Faking Normal is a gripping and emotionally stirring read about victims wrongfully blaming themselves. Alexi Littrell didn’t tell anyone what happened to her over the summer. Instead, ashamed and embarrassed she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck in an attempt to have the physical pain hurt more than the emotional scars. Brodee, the quiet boy whose mother just committed suicide, also has a secret he hides. In a novel where grief and trauma dominate, Alexi and Bodee’s slow growth of trust in each other, and the subsequent slow reveal of the traumas they’ve faced, is not only powerful but will keep readers engaged. While the subject matter is very serious, at it’s core this is an uplifting and inspiring story about what being a friend really means. The story will stay with readers for a longtime.