[529]: Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone

Sourcebooks Fire | Net Galley
May 5th, 2015
New Adult Romance
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

I have  read a few of Ms. Stone’s books. There was even a time when I went on a bender and read a couple of her series back to back to back. For the most part, she writes some pretty fantastic romantic tropes; with characters that linger in the back of your mind long after you’re done. Some Kind of Normal, while acceptable enough by this genre’s standards, lacked the addictive quality her other books have, in my opinion. Most importantly, it felt like she held herself back that it deterred me from fully enjoying this book. While that may be understandable considering the genre she was writing from, I found it difficult to separate what I’ve come to know from her adult books to her latest attempt at New Adult.

It wasn’t all that bad, mind you. I do like that Everly didn’t suffer some form of physical/psychological trauma in the past – which is a glaring characteristic of a character in NA books. I can’t say the same for Trevor though. But the truth of the matter is, New Adult books are formulaic. You can pretty much expect the things that happened to happen. And while most NA go full bore on the intimate scenes, I can tell that she held herself in check. This one doesn’t even have any. So perhaps, I’m jumping the gun by labelling this one a New Adult book.

They do have their own issues though. Trevor suffered a brain trauma from an accident that hinders him from playing the guitar like he used to. Which is a big deal for him because Music is his life. Without it, his dream of following his best friend to New York to play is pretty much out of the question. Everly, on the other hand, is evidently dealing with some family problems. Her father is hiding a secret that she accidentally stumbled upon. So she knows her parents’ marriage is on the rocks. On top of that, she got saddled with tutoring a jock for the summer.

Trevor is a pretty charming fellow; while Everly has the reputation as the ice queen in school. It’s both a curse and a blessing being the pastor’s daughter. It doesn’t take long for their relationship to develop. It’s not that big of a deal, though. I encountered some characterization problems, but not too terribly. In the end, I feel like if you read one NA book, you’ve read them all.

This book is about a couple of people who had to learn to accept what their own “normal” should be. While it may seem like an uphill climb, it’s not entirely impossible. Juliana Stone perfectly captured the essence of what it’s like for a person to accept their lot in life no matter how hard it may seem at first. Sometimes, it takes another person dealing with some hard realities of their own to guide you along the way.

  • Christy

    This is one of the books I set aside recently. Not because it’s bad or anything, but after the first couple chapters I just wasn’t into it. I’ll have to read it later when I’m more in the mood.

    • That’s exactly how I felt. It wasn’t like it’s a bad book, I just didn’t feel it either.

  • I have heard mainly mixed reviews about this one – I haven’t read too many NA novels lately, but this one sounds cute enough! Great review.

    • Thanks, Benish. I hope you’ll have a slightly better experience. 🙂

  • As far as new adult goes, this one sounds like it has an actual storyline, rather just sex and a bit of a story as an afterthought. I couldn’t agree more though Joy, it’s basically read one new adult and read them all now. It’s slightly older YA, but sexually based. Erotica for post teen. But I love the storyline and would rather have a crack at her adult titles instead, seeing you rate them so highly. Wonderful review Joy, I hope her attempt and NA hasn’t turned you off her future adult titles at all <3

    • Nope. Not even one bit. I’m going to keep reading them until I figure out what the big deal is. I’m stubborn like that. Lol.

  • Gorgeous review Joy. <3 I'm glad you liked this book a bit 🙂 It isn't a book for me at all. Sigh. But I do wish I could read books like this one 🙂 but plot not my thing, lol. But looks good 😀 Thank you for sharing about it sweetie. <3

  • Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    I’ll be honest – I’m not really into reading NA contemporaries so I think I’ll probably pass on this one! Thanks for the honest review.

  • Sorry it wasn’t more, we always want the originality of the genre but it’s complicated. I need to try a book by this author.

    • Yes! I recommend The Barker Triplets series. 🙂

  • NA doe seem very alike, all the time

  • Too bad about formulaic aspect, but I do like the brain trauma aspect

  • I almost bought this one. I’m still gonna check it out but hopefully I’ll like it more. I actually thought this was a YA title. Anywho, great review!

    • Yeah. I think I’d like to read the first book to this series. maybe I’ll enjoy it better.

  • *dances over to Goodreads* I’m loving the sound of this book and can’t wait to read it(tank you. Tank you) and you’re right! NA always, always has the same tropes, cliches and all that so it’s a nice refreshment every once and a while to get something different. 🙂

    • Oh I think you’ll like this! I’m a fan of couples oozing with sparks, and these two have them in spades!

  • Glad it wasn’t all bad but still sorry this wasn’t a better read for you. For some reason, I just love that cover and would have picked it up because of it.

    • I think you’ll enjoy this one, Ali. The romance is good!

  • That’s true that NA is typically a formulaic genre. Every book is pretty similar to each other. I only read them if I know for certain I’ll find strong characterization and romances. I’m glad you liked this, but I do wonder if the issues you had with the characters will also bother me.
    I’ll have to check out the author’s other books, however.
    Wonderful review!

    • Oh I do adore her adult romance novels, though. I think you’ll enjoy them, too!

  • Agree- most of the NA books follow the same, over-used formula and it’s really hard to find a good NA book nowadays. Despite that this doesn’t sound like a bad read, so I might try it at some point. 🙂

    • It’s not, really. I hope you’ll enjoy it, hun!

  • Good review. I had thought about requesting this ARC, but decided against it. It sounds like just an okay sort of book, nothing really great. I am kind of glad I didn’t request it. I have too many ARC’s as it is. 🙂

  • I haven’t really read NA and I haven’t heard very good things about the genre, but I might actually pick this up as it looks like a cute book. Great review! 🙂

    • I indulge in them once in a while. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can read them back to back to back. They’re typically heartbreaking!

  • New adult romances are not really my genre or age group or anything at all, really, so it needs to be something spectacular for me to pick it up. I think it’s safe to say I’ll be skipping this one. I’m glad it wasn’t all bad though.

    • It’s not mine either. But having a history with this author made me decide to give it a go.