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The Spinster Club #1

Am I Normal Yet?

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All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?

434 pages, Paperback

First published August 1, 2015

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About the author

Holly Bourne

24 books5,543 followers
Holly started her writing career as a news journalist, where she was nominated for Best Print Journalist of the Year. She then spent six years working as an editor, a relationship advisor, and general ‘agony aunt’ for a youth charity – helping young people with their relationships and mental health.

Inspired by what she saw, she started writing teen fiction, including the best-selling, award-winning ‘Spinster Club’ series which helps educate teenagers about feminism. When she turned thirty, Holly wrote her first adult novel, 'How Do You Like Me Now?', examining the intensified pressures on women once they hit that landmark.

Alongside her writing, Holly has a keen interest in women’s rights and is an advocate for reducing the stigma of mental health problems. She’s helped create online apps that teach young people about sexual consent, works with Women’s Aid to spread awareness of abusive relationships, and runs Rethink’s mental health book club.

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5 stars
7,450 (40%)
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3 stars
2,847 (15%)
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177 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,443 reviews
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,271 reviews2,445 followers
October 28, 2022

Holly Bourne tells us the story of Evie, who just wants to be normal. She is slowly getting back on track after treatment for her OCD and anxiety.

In my opinion, the golden rule that every author should follow while writing is to never ever make the main characters mock a clinical condition of other characters. Some readers can tolerate that to a certain extent if it is done by the villain (As a human being, I won't tolerate that too). Sadly, the author failed terribly in this part by making fun of epilepsy through one of her main characters. I was filled with anger when I read that part. This was on 21 st page. I still read more than 400 more pages without discarding this book, hoping to find something to love this book and the author. The author's views about feminism and addiction are also a little difficult to digest. I don't know how the author will write about characters struggling with anxiety and OCD when she is making fun of other diseases . I had simultaneously purchased five books by this author just based on the reviews by a few of my friends before I started reading one. This was one of the first books written by the author. I haven't lost hope in Holly Bourne, though, as I could see a brilliant author in some areas despite her making a terrible mistake in this novel. Still, I have to say that this first book in the spinster club series was not a pleasant experience for me.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,050 followers
February 6, 2017

“Everyone’s on the cliff edge of normal. Everyone finds life an utter nightmare sometimes, and there’s no “normal” way of dealing with it. There’s only what’s normal to you.”

I may be overreacting but Am I Normal Yet may be one of the best YA contemporaries I’ve read to date. It’s extremely hilarious (been laughing since page one), but also heart-rending, truly very eye opening as it involves feminism in its rawest, most genuine sense and a closer, more sensitive look at mental illnesses (like OCD).

Just a glimpse on its refreshing and on the spot approach on mental illnesses:

“Mental illnesses have gone too far the other way. Because now mental health disorders have gone “mainstream”. And for all the good it’s brought people like me who have been given therapy and stuff, there’s a lot of bad it’s brought too. Because now people use the phrase OCD to describe minor personality quirks .

“Oooh, I like my pens in a line, I’m so OCD.

Oh my God, I was so nervous about that presentation. I literally had a panic attack.

I’m so hormonal today. I just feel totally bipolar.

It’s utterly relatable with the wonderful story of true friendship and most importantly, it is adorably British! What’s not to love? Lol! It’s like finding the perfect best friend in a book! I totally recommend it. (obviously). Also, it turns out, Holly Bourne wrote these books as a trilogy on feminism called “The Spinster Club” series with the three best friends as heroines and with each girl having her own story. How extremely cool is that? I hope to find the next book really soon.

Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,110 reviews6,574 followers
July 3, 2019
1.) Am I Normal Yet ★★★★★
2.) How Hard Can Love Be? ★★★★★
3.) What's A Girl Gotta Do? ★★★★★
*.) ...And A Happy New Year? ★★★★.5


How do I even begin to talk about a book that means the absolute world to me?
I think I'm going to have to do a whole video on this book and my relationship to it because this book is just so, so important to me. <3
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
March 19, 2019
This was so much fun. I really love it when an author can wrap a really important subject up in lots of humour without it coming across as insensitive. Am I Normal Yet?'s protagonist, Evie, struggles daily with her OCD and anxiety, but she just wants to have a "normal" life, make good girlfriends, and date cute boys. Is that really too much to ask for?

It had me laughing right from the start. I don't know that anyone can replace Louise Rennison, but those looking for similar teen girl shenanigans should enjoy this. Longer review to come.

