Normal People

Normal People At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other He s popular and well adjusted star of the school soccer team while she is lonely proud and intensely private But when Connell comes to

  • Title: Normal People
  • Author: Sally Rooney
  • ISBN: Normal People
  • ISBN
  • Page: 430
  • Format: Hardcover
  • At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other He s popular and well adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers one they are determined to conceal.A ye At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other He s popular and well adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers one they are determined to conceal.A year later, they re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together Then, as she veers into self destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship Get A Copy Kindle Store 12.99 StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryAlibrisIndigoBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Hardcover, 273 pages Published April 16th 2019 by Hogarth first published August 28th 2018 More Details Original Title Normal People ISBN 1984822179 ISBN13 9781984822178 Edition Language English setting Ireland Literary Awards Booker Prize Nominee for Longlist 2018 , Costa Book Award for Novel 2018 , Dylan Thomas Prize Nominee for Longlist 2019 , Womens Prize for Fiction Nominee for Longlist 2019 Other Editions 39 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail Edit Details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Normal People, please sign up Popular Answered Questions Could anyone recommend something similar to this book 14 likeslike 10 months ago See all 19 answers Lizzy Burton It reminded me a bit of One Day by David Nicholls flag This question contains spoilers view spoiler So I am just getting to the point in this where Marianne has started to eat less and less, fixating on her food and savouring it Essentially, it reads like she s moving towards anorexia if she hasn t already Without giving too much away, does it have a happier ending Does she get therapy I know too many people with severe mental health problems in real life to want to read further if it doesn t hide spoiler 17 likeslike 6 months ago See all 9 answers Joseph Pfeffer While I gave the book a rave, and stand by that, the ending seems the less satisfying the time I put between me and the book Basically, Connell While I gave the book a rave, and stand by that, the ending seems the less satisfying the time I put between me and the book Basically, Connell is still fucking Marianne over He s always tended to stuff her in the closet, pull her out when he wants to fuck her, then put her back in Admittedly, that all changes when he refuses to hit her, then saves her from the psychotically rageful Alan But in the last scene we see what starts as a moment of domestic bliss turn into yet another game playing move by Connell He s accepted a scholarship to something like the Columbia MFA program, but he doesn t tell Marianne until he gets accepted until, that is it s a done deal As usual, Marianne overreacts, which Connell must have known she would do So the dynamic between the two of them has not changed It probably never will And we have the makings of a sequel What s unsatisfying, though, is that the ending feels unbalanced Connell is going to move on to literary glory Marianne has a boring job and is working on a deadly dull degree in political science She ll stay in Dublin while Connell does New York He ll no doubt find a new girlfriend, an artsy American girl from Barnard, let us say, and then he ll reationalize that to Marianne Marianne, meanwhile, will fall back into her masochism which is never far away She s the loser I hate it when a great book has an unsatisfying ending, because it colors my view of the entire book less flag See all 18 questions about Normal People Lists with This Book Most Anticipated Books of 2019 Not From a Series 359 books 528 voters 2019 What Women Born In The 1970s Have Read So Far This Year 4,588 books 487 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 3.93 Rating details 96,734 ratings 10,098 reviews All LanguagesAfrikaans 1 Catal 4 Dansk 8 Deutsch 6 Eesti 1 English 9443 Espa ol 19 Fran ais 7 Italiano 77 Latvie u valoda 2 Lietuvi kalba 1 Magyar 1 Nederlands 177 Norsk 5 Polski 1 Portugu s 20 P 6 Sloven ina 3 Suomi 4 Svenska 17 Ti ng Vi t 2 T rk e 2 Wikang Tagalog 1 slenska 4 esky, e tina 2 5 8 1 2 1 1 2 1 More filters Sort order Jan 18, 2019 Emily May rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves contemporary, 2019 No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not. This is going to be a polarizing book I mean, I think I liked it And I say liked it in the sense that it made me very miserable It is a quiet character study, almost a YA novel but not quite, and it is a profoundly lonely and depressing love story.I didn t begin by liking it Normal Peopl No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not. This is going to be a polarizing book I mean, I think I liked it And I say liked it in the sense that it made me very miserable It is a quiet character study, almost a YA novel but not quite, and it is a profoundly lonely and depressing love story.I didn t begin by liking it Normal People follows two characters Marianne and Connell through adolescence and into early adulthood, and they begin by being the kind of uber precocious teenagers who read Proust and Marx for fun It took a while for me to settle into their story My initial impression was that this was going to be some kind of John Green for adults, which is not something that floats my particular boat.Without fully realizing it though, this book had crept quietly under my skin The relationship between Marianne and Connell is angsty, sure, but it felt painfully real They are so flawed, marred by unlikable characteristics, and yet, I could not stop caring about them Not for the first time Marianne thinks cruelty does not only hurt the victim, but the perpetrator also, and maybe deeply and permanently You learn nothing very profound about yourself simply by being bullied but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget. The story is really just about the two of them and their relationship In high school, Marianne is a smart and wealthy girl, but is socially ostracized and emotionally abused at home, whereas Connell is working class, but very popular Connell s mum works as a cleaner for Marianne s family They begin a secret sexual relationship that falls apart when Connell fears his friends will find out The compelling dynamic between them drives the story issues of class and social status cause much conflict.In college, the two meet again This time, Marianne is popular, and Connell is feeling increasingly depressed The two of them lean on each other time and again as they move through a social world filled with social expectations There s a bit of a When Harry Met Sally vibe, except that this book is soul destroying Nothing had meant to Rob than the approval of others to be thought well of, to be a person of status He would have betrayed any confidence, any kindness, for the promise of social acceptance. There s clear criticism of our constant need to impress and perform for others in a world that grows ever connected Much of the tragedy that befalls Marianne and Connell is caused by other people, peer pressure and social expectations It is very sad to think that someone might give up who they love the most because they can t deal with how it makes them look to others.The pair s inability to adequately communicate is frustrating but feels realistic I was on the verge of tearing my hair out at all the things left unsaid in this book, but I think it was a good kind of frustration The kind that comes from caring too much I feel like there are any number of reasons I could have hated Normal People, but I didn t I actually kinda loved it It s a weird, awkward, depressing novel about a connection formed between two very different people who find exactly what they need and perhaps a lot that they don t in each other CW sexual assault domestic abuse drug use casual racism called out depression anxiety suicide suicidal ideation.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube flag 922 likesLike see review View all 61 comments Sep 07, 2018 Marchpane rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 19 20 19, book club Sally Rooney is the real deal Normal People has been lavished with praise from critics, longlisted for the Man Booker prize and is apparently being adapted for television by the BBC And it only came out last week So much attention will no doubt attract quite a few readers who would not ordinarily touch this subject matter with a barge pole Because this book A Is about young peopleB Is a love story but not a romance C Contains a fair bit of sex which is crucial to the story, btw, and is Sally Rooney is the real deal Normal People has been lavished with praise from critics, longlisted for the Man Booker prize and is apparently being adapted for television by the BBC And it only came out last week So much attention will no doubt attract quite a few readers who would not ordinarily touch this subject matter with a barge pole Because this book A Is about young peopleB Is a love story but not a romance C Contains a fair bit of sex which is crucial to the story, btw, and is not graphic All of which possibly also the fact that the author is a 27 year old woman means that Normal People will inevitably be dismissed by some as frivolous It isn t This is a confident, accomplished and serious work Of Rooney s debut, Conversations with Friends, I said in my review it occasionally scrapes close to the bone Well, Normal People cuts to the core Normal People is not out to inspire, instruct, entertain or talk down to anyone, which makes it something of a refreshing anomaly in current fiction about young people It is a novel for anyone, young or old that simply presents the truth of youthful experiences without the filters of nostalgia or sentimentality It invites you to inhabit the psyche of someone else two someone elses Connell and Marianne to identify with them and to feel their pain and turmoil For the reader who connects to that, it is wracking The story focuses only on the pivotal moments for these two characters, jumping forward three weeks, six months, or five minutes, as needed, to excise all the uneventful bits of life and leave us with the most emotionally intense supercut possible It follows them from high school in a small town, through their years at university in Dublin, as the dynamic between them shifts with their surroundings and social circle They re not officially together the whole time, or even most of the time, but they always figure in each other s lives in a significant way.Sally Rooney writes with such precision that this all feels painfully true She conjures the tension and emotion in a scene just from the way someone wrings out a dish sponge she conveys the full weight of feeling from a look or a shrug In Rooney s imagining, Connell and Marianne as separate entities are less important than the interplay between them their relationship dynamic and the influence each of them has on shaping the other, that s the real stuff of this book How strange to feel herself so completely under the control of another person, but also how ordinary No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not There s irony here, and self conscious posturing though not nearly as much as in CWF , but earnestness, truth and kindness as well In addition to the central relationship are issues of class and intellectual integrity It s a