Title: The Other Normals
Author: Ned Vizzini
Publication date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre(s): Young Adult (Fantasy)
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.