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Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,393 followers
April 29, 2017
DNF @ 5%

I made a promise earlier this year that if a book made an epilepsy joke I would immediately DNF it. Epilepsy jokes aren't funny. Do you know what it's like to wonder if your mum will wake up with brain damage? If she will even remember you? If she will even wake up? My single mother was diagnosed with grand mal seizures almost five years ago. I was 14 at the time. I was a baby. I had to call an ambulance and talk to a paramedic while helping my mum. This wasn't her first seizure (that had been when I was 10), but it was the one that started the beginning of her epilepsy.

This book mocked epilepsy.

“How do you get it?”
Ethan put his phone back in his pocket. “It’s usually a side effect of an operation to cure epilepsy.”
I let out a big, real, sigh of relief. “Oh, good. I’m past the age where you develop epilepsy.”
Ethan burst out laughing again, just as our teacher arrived and shushed him."

You may be past the age where one can develop juvenile epilepsy, but one is never able to not develop epilepsy. A domestic violence situation is what triggered my mums and many football players have developed it after hitting their head on the field. I will not be continuing this book for the sheer naivety of this. It wasn't necessary. It's not funny. Having your mum not remember who you are isn't funny.

On top of this, this book is prized for its mental health rep. However, in this first part of the book the main character and a boy named Ethan, not sure if he's the love interest, have mocked "out there" illnesses twice. I'm barely into this book and it's attacking people with mental health issues that aren't common.

I may read book two, but I can not be someone who supports a mocking of epilepsy after what I have been through. I'm honestly sitting here crying over what I have read, I am so enraged at the disrespect. I feel I would have enjoyed this book too if it had not been for this horrid comment and the hypocrisy on what makes a valid mental illness.

You can't be a book on mental health and mock other illnesses.
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
905 reviews1,818 followers
June 22, 2022
After reading "Yearbook" earlier this year, I didn't hesitate for a second before picking this book. I knew if this was anything like "Yearbook", then Holly would talk about some serious issue here too but in a manner which doesn't make the setting too depressing yet at the same time deliver a powerful message. And "Am I Normal Yet" is no different. It talk about OCD, social anxiety, and mental health which made me think about people who are silently going through these struggles everyday and putting a brave face just so they can be accepted as normal.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,209 reviews19.7k followers
February 10, 2017
Reread. As epic and as wonderful as the first read.

Original review:
I want to hug this book!

It. Was. So. Good. I cried, dammit. And I never cry when it comes to books!

So, it deals with a 16 year old girl who suffers from severe OCD. And going into this, I was slightly ignorant on the topic being an actual serious mental health disorder and more aware of the stereotypical definition of OCD and how it's used playfully in everyday language.

I loved the insight Holly Bourne gave into the mind of someone who has OCD, exploring all the ways it can affect someone's life. At times, it made it uncomfortable to read certain passages, because of how hard hitting and raw it was. But I loved that! It was educational, refreshing and honest.

The characters all felt very real! The family dynamics, the side characters were all well developed and I loved the main protagonist. She went through such amazing growth!

Holly Bourne did an excellent job of creating a character who is dealing with OCD, whilst desperately trying to live a normal, teenage life. Of inspiring empathy into the reader, celebrating differences and just accepting people as they are. Flaws and all.

There was no cliched 'happy ending' or love making it all better in the end. It was about her accepting and finding herself first. There were strong elements of feminism and its theories in this book and I love how Holly Bourne infused that in.

It's such an important book for young girls to read, though everyone can take something away from it, and I'm so glad that there's going to be more books! I need it!
Profile Image for mimi (taylor’s version).
339 reviews278 followers
July 17, 2022
I get what Holly Bourne tried to do here and I appreciate it, but I think that ship is sailed for me.
If I was 15 or 16, reading this for the first time would have blown my mind. But now I'm in my early 20s, I've lived too many situations, I've seen too many things happening and I've read too many books and essays to let this story impact my person.
That doesn't mean I can't see the wonderful message or the beautiful aspect of having friends, it just doesn't work for me anymore.

As a book about a mental illness, it's definitely worth to be read.
It’s repetitive but also can give a fresh point of view about what it means to deal with it every day of your life. Especially being a teenager on medications, when all you wanna do is “be normal”.
This topic is also well discussed in the story - what the word “normal” implies and its consequences.