particularly astute look at the rebuild of self that teenagers undergo in the transition from school to uni, how it allows some to thrive while others stumble, and in some ways is just an illusion after all So there s hype and there s backlash to the hype, and Normal People is sure to resonate powerfully with some readers and not at all for others If you like a minutely observed novel about people and feelings that isn t mawkish, I d say give it a go flag 545 likesLike see review View all 51 comments Nov 23, 2018 Dem rated it did not like it review of another edition Shelves bookclub reads Man booker prize long list nominee and Costa book awards nominee This is a book that has many admirers and sadly it didn t work for me and while I would love to agree with all the judges on this one I only struggled to the end because it was a bookclub read It is difficult to go against the grain on a book that is nominated for so many awards So as always you need to judge for yourself because books fit people differently Quite simply this book didn t Fit Me I really have no interest in r Man booker prize long list nominee and Costa book awards nominee This is a book that has many admirers and sadly it didn t work for me and while I would love to agree with all the judges on this one I only struggled to the end because it was a bookclub read It is difficult to go against the grain on a book that is nominated for so many awards So as always you need to judge for yourself because books fit people differently Quite simply this book didn t Fit Me I really have no interest in reading about 18 20 something year college kid s on off sexual relationships where they seem to only exist in their own little complex bubble and this book felt like a bubble It is described as exquisite love stroy which I honestly found nothing exquisite or no love in this one The characters of Connell and Marianne were dislikable and boring and the on off, will they wont they relationship became repetitive reading The only character which I liked and felt any connection with in the novel was Lorraine.Perhaps this is suited for a younger audience where they connect with the college scene or for readers who like complex relationship stories but for me this was a struggle from start to finish flag 523 likesLike see review View all 140 comments Sep 24, 2018 Trudie rated it did not like it review of another edition Shelves booker 18 I am not sure how to write this review because I seem to be so far beyond the pale on my antipathy to this book In simplest terms I didn t connect with this work at all and I would be best to chalk this up to a reader writer mismatch and move on but I will try and articulate some of my reading experience.Some of my perplexity with Normal People is that I just couldn t relate to the twenty something, highly educated, politically aware and cynical young adults that populate this novel I am not I am not sure how to write this review because I seem to be so far beyond the pale on my antipathy to this book In simplest terms I didn t connect with this work at all and I would be best to chalk this up to a reader writer mismatch and move on but I will try and articulate some of my reading experience.Some of my perplexity with Normal People is that I just couldn t relate to the twenty something, highly educated, politically aware and cynical young adults that populate this novel I am not sure how reflective these voices are of young Irish making their way in the world, but as presented here I found them exasperating to listen to and not particularly nuanced It is possible that even if I didn t enjoy the novel I might like the writing but in actual fact Rooney s style is perhaps the single biggest thing that bugged me I found some passages of interest sandwiched between a lot of wooden dialogue and these flat descriptions Marianne goes inside and comes back out again with another bottle of sparkling wine, and one bottle of red Niall starts unwrapping the wire on the first bottle and Marianne hands Connell a corkscrew Peggy starts clearing people s plates Connell unpeels the foil from the top of a bottle as Jamie leans over and says something to Marianne He sinks the screw into the cork and twists it downwards Peggy takes his plate away and stacks it with the others This kind of writing really gives me nothing Others have cited the two dimensional nature of her secondary characters and I would concur Barely any of them made much of an impression on me Alan Marianne s brother, seemed particularly badly drawn He appears to be a key part of understanding Marianne and yet he warrants only a few pen strokes of unexplained malice and cruelty The opening of a wine bottle and pouring of cups of tea receives much page space I tried to understand Marianne, who seems to be both ugly and beautiful, popular and friendless Her hinted at troubled family life was suppose to underpin her need to be a submissive I remain unconvinced that this is really how dominance and submission works and I would think experts in BDSM might strongly take issue with some of the cliches here The relationship between Marianne and Connell should have kept this book afloat at the very least The intense emotional and physical connection, the will they won t they stay together, all the drama of YA love is here but it is in an eye wateringly navel gazing form I found it all exactingly po faced The number of inexplicable break ups, largely based on mis communication was about three or four break ups too many for me I just wanted to yell at this novel most of the time Say what you mean and stop being so insufferably difficult , either split up or stay together, both your friends and I really don t care Marianne and Connell were of most interest to me when they started emailing each other, discussing novels and politics thus preventing them breaking up over some new emotional minutiae Perhaps this should have been a novel of their email exchanges.Oh well, I guess I will never be a Rooney fan and I have doubtless missed the point of this book entirely but that is ok not every book is for every reader flag 430 likesLike see review View all 56 comments Sep 04, 2018 Bernard OKeeffe rated it did not like it review of another edition On the second page of Sally Rooney s universally acclaimed, Booker longlisted novel is the following paragraph He puts his hands in his pockets and suppresses an irritable sigh, but suppresses it with an audible intake of breath, so that it still sounds like a sigh What I get the hand in the pockets bit, but how the hell does the rest of it work A sigh is an exhalation and I have no idea how any attempt to suppress a sigh by inhaling could possibly sound like one I ve tried hard to imagine On the second page of Sally Rooney s universally acclaimed, Booker longlisted novel is the following paragraph He puts his hands in his pockets and suppresses an irritable sigh, but suppresses it with an audible intake of breath, so that it still sounds like a sigh What I get the hand in the pockets bit, but how the hell does the rest of it work A sigh is an exhalation and I have no idea how any attempt to suppress a sigh by inhaling could possibly sound like one I ve tried hard to imagine it, but no luck I ve tried even harder to do it, but even less luck In fact, in an effort to understand this twaddle I have tried it so often that I have come close on several occasions to hyperventilating and passing out.What have those Faber editors been doing Maybe they have no problem with it because they are all so much cleverer than me and know how to read properly Or maybe they also tried to do it and actually did pass out, which might explain why they have failed to apply the editorial pencil with any intelligence in the 264 pages that follow.The likely explanation, of course, is that the problem is mine and I offer the following gems from Normal People on that understanding He looks down into his lap, and exhales quickly, almost like a cough.It s hyperventilation time again I ve imagined it and I ve tried it, but I still don t get it He can t even visually imagine himself as a lawyer, wearing a tie and so on Do we really need that visually It s true she is Connell s type, maybe even the originary model of the type Originary What does that mean Am I the only one who had to look it up It s not in Chambers, by the way, so you ll need the OED Peggy, watching, took a performatively large mouthful of Cointreau Can anyone explain what performatively large actually means Enraged now, Alan wrenched her back from the sink by her upper arm, and, seemingly spontaneously, spat at her Seemingly spontaneously I could go on It s not often that I feel the need to read with a pencil in my hand but Normal People drove me to it, and my copy is now covered with question marks and annotations I retired from teaching last year but reading Sally Rooney s feted novel felt like I was marking again in this case marking the work of a precocious, but overindulged, talent.In Normal People alternating points of view are combined with an inconsistent and confusing authorial presence, voices are often difficult to differentiate in an ineffectual free indirect style, the comma splices Ferrante this isn t and the unpunctuated dialogue, far from creating an impressionistic flow, suggest a lack of precision, and the prose shifts from past to present for no apparent reason and even within paragraphs, creating a chronological blur In short, it s a bit of a mess If I cared about the characters or cared about the story, these things would not matter quite so much but on the few occasions when I saw through the writerly mess I found it difficult to care about them at all.The novel, though, has been so well received that its very reception has become a news story Salinger for the Snapchat generation critics unite to praise 27 year old novelist was the headline in last Saturday s Guardian.So the problem is clearly mine Maybe I ve read a different book from the one everyone is raving about Maybe I ve read the same book but don t know how to read properly Or it could be that I m the child s voice at the back of the crowd politely suggesting that the emperor might not be wearing any clothes flag 375 likesLike see review View all 53 comments Sep 09, 2018 Portal in the Pages rated it it was amazing review of another edition Goddamit Sally Rooney and now I m crying flag 349 likesLike see review View all 3 comments May 30, 2019 Justin rated it did not like it review of another edition Whoa guys I just finished Normal man, I just I don t know what am I, what am I, uh, missing This, uh, this this wasn t good Not good at all I m so confused This is, um, this is this book is everywhere right now, being highly praised and all that Websites I trust are telling me this is, this is one of the best, one of the best books of the year so far But, guys wow I ve never felt disconnected from a story I couldn t care less about either one of these charact Whoa guys I just finished Normal man, I just I don t know what am I, what am I, uh, missing This, uh, this this wasn t good Not good at all I m so confused This is, um, this is this book is everywhere right now, being highly praised and all that Websites I trust are telling me this is, this is one of the best, one of the best books of the year so far But, guys wow I ve never felt disconnected from a story I couldn t care less about either one of these characters, and I definitely didn t care about anyone else in the book because, man, I don t think the author cared either This whole thing just felt lifeless to me, like it wanted to be something huge and it sure is being pushed like it is , but there is really nothing about this book I found redeeming I