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September 22, 2012

The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini - Juhina

The Other Normals
Title: The Other Normals
Author: Ned Vizzini
Publication date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre(s): Young Adult (Fantasy)
Challenges: SARC
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 400
Given the chance, fifteen-year-old Peregrine “Perry” Eckert would dedicate every waking moment to Creatures & Caverns, an epic role-playing game rich with magical creatures, spell casting, and deadly weapons. The world of C&C is where he feels most comfortable in his own skin, so when his parents ship him off to summer camp Perry is sure he’s in for the worst summer of his life.

Everything changes, however, when Perry gets to camp and stumbles into the World of the Other Normals. Perry’s new otherworldly friends need his help to save their princess and prevent mass violence. As they embark on their quest together, Perry realizes that his nerdy childhood has uniquely prepared him to be a great warrior in this world, and maybe even a hero.
The Other Normals was just 400 pages of laugh out loud hilarious dialogue, characters, and plot. I enjoyed everything in The Other Normals. Ned Vizzini knows how to write humorous dialogue and has a way of portraying a fifteen year old boy's insecurities and issues without sounding whiny, cliched or boring. The whole setting of this novel had me cracking up. Peregrine, who hates being called that and prefers Perry, is the son of two divorced parents. His brother is a cliched bad boy but his parents are each dating their own divorce lawyer (weird huh?), Ned took it to the next level and showed us that through this divorce Perry got a set of new parents. Everything in his family is facilitated through the lawyers. Be it setting up time for lunch or sending in a birthday gift. I found that unbelievably funny especially when I read people's reactions later on. Also, the camp he is sent in had a sign saying no lawyers allowed, so what did the two lawyers do? they got out of the car in the middle of no where, and bid them farewell. I mean what? These scenes are so ridiculous yet so funny so you don't really think too much on how that made no sense. 
Perry loves role playing games, his game of choice is Caverns & Creatures. However one day in camp he sees a creature just like the one in his story. This is when the fantasy is infused in the novel. Perry ends up going to the other world that can not be pronounced using the human language. A whole conversation is dedicated on choosing a name for that world and it was decided to call it "The Other Normals World". Now Perry is a late bloomer, or at least that is what his mom says which is backed up by his hairless situation that he mentioned once or twice to the readers. So once he is in The Other Normals World and ends up participating in a fight or two and actually using weapons to fight, he does not want to go back to the human world where everyone thinks of him as a white boy, not man or guy, but a boy. I really enjoyed the secondary characters, such as Mortin and Ada, who are Other Normals. The story was fast paced when we get to the action and we meet so many different creatures and species and I just had a blast imagining them all. One species had the bodies of supermodels but frog heads, others had human heads but octopus bodies. 
One thing I really liked about this novel is the format of its chapters. I know many people hate long chapters and I am one of them. Some chapters were one page long! I found myself reading more and more this way, every time I end I chapter I see the next chapter is only two pages long so I tell myself to just read the next chapter. This cycle would stay like that and I end up reading 50 more pages that what I was planning to! Also whenever Perry and his gang moved from one city in The Other Normal World and also to our Earth, a two page header with the name of the city/world they are in is added. I really liked that because it felt like the book was divided in sections. Also we get to see a map that Ada has with her where I referred to it multiple times to see where they are exactly. All in all The Other Normals isn't just a novel, it is an adventure. Perry was a great companion on this adventure and I really enjoyed Ned Vizzini's writing. I honestly hope he writes more humorous young adult novels because I could not stop laughing while reading The Other Normals. I would definitely suggest it to all YA readers because this novel isn't like any YA novel I've read before. 


  1. I'm reading this one right now, trying to get to the end. It feels very long on my Kindle. But I do love the story! Perry and Mortin are so funny! Poor Perry! I was dying laughing at the dance! Ned Vizzini seems to be able to capture a boy's awkardness at any age. He's incredible!

    Awesome review! I probably shouldn't have read it before I wrote mine, but I haven't finished the book, so I'll forget what you wrote. Love this book!


  2. Gosh, this one sounds just too good to miss! I love that it's funny and hilarious as I've been reading so many more serious reads lately and I definitely need something nice and relaxing. I wasn't too keen on picking this up before, but you've made me change my mind, Juhina! Yet another fantastic review! :D

    Ivy Book Bindings

  3. I love books with a bit of humour in them. It's always nice when a book can make you laugh out loud! This is the first review for this book that I have read so I'm really looking forward to it now. :)

  4. I can't wait to read this book. I knew I'd love it after just reafing the blurb and after your review I am sure. Also I love books with tiny chapters, they read so much faster than books with huge chapters. You just say one more, one more and then you end up reading for a whole hour.

  5. This book sounds really interesting. I've been wanting to read this one for a while now :) Great review and I love a book that will make you laugh!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  6. Who doesn't enjoy funny, intelligent reads from time to time? Glad you enjoyed this, Juhina. I'll be looking out for this book, for sure.

  7. I love funny! I have this one sitting on my shelf, but wasn't sure if I was going to get to any times soon. I'll have to bump it up! Thanks for the great review!

  8. I've no idea that this one is humorous until reading your review. It's wonderful to learn that you couldn't stop laughing while reading it. Great review :)

  9. This book sounds really good. I ♥ funny books, so I definitely need to read this one! Great Review! :)

  10. Great review and this sounds brilliant! I will be adding it to my TBR.
    Alex @ Possession of Books

  11. This one is new to me..but I really like the sound of it. And humour is something I always enjoy in a great book. I am looking forward to this one after your review. Thanks for introducing a new book to me! Great Review! :D

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair 

  12. I LOVE books that pull you in with their chapters! Think that's the biggest sign of book enjoyment!

    Definitely picking this book up- great review!