution (kind of, not really), I liked the way Perry grew throughout the story. First he starts off being this nerdy kid with a love for RPG but by the end of the story, he's become this confident teenager who doesn't need his RPG anymore, because he lived it once for real.

Finally I just have to make a comment of Perry's real name; Perigrine. In case you haven't read the book, you might not want to read what follow; it's not a major spoiler, just a cool fact we learn at the end.
Peregrine meaning Traveler in latin honestly just blew my mind. It's no big deal when you think about it, but it adds a nice touch to the whole thing!

All in all, it was a good read. I prefered IKOAFS to TON, but both were great.