hung around until the end thinking something would resolve or the story would progress somehow, but it just kind of fizzles out and it s done I wish it would have at least ended with an apology for taking up too much space in the crowded book world Seriously, the whole back and forth of I love you, let s have sex, do whatever you want, we re different, I can t tell anyone about you, I love you, I m seeing someone else, I m so sad, life is hard, being 20 is tough that is basically the book It just kind of bounces around those themes over and over again There s nothing in the book to make me care of these kids are in love or not, and it really feels like this should be a YA novel, but it pushed the characters ages up just a bit to say Nope, no no no adults here We have adults coming through This is Adult Fiction folks It reads like Twilight without the vampires, but someone give this bad boy a Man Booker prize Adult book here, ladies and gentlemen Don t get it twisted I don t get it I didn t connect with this at all, and I would recommend steering clear of this one and moving on to something else on your list As my old librarian used to say So little books, so little time He s the only person who has ever said that I think he trademarked it He s right Skip this flag 225 likesLike see review View all 48 comments Apr 29, 2019 jessica rated it liked it review of another edition wow one of the most frustrating, but humanising, books i have read in a long time for sure i feel so exhausted after reading this, but i think that may have been the authors intent its shows that normal people living normal lives can be quite tiresome for example the writing lacks quotation marks, which makes the dialogue difficult to decipher which could be seen as support for the idea that life is just as messy as the books formatting and communication sometimes takes effort to underst wow one of the most frustrating, but humanising, books i have read in a long time for sure i feel so exhausted after reading this, but i think that may have been the authors intent its shows that normal people living normal lives can be quite tiresome for example the writing lacks quotation marks, which makes the dialogue difficult to decipher which could be seen as support for the idea that life is just as messy as the books formatting and communication sometimes takes effort to understand there are massive jumps in the timeline with a lot of backtracking, so much so that the drastic shifts are jarring which could be seen as exemplifying the notion that people change over time and friendships are bound to alterings like this will polarise readers either its too much and unenjoyable, or its a work of genius and adds depth to the storytelling i think it really depends on the readers interpretation and mood and like the indecisive creature that i am, im quite torn down the middle 3.5 stars flag 208 likesLike see review View all 20 comments May 21, 2019 Elyse Walters rated it it was amazing review of another edition I had been influenced by a friend whom I adore respect by her 1 star review way before this book started gaining momentum and hit the stores a month ago This book wasn t for my friend but it sure was for me I ve own an Advance Reader s Edition , of Sally Rooney s paper copy for a year and a half It sat on my shelf, unread Rooney s first novel Conversations With Friends , was wonderful I admit having a thing for the type of writer Sally Rooney is Addicting thought provoki I had been influenced by a friend whom I adore respect by her 1 star review way before this book started gaining momentum and hit the stores a month ago This book wasn t for my friend but it sure was for me I ve own an Advance Reader s Edition , of Sally Rooney s paper copy for a year and a half It sat on my shelf, unread Rooney s first novel Conversations With Friends , was wonderful I admit having a thing for the type of writer Sally Rooney is Addicting thought provoking reading for me Normal People is contemporary romantic tragic comic fresh psychologically sharp emotional and very perceptive Rooney leaves me lingering in her characters They are flawed and frustrated I felt flawed and frustrated reading it At times I wanted to scream at the characters other times my heart just broke I knew I wanted to read this novel I even knew it would most likely drive me into my head it did I m not sure why I didn t open it last year The book cover alone has that curl up and get sucked in feeling , to it And that s exactly what happened I COULD NOT STOP READING Addicted I will never doubt my own gut desire again when it comes to a Sally Rooney novel I m a fan here to stay Totally love what she creates SOMETHING HAS SHIFTED IN ME, too, with respect to romance novels I can no longer say Oh, I don t read romance novels It dependsHeck, Crime and Punishment , had romance Loaded with power and cruelty but still some romance East of Eden , by John Steinbeck was filled with juicy romance destructive force but stilllust and romance was present Helen Hoang s book, The Kiss Quotient , modern, had romance written all over it I loved it, too Laugh at me if you wishbut in the same way that I got hooked on the two main characters, Tessa and Hardin , in Anna Todd s After Series also a young author like Sally Rooney.I was hooked on the relationship between Connell and Marianne in Normal People I m sure that Rooney would not turn this book into a series but if she did, I d read it The electricity and entanglement between this Connell and Marianne was soooo complex I wanted to join their conversations about their families about the way each felt about themselves, and each other and all the things that were happening to them When I finished the last page, my mind continued swimming in thoughts Most, I was sad to leave them Soooo many fabulous sentences page after page Gorgeous reflective and intimate writing Sally Rooney is an it author for me LOVED IT.Ha if you can t tell I ll end with one expert All these years they ve been like two little plants sharing the same pot of soil, growing around one another, contorting to make room, taking certain unlikely positions flag 163 likesLike see review View all 51 comments Elyse Walters Thanks Fran Thanks Fran Aug 06, 2019 03 09PM Joan B Not a romance of a trying to fill a large black whole I loved this book also So unique, and heartbreaking Aug 30, 2019 09 50PM Sep 16, 2018 Peter Boyle rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves irish, booker nominee I wanted to like this book than I did How thrilling that the author hailed as Salinger for the Snapchat generation is Irish, and from my own province of Connacht at that There are moments in this novel that would certainly back up such a bold claim But I believe that she is a writer still honing her craft Not quite the finished article just yet, but with all the potential to become a literary heavyweight.In the beginning we meet Connell and Marianne, two young people growing up the we I wanted to like this book than I did How thrilling that the author hailed as Salinger for the Snapchat generation is Irish, and from my own province of Connacht at that There are moments in this novel that would certainly back up such a bold claim But I believe that she is a writer still honing her craft Not quite the finished article just yet, but with all the potential to become a literary heavyweight.In the beginning we meet Connell and Marianne, two young people growing up the west of Ireland Marianne comes from a wealthy family and Connell s mother Lorraine is a cleaner in their lavish house At the start of the book, the pair are in their final year at school Connell is a popular sports star while Marianne is a social outcast They are close despite operating in completely different circles Roles are reversed once they move to Dublin for college Marianne falls in with a group who appreciate her wit and intelligence, and a taciturn Connell finds it difficult to make friends The story follows their on off relationship over the years they go from being pals, to than that, to who knows They are a huge part of one another s lives, no matter what their romantic status.Rooney is strong on the intricacies of relationships how the influence of one person can shape another person s whole life, and how little misunderstandings can snowball into major heartbreak At one point Connell discovers that becoming part of a couple can even validate one s existence To be known as her boyfriend plants him firmly in the social world, establishes him as an acceptable person, someone with a particular status, someone whose conversational silences are thoughtful rather than socially awkward She is also extremely perceptive about the journey from adolescence into adulthood, that point in your life where you fly the nest to take on the world and finally meet people with the same interests as yours confident, excited and apprehensive all at once They were coming into college every day to have heated debates about books they had not read However, there were a couple of things that bugged me For one, Marianne s family despise her, yet we are given no reason for this The actions of her brother Alan, in particular, become ridiculous as the story goes on, and without proper context they just feel ludicrous And I m afraid I found the dialogue quite flat at times For two people like Marianne and Connell, who know each other so well, I kept thinking, is this how they would really speak to each other Their exchanges are so earnest and dry For example, there s one part where they are about to have sex after missing one other for so long, and the atmosphere is charged They kiss Marianne says that she wants this so much, and Connell goes It s really nice to hear you say that I m going to switch the TV off, if that s OK The description of the scene makes it sound passionate but the conversation dulls its effect.Maybe I m nitpicking There were many aspects of the book I really admired It s just that when I see publications like The Guardian declaring Normal People a future classic , I expect a bit from it I do think that Sally Rooney is massively talented, and her gifts of observation and empathy will serve her very well in her career She may have the literary world at her feet right now, but I reckon her best work is yet to come flag 154 likesLike see review View all 18 comments May 23, 2019 Paula Kalin rated it it was amazing review of another edition Recommends it for Literary fiction fans Recommended to Paula by Booker Shelves women s prize nominee, dylan thomas nominee, an post irish award, read in 2019, costa book award, published 2018, kerry group nominee, e book, ireland, literary fiction Irish author, Sally Rooney s second novel came to my attention when nominated for the Booker in 2018 Since then Normal People has won the Costa Book Award, An Post Irish Award, and nominated for many others Quite a distinction for a wonderfully talented young author.Normal People is about Marianne and Connell, their secret friendship, and their on and off again relationship They are two young people drawn to each other who drift apart at times, but always end up coming back to each other thro Irish author, Sally Rooney s second novel came to my attention when nominated for the Booker in 2018 Since then Normal People has won the Costa Book Award, An Post Irish Award, and nominated for many others Quite a distinction for a wonderfully talented young author.Normal People is about Marianne and Connell, their secret friendship, and their on and off again relationship They are two young people drawn to each other who drift apart at times, but always end up coming back to each other throughout their lives It is an intimate, but sometimes