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Review: Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal by Anna Whateley

June 16, 2020

About the Book:

Peta Lyre is far from typical. The world she lives in isn’t designed for the way her mind works, but when she follows her therapist’s rules for ‘normal’ behaviour, she can almost fit in without attracting attention.

When a new girl, Sam, starts at school, Peta’s carefully structured routines start to crack. But on the school ski trip, with romance blooming and a newfound confidence, she starts to wonder if maybe she can have a normal life after all.

When things fall apart, Peta must decide whether all the old rules still matter. Does she want a life less ordinary, or should she keep her rating normal?

A moving and joyful own voices debut.

My Thoughts:

Oh, how I love Peta. She has a lot of alphabet letters. ASD, ADHD, SPD. And she follows a lot of rules, having been told all her life that to “fit in” is to display “normal” characteristics. She works hard not to break the rules and rates her own days as to how “normal” she is behaving and feeling. It is beautifully written, clear and honest and absolutely heartbreakingly good.

Peta has a glorious friend in Jeb who accepts her and loves her and is there for her and Peta accepts and loves and is there for him too. I adore their friendship and in how they support each other. But this book is also a love story. Sam is Peta’s new friend and love interest. And in matters of the heart, miscommunication, expectations and assumptions can derail everything so fast. This book explores the hurt and pain of true love come undone.

A story of romance and friendship and expectations. It is also a story of mistakes and miscommunication.

This is a book about Peta’s discovery of herself. And of the pain caused by the rules she has been taught to make other people more comfortable.

A story of a neurodivergence and of finding your place in a world that doesn’t like difference. I couldn’t put this book down once I started reading it. It is well written, emotional and glorious. A beautiful book.

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