Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday Review Some Kind of Normal by Heidi Willis

Before I begin this post, let me thank you for supporting my creative get-together venture by following Critters Corner. I'm hoping this turns into something valuable.

Since this is my first Tuesday Review, it may be lengthy. Bear with me. I intend to improve upon the err..wordiness of my posts. :0) I will only commit to one Tuesday Review a month, though I'd love to do two. That depends on my progress in writing and well...the royals allowing me to read.

I'm really excited about my first review because right as this book hit the presses, I was honored to have Heidi Willis grace my blog with an interview, which you can read here. Now that I got my hot little hands on the book and I've read it twice (seriously), I'm excited to tell you all about it. However, I promise not to give out spoilers. Please buy it here! Also available on Amazon!

How far would you go to save the life of someone you love? This is the question the Babcock family struggles with when 12-year-old Ashley is diagnosed diabetes, which quickly turns deadly.

Here are the technicalities.... Written in first person, present tense. Amazing. I don't read a lot of books in present tense. Honestly, I don't read a lot of books in first person. What I loved about Heidi's style is that I didn't even notice until the second chapter. Then I went back to make sure. Yup, it's in present tense. It's unfolding before my eyes. It gripped me. Drew me in. Again...Amazing.

The MC in this book, Babs Babcock, has this incredibly authentic southern voice. While she fears that she is not educated enough to handle the life she already leads, let alone a new complication..she is smart in life. I guess you could call it wisdom. Though we see her struggle through some of the same issues that any American family with two teenagers go through, I see her continually search for answers. We see her stand up for her children. We see her fall because of the stress of her children. Get a box of tissues. Babs is going to steal your heart. I hate when he uses words like obtuse. He knows I don't know them. I've taken to sneaking his SAT vocabulary book when he's at school just to keep from appearing stupid.

I cringed while Babs tried to talk with her twelve year old, Ashley, at the beginning of the book. Oh boy, I have two of those girls! :0) However, with each scene, Ashley and her smile, her strength and her innocence wraps around your heart and you feel like she's your own. If not your own, you definitely adopt her into your family somewhere. Ashley has this hilarious brother. In his silence, we get to know him. I love how well Heidi captured his character. He has a mohawk with various colored tips at the end of his hair. He scowls, he saunters. He takes care of the whole family without anyone realizing it. He sneaks up on your heart.

The Plot, the good stuff. Wow. The trials this family goes through has you rooting them on, standing up and screaming at ignorant church ladies and pointing your fingers at nurses that make fun of Babs' name. I actually called the nurse that did this a bad name. Yes, the story is good.

What I loved overall? This book made me think, empathize and entertained me all at the same time. I love her use of words. There wasn't a single scene this book could do without. Every word counted and that's something rare. I didn't skim a single paragraph. Let me tell you something, I do a lot of skimming. Even with some of my favorite authors. She's swallowed by the bed: a hummingbird in a squirrel's nest.

If you have a New Year's resolution goal idea of reading more. This one is a must. I can't wait for her to publish again.

Sentences in italics are direct quotes from the book, Some Kind of Normal by Heidi Willis. These are not my original writings.


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  2. This sounds like a great read. I've been wondering about Heidi's book. Thanks for a very intriguing review.

    ~ Yaya
    Yaya's Changing World

  3. Yaya,
    My only complaint is that it didn't last longer, and for books, that's a good thing, isn't it? I wanted to spend more time with Babs and her family. :0)

  4. I'll have to put this one on my TBR pile. Oh man, that thing is growing. It's a mountain, not to mention the books that I am reading right now. Three.

    I am rereading some classics. Big Red right now. Next up, Where The Red Fern Grows and then Uncle Tom's Cabin which Tricia(PJ Hoover) reminded me of.

    Hmmm, a writers life is busy isn't it? Though in a good way. *wink* Hey Kristi! Get to writing. :0)

  5. Hi Kristi,

    This is definitely one I want to read; however, I made a pact with myself to see how long I could go into 2010 without spending money on anything but necessities....I've only made it to day #5 and you've tempted me!!!!!!!

  6. It's already on my list. Thanks for the review because I just moved it to the top.

  7. I'm adding this one to my ever-increasing list! Thanks.

  8. Kristi - what a wonderful review!! I nearly got tears in my eyes! :)

    I'm so glad this captured your heart. Thank you so much for all your kind words and support over the last two months! It's been great getting to know you!

  9. You indeed captured the essence of Heidi's book and her characters. I thoroughly enjoyed editing this book!

    Nadene Carter

  10. Nadene: I'm so honored that you stopped by to read the review! Thank you. Your collaboration with Heidi obviously works quite well.

    Heidi: You deserve it!! I'm so glad to know you. I feel famous by several hundred degrees of seperation, but famous nonetheless. *wink*
    To all the rest that I have tempted...mwahahaha!! *evil laugh* Trust me, it's worth the cave-in!


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