painful look at two people from different backgrounds that don t really belong together One comes from a loving home, where as the other lives in a cold and hateful environment Rooney s novel is powerful and complex It is not a romance or love story, but an in depth character driven study It s about obsession and two flawed high school students that follow each other to Trinity College in Dublin Normal People is unfiltered, emotional and direct Marianne and Connell do well communicating in bed, but not elsewhere Misunderstandings from poor communication make this novel what it is tragic and full of sadness.The ending of the book is perfect Rooney wraps up her novel as it should be I am thankful that in my pursuit of reading the Booker Longlist that Normal People was included Her first book, Conversation With Friends, is waiting on my Kindle5 out of 5 stars flag 151 likesLike see review View all 34 comments Sep 04, 2018 Anna Luce rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves audiobooks, lukewarm reads, disappointing reads, 2018 reviews, inane protagonists 2 grungy starsIf you believe that characters who dislike themselves, shrug a lot, and say I don t know 24 7, are very deep and realistic, well this is the perfect read for you Or if you enjoy reading about in authorslook no further After all, Rooney is defining a generation Yikes If you are thinking about reading this novel, I suggest you listen to the following song instead, since it will take you less time and you will get the same story 2 grungy starsIf you believe that characters who dislike themselves, shrug a lot, and say I don t know 24 7, are very deep and realistic, well this is the perfect read for you Or if you enjoy reading about in authorslook no further After all, Rooney is defining a generation Yikes If you are thinking about reading this novel, I suggest you listen to the following song instead, since it will take you less time and you will get the same story I enjoyed Rooney s style, the way in which she interweaves ordinary moments with emotionally charged ones and the uncertainty that pervades her story, I was also annoyed by how artificial her novel is I had the impression that Rooney was trying to conjure a certain millennial vibe through her characters and their experiences Connell and Marianne lacked depth and, as stupid as it might sound, character Their looks were emphasised in a way that made them stand out from others they are skinny and beautiful, they smoke, they make languid movements, they are smart, and unlike their peers they actually care about world politics Throughout the course of this novel we are told how DIFFERENT and SPECIAL they are Marianne comes from a wealthy and abusive family we are supposed to feel bad for her , Connell was raised by his mother and suffers from bouts of anxiety and depression we are also supposed to feel bad for him That they have issues that they can t cope with is realistic, but what I didn t appreciate is the romanticising of their difficulties What I didn t like is that being alienated is synonym of cool and that seeking sadomasochistic relationships is understandable inevitable if you come from an abusive family Rooney handles serious issues eg an abusive family, depression, etc very badly A book that handles trauma and self harming incredibly well is What Red Was by Rosie Price There we see why the characters behave in self destructive ways, but in NP these things seem merely props.Marianne and Connell aren t terrible people but god, they are so self involved Their relationship is made to appear fraught but I didn t always understand why Drama for the sake of drama They enter forgettable relationships with equally forgettable people but they remain fixated on each other Why No one knowsMarianne is depicted by the author and the other characters as being the sort of person who does not to care about others opinion of her but soon after a breakup with a cliched dick boyfriend she is obsessed with what people are saying about herConnor isintelligent Indecisive As interesting as a slice of white bread Secondary characters and family members are barely sketched out, they have little to no purpose other than creating drama for the main characters Marianne s family was so badly written that I had a hard time taking any of them seriously Her brother is laughably cruel and her mother is uncaring and snobbish they are rich so Friends from college serve very little purpose, other than making the main characters seem different and real special snowflake alert.What I disliked the most is that by the end neither Marianne or Connell show any sort of character growth Not that I always want to read about characters who learn from their mistakes or gain some sort of insight from their experience, I can appreciate characters that keep perpetuating their bad behaviour or even characters who get worse and as their story progresses they regress into bad habits etc But they have to be believable These two seemed were not They were merely an aesthetic , befitting as subjects of a black and white grunge photo than anything else The only reason why I finished this novel is that I listened to the audiobook and the narrator managed to make this otherwise unappetising storyline sort of okay flag 142 likesLike see review View all 17 comments Carla Santistevan I agree with you 100% It s amazing how badly Sally Rooney mishandled trauma and an abusive upbringing It s almost like a sanitized prop, and yet, i I agree with you 100% It s amazing how badly Sally Rooney mishandled trauma and an abusive upbringing It s almost like a sanitized prop, and yet, inescapable, eternal and forever defining It s like someone explained what an abusive household is like to an alien from Mars and the alien wrote about it It s devoid of any growth, internal struggle and survival 3 hours, 10 min ago Carla Santistevan I might add that I found this book extremely unstatisfying and shallow I wish I could understand the buzz around it I really wanted to love this one I might add that I found this book extremely unstatisfying and shallow I wish I could understand the buzz around it I really wanted to love this one 3 hours, 8 min ago Jan 12, 2019 Larry H rated it liked it Shelves netgalley 3.5 stars.Sally Rooney s upcoming novel Normal People almost felt like a puzzle, in that you didn t really know what you were truly getting until all of the pieces came together Beautifully written although a little slow in its pacing, it s a novel full of deep emotions, which made it difficult to read at times.Connell and Marianne know each other from high school, although they pretend not to, plus his mother works as a cleaner for her family Marianne is a bit of a laughing stock in school, 3.5 stars.Sally Rooney s upcoming novel Normal People almost felt like a puzzle, in that you didn t really know what you were truly getting until all of the pieces came together Beautifully written although a little slow in its pacing, it s a novel full of deep emotions, which made it difficult to read at times.Connell and Marianne know each other from high school, although they pretend not to, plus his mother works as a cleaner for her family Marianne is a bit of a laughing stock in school, mainly because she doesn t care what her classmates think of her Connell is tremendously affected by what people think of him, so when a connection starts to grow between him and Marianne, and turns to something physical and even emotional, they keep it hidden, and he ignores her in school At times he has the sensation that he and Marianne are like figure skaters, improvising their discussions so adeptly and in such perfect synchronisation that it surprises them both She tosses herself gracefully into the air, and each time, without knowing how he s going to do it, he catches her Marianne feels so intensely for Connell, and she is willing to let him possess her completely He can t explain his feelings for Marianne, except that she thinks so highly of him, but he continues to fear what his peers would think if they knew what was going on He winds up treating her badly, leaving her to deal with her own emotional distress.One year later, both are studying at Trinity College in Dublin Connell feels uneasy, no longer the popular fellow he was in high school, and has difficulty relating to his peers and fitting in Marianne, on the other hand, is comfortable in this world, enjoying deep conversations about the political and economic issues facing society, and being looked at as an object of desire, not ridicule by her fellow students No matter what other opportunities present themselves, the pair finds themselves drawn to each other once again, enjoying the way their interactions make them feel yet falling into the same patterns which cause friction Marianne had a wildness that got into him for a while and made him feel that he was like her, that they had the same unnameable spiritual injury, and that neither of them could ever fit into the world But he was never damaged like she was She just made him feel that way Normal People follows Marianne and Connell through their time at college, through different relationships and the periodic circling back to one another, whether solely for friendship or something else Each chapter, with a few exceptions, takes place a few months after the last one But Marianne s penchant for self destruction and Connell s inability to cope with the emotional stresses he faces leave them both unsure what their relationship should be and could be, if anything.Marianne s feeling she is unworthy of being loved without abuse or mistreatment, and the way she is treated by her family, boyfriends, and others, is very difficult to read about at times Connell s bouts with depression are also quite painful to read, so at times this book felt very heavy, and its pacing seemed to move much slower than I would have liked And like many books which focus on relationships, at times I wanted to shake both characters to make them say the things they wanted to, to each other and other people in their lives.Despite the book s emotional turmoil, Rooney s writing is exceptional There were so many passages beyond the two I ve cited in this review that I read over and over again, marveling at her use of language and imagery She definitely got me completely immersed in this book and these characters, even when things seemed particularly draining or moved slowly Normal People is really affecting, and it will stick with me for a long time.NetGalley and Crown Publishing provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review Thanks for making this available See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at flag 138 likesLike see review View all 17 comments Jul 24, 2018 Britta B hler rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves fiction, femlit, kindle scribd, 01womenprize2019, 2019, 2018bw read, 01secondshelf read, 01mb2018, 2018, 2019new release I have to admit I wasn t taken with Rooney s debut Conversations with Friends but I tried to read her second book with an open mind The writing was good and some of the themes were interesting but I was rather bored by the selfabsorbed, clich characters women who just want to get the man and who always question their self worth after a break up, and men who are behaving as if they come straight out of a boys will be boys movie So 1950ies And the ending is just plain cheesy 2.5 mainly I have to admit I wasn t taken with Rooney s debut Conversations with Friends but I tried to read her second book with an open mind The writing was good and some of the themes were interesting but I was rather bored by the selfabsorbed, clich characters women who just want to get the man