And then there is the oldest topic in the world: friendship.
I've spent most of my life waiting; basically, since I can remember I dreamed about finding a best friend and all that crap. Then I had a time while I tried to convince myself I didn't need anyone to be happy, and now I'm pretty sure I'll die alone.
But, except for this, I’m always happy when characters find their friends-soulmates.

I'm a girl. It's a statement: I’m a girl and a feminist. And I would have loved if someone had explained to me all the things that you end up discovering anyway during life. All things you can find in this story because no, there is nothing like a “bad feminist”, but there is a person who may not know a lot of stuff yet.
You'll get that, eventually. Better soon than later, tho.

So, as you can see, there are only good things to say about this story.
Maybe you’ll even wish you had the chance to read this book sooner.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,406 reviews11.7k followers
October 21, 2018
I picked up this book looking for British humor and dating disasters (which it totally had), but ended up loving it for its handling of struggles with OCD and agoraphobia, girl friendships and feminism. It was refreshing to read about girls discussing periods and women’s mental health for a change as feminist issues.
Profile Image for Belle.
529 reviews517 followers
January 25, 2019
2.5 / 5 stars

I wanted to love this book, and although there was so much I did love, there were also parts that had me wanting to pull my hair out.

There were so many passages and sentences that were perfect, particularly some of Evie's inner monologue, of which hit me like a sucker punch to the stomach.

"These words—words like OCD and bipolar—are not words to use lightly. And yet now they're every-where. There are TV programmes that actually pun on them. People smile and use them, proud of themselves for learning them, like they should get a sticker or something. Not realising that if those words are said to you by a medical health professional, as a diagnosis of something you'll probably have for ever, they're words you don't appreciate being misused every single day by someone who likes to keep their house quite clean".


Because unfortunately, some still don't understand why people don't appreciate their illnesses being the butt of jokes. We get labeled "over-sensitive" and "touchy" for wanting our illnesses to be left alone, for them to be used right and with respect. Holly Bourne aimed, and she scored with this message.

Another thing I loved: it was funny. So funny. Dark, self-deprecating humor is my jam, it's my chosen method of dealing with difficult situations and this book did it so well. I was in love with the banter between characters and Evie's monologue. There were so many other direct quotes I could have inserted too, because I truly highlighted enough to fill an entire review, but you get the point.

Unfourtantly, there were also comments and parts that I felt contradicted the whole message of the book.

The message of inclusion and understanding was torn to shreds by the little "feminist group" that the main character Evie and two of her friends created. They created the 'Spinster Club', which consisted of them preaching about topics (where they came across as naive and bitchy), talking about boys and tearing other girls down.

Do we really need more YA books where girls turn against each other? Make catty remarks to other girls while friends stand around and try to contain their giggles. It's so cute to use your 'superior' intellect to make another girl the butt of your 'feminist' joke.

The whole "feminist plotline" (see: sarcastic quotations, please) that was attempted, failed. It was a BIG FAT MESS. It was done so poorly, I was struggling with a continuous cringe the entire time.

Now we arrive at the teenage girl representation.

Because there was no realistic teen girl rep. I was crying. Every single girl was boy obsessed, and the one female character who didn't fall over herself running after boys secretly wished she could, hiding her bitter feelings and self-esteem issues under passive-aggressive comments aimed mainly at Jane (e.g. the shameful teenage girl character, so titled by the Spinster Club).

It was just sad to have to sift through the teenage girl rants about boys to get to the good stuff. It hindered my enjoyment of the characters and overall message, I ended up being completely unimpressed with every one of the characters. I appreciated the main character in parts, but for the majority, she missed the mark. Too many teenage cliches masquerading themselves as 'self-aware' teenage girls.

I would have preferred some good girl positivity—because god forbid the girls noticed that Jane was struggling and stood around her, supporting her instead of mocking her in front of people. But of course not, because Jane's one of those evil girls !!!!! who have feelings and express them in a non-acceptable feminist way !!!!! the shame !!!! so instead they create a group and exclude only her and make her the butt of all jokes !!! :)(:
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
Want to read
October 19, 2018
Am I even living my best life when I haven't read this book yet??
Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.6k followers
January 11, 2019
So I didn't love this book AS much as It Only Happens in the Movies, but honestly???? How could I??? When that was clearly a perfect book??