and who always question their self worth after a break up, and men who are behaving as if they come straight out of a boys will be boys movie So 1950ies And the ending is just plain cheesy 2.5 mainly because the writing was good.And not much has changed after the re read in January 2019 Nope, I still don t get the hype flag 135 likesLike see review View all 21 comments Sep 19, 2018 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves best fiction non fiction 2018 Oooof Alright a disclaimer before I start Normal People by Sally Rooney is superb I m gonna gush about this one warning to those in the splash zone and I honestly feel that the less you know about it, the better the experience will be for you So, to those of you who re thinking of reading it, don t bother with any reviews about the book just read it It s a contemporary story about a boy and a girl who fall in love That s all you need to know And when you re done, come back and we c Oooof Alright a disclaimer before I start Normal People by Sally Rooney is superb I m gonna gush about this one warning to those in the splash zone and I honestly feel that the less you know about it, the better the experience will be for you So, to those of you who re thinking of reading it, don t bother with any reviews about the book just read it It s a contemporary story about a boy and a girl who fall in love That s all you need to know And when you re done, come back and we can hi five each other in joy over its excellence Why did I begin with Oooof Because I genuinely feel like I ve been punched in the gut Repeatedly This is such an emotionally exhausting and draining read Sally Rooney s created a remarkably compelling pair of characters in Marianne and Connell and I felt their love so intensely it was like I was experiencing it with them Which makes it sound like a romance, and it has some of those elements, but if it s anything it s a classic Bildungsroman just a fancy word for coming of age story Marianne is the awkward loner in high school, brainy but socially isolated Connell is the good looking popular boy, inexplicably drawn to Marianne star football player falls for nerdy girl The two begin seeing each other secretly god, it sounds sooo fucking cheesy doesn t it I promise you it s anything but From there it s a rollercoaster of emotions as the characters grow and develop I loved it pure and simple Here are some critiques to anyone who didn t enjoy the book Marianne s brother Alan is a laughably one dimensional villain There s no plot which is very typical of this type of story the story just starts and then ends The occasional phrase feels hammy and clich d stuff like so few people have what we have Connell is written as this genius but he does some super dumb things and if he is so brilliant, would he care so much what others thought of him Also, given how unbelievably connected Connell and Marianne are on every conceivable level, the number of times they misunderstand one another seemingly purely for dramatic purposes could be seen as contrived as fuuuuck And, though I know almost nothing about Rooney, it feels like a very autobiographical novel most young writers tend to write about themselves to start with, after all She s a young Irish woman who went to Trinity College, Dublin, on a scholarship, like Marianne, and the novel ends with the characters in their mid 20s, which is the same age I suspect Rooney was when she stopped writing this she s now 27 years old In that regard you could say it s somewhat unimaginative Listen none of that matters I noticed those things and I didn t care Because it s so well written, so damn compelling, so enthralling and honest and real If I gave this anything less than the highest possible rating, I d be lying about how much I enjoyed this book It s also impressive that she didn t shy away from writing the sex scenes given how tricky they are to write with most writers publicly embarrassing themselves She s such a confident and skilful writer already, at such a young age that she pulls them off admirably and, yes, sensuously If you ve ever heard someone trying to convince someone else to start reading books, one of the points they ll make is that you get to live lives you never would Most books do this on a superficial level but Normal People actually achieves this viscerally This is one of those books that effortlessly draws you into it and lets you experience the intensity of Marianne and Connell s heart achingly, tender, complex relationship in a totally believable way it s powerful stuff Truly, I felt and anxious as the book went on until I was actually dreading the end this novel turned me into a wreck The Guardian review, which drew me to this book in the first place, mentioned something like this is a novel for and about the Millennial generation but it s not really In a literal sense the characters and author are Millennials but besides that there s nothing about this book that makes it distinct for this specific time it could easily be set at any point in the last 50 years and still work perfectly I m not really sure what the book was trying to say if anything but it s left a deep impression regardless Maybe that s it the whole labelling of generations is a fruitless exercise in misnomers, we re all the same and love is a complicated, weird thing for all of us Maybe it s trying to define what normal is for this generation but isn t that something every generation goes through And I m not exactly sure what conclusions Rooney comes up with could be uniquely ascribed to Millennials I ll leave it with this because I m spent Normal People isn t just the best novel of the year, or even the best novel of the last few years, but it s one of the best I ve ever read in my life Maybe I m just a sucker for coming of age stories W Somerset Maugham s Of Human Bondage told a similar type of story that left me just as devastated but in a good way sort of A beautiful powerhouse of quiet, extraordinarily potent sensations that indelibly captures an important part of the human experience, Normal People has made me an instant fan of Sally Rooney s and thank you for writing it flag 131 likesLike see review View all 14 comments Apr 17, 2019 Chelsea chelseadolling reads rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves 2019 2 apr may jun I genuinely have no idea how to rate this I LOVED the first half, felt lukewarm towards the middle, and then hated the ending The characters had so much chemistry but they refused to communicate I just TW sexual assault, domestic violence, depression, suicide flag 137 likesLike see review View all 7 comments May 03, 2019 Adam Dalva rated it it was amazing review of another edition This book is amazing, kinetic, insightful, and fun I m writing a long form review for Guernica about it examining, partially, the spectrum of reactions on this site , so I can t say too much yet, but wow, I could not put this down It feels ferociously of the moment, yes, but it also has a timelessness all its own Cut through the hype Time management is stellar every new chapter is a time jump ahead , both perspectives are great every chapter alternates between our two leads, with the att This book is amazing, kinetic, insightful, and fun I m writing a long form review for Guernica about it examining, partially, the spectrum of reactions on this site , so I can t say too much yet, but wow, I could not put this down It feels ferociously of the moment, yes, but it also has a timelessness all its own Cut through the hype Time management is stellar every new chapter is a time jump ahead , both perspectives are great every chapter alternates between our two leads, with the attendant misunderstandings of a really good rom com , and the characters behave like real people Excellent supporting cast too, which is a rare treat There are issues, sure, but this is a pleasure machine flag 128 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Aug 13, 2019 Brandice rated it really liked it I finished Normal People last night but had to think about it for a little while before writing this review, which is unusual for me In summary I really liked it Marianne and Connell meet in high school, where Marianne is perceived by many as odd although she doesn t care about popularity or public opinion She s from a wealthy family and bored by the obligations of school Connell s mother, Lorraine, cleans Marianne s family s home Connell is popular, athletic, and well liked Marianne and I finished Normal People last night but had to think about it for a little while before writing this review, which is unusual for me In summary I really liked it Marianne and Connell meet in high school, where Marianne is perceived by many as odd although she doesn t care about popularity or public opinion She s from a wealthy family and bored by the obligations of school Connell s mother, Lorraine, cleans Marianne s family s home Connell is popular, athletic, and well liked Marianne and Connell are friendly though not necessarily friends but this changes once they hook up They both end up attending Trinity College in Dublin It seems the roles have reversed as Marianne finds her place here and Connell feels isolated and somewhat adrift The story is told in spurts of time periods 3 months later, 6 months later, 3 months later, etc detailing the progression and regression of the relationship between Marianne and Connell Sometimes they re best friends, other times , and sometimes distant, cordial, but less than close I found their relationship interesting Both characters had dislikable moments, yet both were relatable in different ways Was it the familiarity of the pendulum of feelings about one person in your formative early adult years, as you try to continue figuring out who you are I m not sure, but I thoroughly enjoyed Normal People though I was nervous in anticipation of the ending, but found it to be very fitting Highly recommend flag 119 likesLike see review View all 47 comments May 01, 2019 JanB rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves netgalley, 2019 reads, buddy read with marialyce How do two damaged people, who long for nothing than to be normal , navigate the intricacies of a relationship This book tore my heart out and stomped on it, and I mean that in the best possible way.Marianne and Connell become acquainted when his mother is the housekeeper for her family Marianne s family is wealthy, but she is the smart, nerdy, unattractive girl who is an outcast at school while Connell, also smart, is the popular jock They enter into a relationship that he wants to kee How do two damaged people, who long for nothing than to be normal , navigate the intricacies of a relationship This book tore my heart out and stomped on it, and I mean that in the best possible way.Marianne and Connell become acquainted when his mother is the housekeeper for her family Marianne s family is wealthy, but she is the smart, nerdy, unattractive girl who is an outcast at school while Connell, also smart, is the popular jock They enter into a relationship that he wants to keep secret Marianne doesn t feel as if she deserves anything than this and so accepts these terms The relationship has its ups and downs and neither can communicate well with the other Circumstances occur that drive them apart but their paths cross in college and they find their positions are reversed Marianne is now the sophisticated, popular girl while Connell s lower socioeconomic status makes him feel unworthy He is now the unpopular one who is the outsider.In the ensuing years, they drift in and out of each other s lives As the reader, we are privy to their innermost thoughts and desires, their longings and their pain We know their sensitivities, and what makes them tick We learn details of their backgrounds and the resulting pain and hurt Sometimes the damage and the pain is just too deep to reveal oneself to another It s better to bury it and deny it, to pretend to not care as a defense mechanism The truth is they care very much, but they don t feel deserving of love and kindness Such a person often turns to unhealthy ways of managing their pain When I discovered one of Marianne s coping mechanisms it was devastating Deep down she knows she is a bad personality, corrupted, wrong, and all her efforts to be right, to have the right opinions, to say the right things, these efforts only disguise what is buried inside her, the evil part of herself On seeing two friends happy together It gives Marianne a window into real happiness, though a window she cannot open herself or ever climb through I loved the way the author portrayed these characters as so very flawed, but gave us the information we needed to understand them There s so much pain in their young lives that it made my heart hurt.Connell s is just as broken he had just wanted to be normal, to conceal the parts of himself that he found shameful and confusing internally he felt nothing He was like a freezer item that had thawed too quickly on the outside and was melting everywhere, while the inside was still frozen solid Can these two people ever find happiness Not just with each other, but with life in general My heart broke, then grew hopeful, and then broke again I read the majority of this novel in one sitting I could not tear myself away The writing is gorgeous and I m in awe that someone so young has such insight into the human heart and can write in a way that delivers such an emotional punch.It s no secret that books that delve deep into a character s psyche are my favorite types of reads They deliver all the emotions that makes for an unforgettable read People who walk around with invisible scars that make them feel unworthy and less than touch me deeply The ending I don t see how it could have ended any other way It isn t tied up in a neat bow but gives the reader much to ponder.Note there are no quotation marks which I usually find annoying and gimmicky, but in this case it worked and worked well After a few pages I didn t even notice.Marialyce and I read and discussed this together It s a book that begs to be discussed the minute you turn the last page.Many thanks to Netgalley for my copy of the book in exchange for an honest review For our reviews on this and other duo reads please visit Marialyce s blog flag 116 likesLike see review View all 72 comments Oct 29, 2018 Caitlin rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves read in 2018 I picked up my cup of coffee and took a large gulp, swishing the liquid around in my mouth a little before swallowing Two stars, I think I touched my hand to my face and rubbed my nose I clicked the two star rating I closed my eyes and nodded, breathing out slowly Yes, two stars flag 125 likesLike see review View all 7 comments Jun 24, 2019 Michelle rated it it was amazing Shelves june 2019 reads, library, my favorites I would give this 10 stars if I could I probably just finished the best book of 2019.My God, what a book So many thoughts and emotions are running through my head I don t even know where to begin I could cry with relief that I had two people really impress upon me the need to read this book To think I almost let this go by and fall into the cavern that is my TBR pile I cannot believe I almost missed out on the experience of what it was like to live with this book the past two days I was s I would give this 10 stars if I could I probably just finished the best book of 2019.My God, what a book So many thoughts and emotions are running through my head I don t even know where to begin I could cry with relief that I had two people really impress upon me the need to read this book To think I almost let this go by and fall into the cavern that is my TBR pile I cannot believe I almost missed out on the experience of what it was like to live with this book the past two days I was so enthralled that I dreamt about it My very subconscious absorbing how deeply Marianne and Connell s story touched me to the very core of my heart Marianne and Connell s friendship begins in her kitchen Connell comes from a working class, single parent family whose mother is the housekeeper for Marianne s wealthy mother While both intellectually gifted, they live in very different worlds Connell is popular, athletic and the boy every girl wants to be with Marianne is quiet, socially disinterested and the only talk of her at school is that of how weird she is and how she must be mentally ill As we pick up later in their lives after a year of college, their roles have reversed Suddenly Marianne is always with friends and is fending off suitors, while Connell is having a hard time finding his place and fitting in Their chance encounter at a party leads them to years of on again off again relations, although what always remains constant is their friendship and love for the other person.What Rooney accomplishes in 273 pages is a complete master class of the spectrum of emotions that are capable in the soul of these two, twenty somethings Always having been extremely emotional myself, I felt my heart ripped out of my chest several times through reading this book and then again repaired and replaced as their relationship re balanced It was so easy for me to slip back 15 years or so to when I was in college and going through very similar situations The shy and tentative love that developed was so believeable it set off fireworks inside when that feeling was acknowledged and returned Then when misunderstanding and miscommunication set off months of depression and loneliness in these characters, that felt so real to me, I thought I was back there myself Each exquisitely written section jumped ahead just far enough to allow our feelings a reprieve, to only go back and find out what took place in the gap and only have our heart ripped out again One last piece I want to touch on is something that nagged at me almost peripherally as a subplot to the relationship, which rightly was front and center That of this really highlighting this generational talent I ve found even as I get older that my experience in all avenues that has come with age blinds me to the memory of what it was like being in my early 20s Normal People, written by a millennial, is a story that shows the anguish, depth of character and emotional resilience of two people who feel anything but normal Both Marianne and Connell constantly try to find within each other and themselves, the comfort of surpassing that insecurity The world we are slowly inheriting is not that of our childhood and though it is a secondary focus in their lives, both characters grapple with how to navigate all that they care about against the normal concerns of feeling like they belong to their respective peer groups I felt it was an incredibly adult representation of two people who could be any age, just trying to figure out their lives against the backdrop of the world It served as a great reminder not to be so dismissive of youth, because after all, wasn t I there once There are a plethora of fantastic reviews and they are rightly deserved If you are on the fence, do yourself a favor and give this book a chance With Normal People, Sally Rooney has cemented herself as an author that should be on everyone s must buy list.Below are some of my favorite passages Denise decided a long time ago that it is acceptable for men to use aggression toward Marianne as a way of expressing themselves As a child Marianne resisted, but now she simply detaches, as if it isn t of any interest to her, which in a way it isn t Denise considers this a symptom of her daughter s frigid and unlovable personality She believes Marianne lacks warmth, by which she means the ability to beg for love from people who hate her p 68 It was true, Peggy and Jamie were not very good people bad people even, who took joy in putting others down Marianne fells aggrieved that she fell for it, aggrieved that she thought she had anything in common with them, that she d participated in the commodity market they passed off as friendship In school she had believed herself to be above such frank exchanges of social capital, but her college life indicated that if anyone in school had actually been willing to speak to her, she would would have behaved just as badly as anyone else There is nothing superior about her at all p 200 01 Somehow he was expressing emotion that at any time in his life before, while simultaneously feeling less, feeling nothing p 221 Not for the first time Marianne thinks cruelty does not only hurt the victim, but the perpetrator also, and maybe deeply and permanently You learn nothing very profound about yourself simply by being bullied but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget p 232 Marianne wanted her life to mean something then, she wanted to stop all the violence committed by the strong against the weak, and she remembered a time several years ago when she had felt so intelligent and young and powerful that she almost could have achieved such a thing, and now she knew she wasn t at all powerful, and she would lie and die in the world of extreme violence against the innocent, and at most, she could help only a few people It was so much harder to reconcile herself to the idea of helping a few, like she would rather help no one than do something so small and feeble, but that wasn t it either p.234 Review Date 6 24 19Publication Date 4 16 19 flag 111 likesLike see review View all 53 comments Jul 19, 2019 Melanie rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves contemporary, read in 2019, subscription box botm, buddy reads Okay, I think this book is not only going to be polarizing, but most people will dislike it But the writing was so hypnotic to me, I felt so much for both of these characters, and I just loved it a lot RTC 3 Blog Instagram Twitter Tumblr Youtube Twitch Buddy read with Romie from books coffee with romie flag 107 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Jul 13, 2018 Rachel rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves booker 2018, irish, literary fiction, giveaways, 2018, own, own but currently lent out, women s prize 2019 Engrossing, complex, and emotionally honest, Normal People is an understated powerhouse of a novel As this book ends up being so much than the sum of its parts it s particularly difficult to summarize, but basically, it s a sort of love story about Connell and Marianne, two young people growing up in small town Ireland together, who both move to Dublin for university in 2011.There isn t much going on in this book aside from Connell and Marianne s will they won t they relationship, but I Engrossing, complex, and emotionally honest, Normal People is an understated powerhouse of a novel As this book ends up being so much than the sum of its parts it s particularly difficult to summarize, but basically, it s a sort of love story about Connell and Marianne, two young people growing up in small town Ireland together, who both move to Dublin for university in 2011.There isn t much going on in this book aside from Connell and Marianne s will they won t they relationship, but I wouldn t describe this as a romance novel as much as a novel about being human Sally Rooney highlights with razor sharp precision the oddities and intricacies that complicate interpersonal interactions, even between two people who love one another This book is about miscommunication, but not miscommunication as a plot device miscommunication as an intrinsic part of the human