However, this book was still pretty damn good, for the following reasons:
- excellent mental health rep
- feminist af (although it wasn't always my idea of a perfect feminism)
- central relationship = female friendship

There was altogether too much boy stuff in here for my liking, and while I get the point of its inclusion it was still UNPLEASANT TO READ. Also I just didn't click as much with these characters.

Still, I think it's safe to say...

Drumroll please...


What a time to be alive.

currently-reading updates

shoutout to me for reading one (1) good contemporary from an author I think could be a new favorite and being so surprised by my own optimism that I instantly have to pick another one of her books up
Profile Image for Jessica (Jess Hearts Books).
683 reviews400 followers
July 22, 2015
Every so often a book comes along that feels like it was written especially for you, Am I Normal Yet? was one of those books for me. Holly Bourne tackles the big issues that teenage girls face daily: feminism, mental health, friendship and boy drama and shows how these themes are intertwined and affect one another making life as a teenage girl treacherous to navigate.

The book follows Evie’s story as she tries to live a normal life, something that is fundamentally difficult with OCD rituals controlling her. I developed OCD in my teens and although it manifested itself in a different form to Evie’s I found myself nodding along as I recognized the anxiety and intrusive thoughts that Evie had as being similar to my own. Holly Bourne handles OCD compassionately and realistically as we see how the condition affects Evie’s life.

Along with her OCD, Evie is trying to manage the growing distance between herself and her best friend Jane now that Jane has a new boyfriend, as well as dealing with her own boy problems as she dips her toes back into the pool of dating. At college Evie meets two girls, Amber and Lottie, who quickly become new friends as they bond over heartbreak and feminism.

The way that Holly Bourne worked feminism into her story was really well done. Rather than telling the reader about feminism she showed how feminism was relevant to the numerous situations the characters found themselves in making it accessible and relatable to young girls. I loved how Evie and her friends were just getting started on their journey into feminism and so they were each at different stages and continued to learn as they went along.

For me, Am I Normal Yet? is Holly Bourne’s best book to date. At last a YA book has come along that challenges the mixed messages that modern society sends out to girls and introduces young openly feminist characters who I’m sure will become heroes to teen girls everywhere. Am I Normal Yet? is a must read for anyone who recognises just how tough being a girl really is.
Profile Image for Jiana.
296 reviews824 followers
February 10, 2017
That was really good!

“Because now people use the phrase OCD to describe minor personality quirks. "Oooh, I like my pens in a line, I'm so OCD."
"Oh my God, I was so nervous about that presentation, I literally had a panic attack."
"I'm so hormonal today. I just feel totally bipolar."

When I first picked up this book I thought it was going to be a fluffy and quirky read. Well, it is and it isn't at the same time. It deals with serious and real issues (mental illness and feminism, mainly) while managing to add humor and comedy to it.

The book had the perfect balance of seriousness and fun.

It deals with OCD and generalized anxiety, to begin with. And for someone who has generalized anxiety, I was able to fully relate to Evie, the MC, and I can definitely say that it was portrayed correctly. As for OCD, I won't state an opinion simply because I don't have much knowledge of it besides the generally known concepts of it. However, I do think Holly Bourne managed to explain it properly and shed enough light on it.

In addition to that, this book deals with concepts of feminism which I think were great as well and handled right. Holly Bourne spoke of subjects which people usually shy away from, i.e. menstruation and so forth. Also, the concept of feminism today has sadly taken a turn to the worse with some people and I do think this book clearly explained what feminism is: equality to both sexes.

“Everyone's on the cliff edge of normal. Everyone finds life an utter nightmare sometimes, and there's no 'normal' way of dealing with it... There is no normal, Evelyn.”

The characters were so fun and realistic. Evie's best friends, Amber and Lottie are great characters and I loved the interactions between these three. They have a great friendship. They discuss everything together, from gossip to actual deep things. That is the girl friendship I want to see more of!

I can't wait to pick up the next book!
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,838 followers
November 24, 2018
this book was so much more than i expected.