experience, naturally calling into question the possibility of truly knowing another person Connell and Marianne s inability to open up to one another is so much bigger than these two individual characters it s about gender roles and socioeconomic differences and power dynamics and social status and preconceived notions and projections and misinterpretations, and Rooney examines it all minutely through the lens of this one ill fated sort of couple She also has the uncanny ability to cut to the emotional core of a scene without sensationalizing, and I think that s what strikes me as the most accomplished element of this novel.I think this book is inevitably going to be underestimated by some because of its premise, and because of all the hyperbolic claims that Rooney is the definitive voice of her generation But it s a deceptively clever book it s perceptive where it could easily be vapid, it s clear eyed where it could be melodramatic, and it has intellectual and emotional depth than anything else I ve read recently A bit of an unconventional choice for the Booker longlist, but it fully earned its spot in my opinion, and I d love to see it shortlisted flag 106 likesLike see review View all 7 comments Aug 25, 2018 Gumbles Yard rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 booker longlist, 2018, 2019 women longlist Longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker and the only book published after the longlist was announced, and so the last I came to read a month and 2 days after the announcement While not shortlisted for that prize the book is now and not surprisingly starting to sweep other awards Irish Book of The Year Best Novel National Book Award International Author, Waterstone s Book of the Year Best Novel and Best Book, Costa Award Best Novel, British Book Awards fiction winner and overall w Longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker and the only book published after the longlist was announced, and so the last I came to read a month and 2 days after the announcement While not shortlisted for that prize the book is now and not surprisingly starting to sweep other awards Irish Book of The Year Best Novel National Book Award International Author, Waterstone s Book of the Year Best Novel and Best Book, Costa Award Best Novel, British Book Awards fiction winner and overall winner, Encore award for best second novel I have little doubt that the author will be the one on the Booker longlist that we will hear most of in the years ahead and that this book probably alone of the longlist will be on the shelves in mainstream bookshops in say 5 years time.Returning to my review The other books on the longlist draw on wider elements graphics and alt right, crime genre conventions, Greek mythology and legend, immersive research into the penal system, environmental passion, free verse and film noir, dystopia, grime and urban slang, refugee crisis, steampunk and slavery, greyhounds and spying, stream of consciousness and the reader s view of each book depends, at least in part, on her or his views on how well the author has translated those aspects into languageThis book is though little than an internally focused, but two sided tale of millennial student friendship and love and hence to a very large extent stands or falls on the readers view of the author s writing and her characterisation of the thoughts and motivations of the two protagonists.In my view the author largely succeeds and, much to my surprise, this is one of my favourite books on the longlist.Connell and Marianne attend the same school Connell quietly popular, Marianne widely shunned for her perceived eccentricity but the two have two links both are intellectual and Connell s single mother cleans for Marianne s widowed mother The two start a tentative sexual and covert relationship and both apply successfully for Trinity where their relative status is turned on its head and in line with their social status Connell struggling with the simultaneous vacuity and confidence of his fellow students, and Marianne thriving.The book which moves forwards in unevenly spaced chapters which are dated and title for example Three Months Later, chapters which are told form alternating third party viewpoints and which often look back on key events since the last chapter and particularly on the ever changing dynamic of the relationship between the two.Connell s relationship to literature like the authors is complex struggling with the middle class attitude to literature he still desperately wants to be part of it which even leads to the book s ending Connell and the author s ambiguity is captured in a number of quotes It seems to Connell that the same imagination he uses as a reader is necessary to understand real people also, and to be intimate with them.Connell couldn t think of any reason why these literary events took place, what they contributed to anything, what they meant They were attended only by people who wanted to be the kind of people who attended themIt was culture as class performance, literature fetished for its ability to take educated people on false emotional journeys, so that they made afterwards feel superior to the undereducated people whose emotional journeys they liked to read about Key themes examined in the book include Class dynamics and social privilege Masculinity and feminity and the privileges and burdens of each The aftermath of the end of the Celtic Tiger, and its economic and social effects on the millennial generation that reached adulthood after it, including their loss of faith in capitalism having already lost faith in the church Power dynamics and how these can alter across different social milieu Fitting in and standing out and how different people can adopt different positions over time Intimacy and independence Self image and its interaction with abusive relationships and with depression.I described Sally Rooney s last book Conversations With Friends as an interesting debut by a young author writing with a fresh new voice about a young character experiencing a very old story a woman having an affair with an older married man Despite its many differences, this book is again simply a young author writing with a fresh new voice about in this case two young characters experiencing an even older story how does friendship translate into love and how can you really know the mind of someone else Albeit one with a dark undercurrent Jane Austen for the millennial generation One night the library started closing just as he reached the passage in Emma where it seems like Mr Knightly is going to marry Harriet, and he had to close the book and walk home in a state of strange emotional agitation It feels intellectually unserious to concern himself with fictional people marrying one another But there it is literature moves him And there it is this book moved me flag 105 likesLike see review View all 20 comments Apr 14, 2019 Hannah rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves loved it, women s prize 2019 longlist, literary fiction I am such a fan of Sally Rooney s writing and I cannot imagine this changing, ever The way she constructs her characters is something extraordinary and I am so very glad this book is on the longlist for the Women s Prize for Fiction I needed a brilliant book after some of other nominated books just did not work for me at all I really hope she ll make the shortlist.Told in alternating viewpoints and skipping forward in time, this book chronicles Connell s and Marianne s friendship relationship I am such a fan of Sally Rooney s writing and I cannot imagine this changing, ever The way she constructs her characters is something extraordinary and I am so very glad this book is on the longlist for the Women s Prize for Fiction I needed a brilliant book after some of other nominated books just did not work for me at all I really hope she ll make the shortlist.Told in alternating viewpoints and skipping forward in time, this book chronicles Connell s and Marianne s friendship relationship from their final year in school until shortly after their undergraduate degree It is both fast paced and intimate in a way that nearly perfectly catered to my reading preferences For me the intimacy of her story worked exceedingly well she narrows her gaze into those two characters in a way that made them near unbearably real for me Rooney s prose is readable and without frills but still expertly done to keep me engaged but for me, Rooney s biggest strength are her characters they are fully realized and flawed people who I cannot help but root for Even so than in her debut novel, she expertly broke my heart I felt for these two people who keep on missing each other, who just for the life of them cannot communicate effectively, and who still cannot be without each other.While I think that Conversations With Friends is the stronger of her two novels, both of them are ridiculously well done and I am glad Rooney gets all the praise she deserves She is such an exciting voice and I just cannot wait to see what she does next.You can find this review and other thoughts on books on my blog flag 103 likesLike see review View all 6 comments May 28, 2019 Michelle rated it really liked it review of another edition I m late to the Normal People party but DAMNNNN This book gave me all the feels The good, the bad, and the ugly This is the story of Connell and Marianne, and their relationship, as they navigate from high school and throughout college The entire time I read this I was screaming in my head for these two just to be together and to stop screwing everything upr me Yes, you read that right, I felt like I had some personal stake in this relationship and that can only be attributed to Sally I m late to the Normal People party but DAMNNNN This book gave me all the feels The good, the bad, and the ugly This is the story of Connell and Marianne, and their relationship, as they navigate from high school and throughout college The entire time I read this I was screaming in my head for these two just to be together and to stop screwing everything upr me Yes, you read that right, I felt like I had some personal stake in this relationship and that can only be attributed to Sally Rooney s writing She made me become invested in these characters They are both damaged people and yet I adored each of them immensely even when they were infuriating me I alternated between wanting to hug them and smack them with each turn of the page He s amused at himself, getting wrapped up in the drama of novels like that It feels intellectually unserious to concern himself with fictional people marrying one another But there it is literature moves him One of his professors calls it the pleasure of being touched by great art And Sally Rooney touched my heart This isn t a romance novel This is a book about a relationship that is so real and authentic that I sometimes forgot that these weren t actual friends of mine To say it struck a chord with me would be an understatement 4 stars flag 99 likesLike see review View all 42 comments Aug 07, 2019 Christine rated it really liked it My true rating is somewhere between 2 and 5 stars.Geez, this one made me sad I don t think it s supposed to make readers sad, but with me it is what it is If these young people are normal, then God bless everybody I mean the writing isn t even normal This is a very talky book, but there is not a quotation mark to be found It shocked me at first, but I got used to it pretty quickly But this isn t normal writing Does that mean the author isn t quite sure about what normal means I d l My true rating is somewhere between 2 and 5 stars.Geez, this one made me sad I don t think it s supposed to make readers sad, but with me it is what it is If these young people are normal, then God bless everybody I mean the writing isn t even normal This is a very talky book, but there is not a quotation mark to be found It shocked me at first, but I got used to it pretty quickly But this isn t normal writing Does that mean the author isn t quite sure about what normal means I d like to know.Connell and Marianne We follow them from high school through to several years later as they dance around their relationship They are seemingly on again and off again, but can never totally escape each other I alternately loved them and was disgusted by them I admired Marianne so much for the way she handles a lot of situations, but then off she goes, totally disrespecting herself, which really frustrated me And Connell What a sweet guy, until he reveals of what a jerk he can be So focused on other people s opinions What a sad state of affairs and a quintessential example of being one s own worst enemy And thinking about it, that goes for Marianne too But they can t help what they think, so it s hard to not like them anyway I think I finished this two days ago I usually write my reviews right away, but I didn t with this one because I couldn t figure out how I felt about it I still don t, but the review must go on I didn t always look forward to picking it up as I knew I would probably run into sad commentary that would just make me want to shake these two But then I have to admit I had to keep fervently flipping the pages to see what would happen I had no idea how the author could tie this up at the end Then she did Sort of My reaction Okaaaaaay So did I like it Maybe Will I remember it for a long time Oh Yes And for that it gets stars than this review would suggest And the flipping of the pages that s a reason for stars too And I read it in a very speedy for me three days that definitely says something.Do I recommend it It depends Would I ever read it again Hmmmm.So there you go Read it or not If you do, I will be eagerly awaiting your reaction If you don t, oh well but you might have missed a good one Perhaps flag 99 likesLike see review View all 40 comments Jun 16, 2019 PorshaJo rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves challengereads 2019, challengereads, audio To be honest, I wasn t that interested in this one initially I added it due to all the wonderful GR reviews I read And I m so glad I did I found it difficult to put it aside, I wanted to keep hearing.Normal People tells the story of two people, Connell and Marianne, who are anything but normal Well, maybe they are and this is what many people go through Each of them has problems They meet when quite young, in high school Connell s mom is the housekeeper for Marianne s family house O To be honest, I wasn t that interested in this one initially I added it due to all the wonderful GR reviews I read And I m so glad I did I found it difficult to put it aside, I wanted to keep hearing.Normal People tells the story of two people, Connell and Marianne, who are anything but normal Well, maybe they are and this is what many people go through Each of them has problems They meet when quite young, in high school Connell s mom is the housekeeper for Marianne s family house One comes from money, one doesn t One is popular, one is not But they are drawn to one another For years they continuously circle one another They end up going to the same college, where roles are reversed The other is now popular, and the one who was before, now is not No matter what they go through, they always come back to one another They truly love one another, but many personal issues they have, keep tearing them apart I dunno, maybe this is all normal.I love in depth character studies and you get that with this one You see the ups and downs of each of the characters, you see the issues they have, how neither one feels they are worthy They love each other so much but their biggest problem is communication Sheesh, I don t know how many times I wanted them to say what they were really feeling I listened to the audio and really enjoyed it I found myself looking for chores around the house so I could keep listening to this one I had to know how they would turn out I had to knock it a bit for the ending I get it, but doesn t mean I have to like it Overall, I must thank all those who wrote glowing reviews of this one on GR s, pushing me to pick it up A true gem of a slow moving story with great depth flag 95 likesLike see review View all 16 comments Jul 24, 2018 Hugh rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves booker longlist, read 2018, modern lit Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018This will probably be the last book I read from this year s longlist unless Snap or Sabrina are shortlisted I have been hearing great things about Sally Rooney since her name got a number of glowing recommendations in last year s end of year reviews, but I only got round to reading her first novel Conversations with Friends last week I was impressed by that, so my expectations for this one were very high.I found the first couple of chapters a little fl Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018This will probably be the last book I read from this year s longlist unless Snap or Sabrina are shortlisted I have been hearing great things about Sally Rooney since her name got a number of glowing recommendations in last year s end of year reviews, but I only got round to reading her first novel Conversations with Friends last week I was impressed by that, so my expectations for this one were very high.I found the first couple of chapters a little flat, but once the characters were established, the rest of the book became a compelling read, and I couldn t resist finishing the whole book in a single day Like Conversations With Friends, this one is at heart a love story, but it is far from being a sentimental romance.At the start of the book in 2011 a time of economic depression after the Celtic Tiger boom , Marianne is a loner, an outcast in her final year at school from a rich view spoiler and as becomes clear later abusive hide spoiler family in a small town in Mayo Connell is the son of their cleaner a young single mother , and a popular star of the school football team Both are very intelligent, and they develop a clandestine relationship Marianne persuades Connell to follow her to Trinity College in Dublin, where most of the rest of the book is set over a four year period In Dublin their roles are reversed Marianne finds friends quickly but Connell finds it difficult due to class snobbery.Their relationship is a complex one, and the book explores their inner worlds intensely, and like Conversations with Friends this takes them to some pretty dark places Marianne has a masochistic streak and is attracted to sadistic bullies, while Connell escapes his depression to find some redemption as a writer which allows Rooney to make some playfully acerbic comments about the literary world As in Conversations with Friends the second half of the book is darker and deeper than the first, view spoiler and the ending has an element of ambiguity hide spoiler.The writing is sharp and witty throughout, and Rooney s ability to inhabit her characters is very impressive This book is definitely worthy of shortlisting, and could yet be a potential Booker winner flag 93 likesLike see review View all 16 comments Jan 09, 2019 Lucy Langford rated it liked it review of another edition 3.5 You learn nothing profound about yourself simply by being bullied but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget.This was a hard book to review as it is so outside my usual type of book This book follows Marianne intellectual, cold and a wallflower and Connell likable, lives in poverty and anxious how people see him Both have secret family lives outside what their classmates can see one in a household of love and one from coldness These two unlikely people be 3.5 You learn nothing profound about yourself simply by being bullied but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget.This was a hard book to review as it is so outside my usual type of book This book follows Marianne intellectual, cold and a wallflower and Connell likable, lives in poverty and anxious how people see him Both have secret family lives outside what their classmates can see one in a household of love and one from coldness These two unlikely people become friends and then lovers, navigating their lives in their small rural Irish town to their experiences at college in Dublin The book journey s their lives from school to university and how these two mismatched young people are inescapable from one another s lives, always drawn to each other.Normal people shows how one person can impact the decisions and actions of anothers life While I would say the book is simplistic, focusing on the relationship between these two characters, Sally Rooney s narrative of the two character s shows deep vulnerabilities, complexities and unsureness in their thoughts, behaviours and lives This book documented class issues, mental health issues, relationship issues and explored how two characters are trying to find themselves in today s world This was all done with reference to today s technology as well and really mirrored a lot of young people s experiences There was also the frankness of describing sex in the book which was attuned to the character s behaviours and being normal people Overall this was an easy read and something different from what I usually pick up flag 93 likesLike see review View all 17 comments previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Our Marginalized Acting normal 7 19 Aug 07, 2019 07 02AM Baileys Orange W July 2019 Normal People 13 37 Jul 29, 2019 01 12PM Verbeelding Bookclub Juliboek Normal People 10 41 Jul 15, 2019 04 29AM Our Marginalized Normal People favorite quotes 1 13 Jul 05, 2019 06 45AM Our Marginalized Normal People Introduction 4 16 Jul 05, 2019 06 40AM More topics Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers also enjoyed

    Normal People A Novel Sally Rooney https Normal People Novel Sally Rooney dp Normal People is a nuanced and flinty love story about two young people who get each other, despite class differences and the interference of their own vigorous personal demons But honestly, Sally Rooney could write a novel about bath mats and I d still read it. Normal People by Sally Rooney https book show Aug , Normal People is about Marianne and Connell, their secret friendship, and their on and off again relationship They are two young people drawn to each other who drift apart at times, but always end up coming back to each other thro Book Review Normal People, By Sally Rooney NPRhttps npr Apr , Normal People is a compulsive, psychologically astute will they or won t they love story involving two of the most sympathetic people you re liable to meet between covers Although hailed as a Normal People by Sally Rooney review a future classic https theguardian books sep normal people sally Sep , Normal People, by contrast, is a waltz, or possibly a tango, with two protagonists only Marianne, a skinny, anxious, clever girl, like Frances but with even less self esteem and masochistic Normal People A Novel Kindle edition by Sally Rooney https Normal People Novel Sally Rooney ebook dp B In Normal People, she has once again crafted a complicated love story that s impossible to put down It s also full of wise observations about class, gender roles and how the past shapes the present It s also full of wise observations about class, gender roles and how the past shapes the present.

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      Published :2019-07-24T05:35:20+00:00