- i've been hearing so many amazing things about this book from my friends so naturally my expectations were REALLY high and still yet it managed to give me so many emotions and teach me so many things
- it starts with our main character evie, as is suffering from severe OCD
- when the book starts she's well on her way to recovery, although she is facing some slip ups, but she's starting back her life with a clean slate, a new school & new friends that don't know about her mental illness
- what i LOVED about the book was the VERY strong themes of friendship and self-love
- yes the main focus is evie's OCD and her thought process and trying to hide her illness while juggling school and boys and her family
- but there were so many fantastic undertones of feminism and friendship and it was really really beautiful
- one of my favourite things was how the author gave us an insight into evie's mind. she gives things titles like "bad thought" and it'll describe the actual feelings shes going through
- it made you see her reasoning behind her actions and instead of just calling it 'irrational,' the reader gets to see what compulsive force is pushing her to obsess
- it was really enlightening and i thought it portrayed how mental illness can literally take control of your mind and actions so well

- i really liked how the romance aspect was handled, toxic relationships are scary bc often times you don't know how awful it is. and despite the people around you telling you, a person could easily get blindsighted
- "Lottie cocked her head. “It shouldn’t be hard, you know? Love? It shouldn’t be games and unknowing and waiting for calls.”
“I know.”

- ^i thought that was some deep, beautiful ish right there
- i was really worried where it was headed but towards the end, i began to appreciate how the author played it out bc it made it have a much greater impact
- i really liked oli's character, i hope we get to see more of him in book 2 because hes a sweet little boy who needs friendship and acceptance

okay enough blabbing but this is such a great book that tackles so many issues and problems so beautifully and naturally, im so happy i gave this book a try
Profile Image for Maddie.
557 reviews1,150 followers
July 25, 2016
Love. Love. LOVE! Words can't describe how much I enjoyed this book. The friendship, the feminism and the insightful look into what fellow girls go through on a daily basis was excellent. With all the boys, the drama and the mental health issues, Evie had a lot to handle and I felt like I was right there with her. If you haven't yet, go and read it immediately and let the girl power overwhelm you!
Profile Image for clem.
526 reviews377 followers
May 19, 2019
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ proud stars

This book moved me beyond comprehension. I am not fine.

Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.5k followers
November 5, 2016
This was so great. The perfect amount of fun and seriousness and I loved it so much. Can't wait to carry on and see what the future holds for the Spinsters!
Profile Image for Clara (The Bookworm of Notre-Dame).
445 reviews384 followers
July 4, 2018
“Everyone's on the cliff edge of normal. Everyone finds life an utter nightmare sometimes, and there's no 'normal' way of dealing with it... There is no normal, Evelyn.”

I started this book for two reasons, one being that Holly Bourne will be attending YALC 2018 in London, where I am going in a few weeks, and the other being my friend Roxanne who told me to do so. And so I did.

I didn’t know anything about it, expect that this book is well loved in our community and that it talks about mental health. It’s the kind of book you see everywhere and know about without even picking it up. I was glad to start it knowing nothing, as it was a bigger surprise.

I related to our main character, Evie, immediately. I too suffer from OCDs and anxiety, and I learned somehow so much more about the two of it. I have been diagnosed with OCDs only recently so it felt good to read about it: It made me feel less alone and way more understood. And for that I’m very thankful.

Now, even though this book is important and has a great representation when it comes to OCDs and anxiety, it still has some issues and not a lot of people have been talking about it, even though I read tons of reviews before starting writing mine. That’s why I separated this review in two parts: what I loved and what bugged me off.

What I loved

Obviously, I loved Evie. She is far from perfect but I related to her so, so much. I have been through what she’s facing in this book and I know how hard it is to accept that you are relapsing, that you are sick and that you need help, no matter how normal you want to be and try to be. No matter what, Evie was strong, nice and she inspired to keep getting better, but also to keep doing better. Thanks to her and to this book, I am starting to understand that no one is “normal”, that I’m not different in that way and that you should always be nice and care about your friends and family – they care more than you think.

In the end, none of the characters were perfect but they were perfect teenagers and made mistakes everyone does at their age. It felt so good to read about teenagers actually acting like some, and not trying to be all grown up. Holly Bourne is really good when it comes to writing through the eyes of a 16 years old, and I’m really glad for that. I’m also very happy with the anxiety and OCDs representation, which I found to be perfect and I never read a review saying the contrary. Plus, Evie talked a lot about all the stigma around mental health and all I could do was scream "HELL YES" while reading it.

This book is really important as it talks about very important subjects that should be discussed more in the YA literature. It was a very quick and funny read, despite it being serious. It really is a good way to talk about mental health to a younger audience.

What bugged me off

Now, as I said, this book wasn’t perfect. Before starting to point out what I noticed, I would like to say that a reader who has a mom suffering from epilepsy really disliked one of the comments made in this book about it. I can’t talk more about it as I know nothing on this subject, but I still think that it’s important to point it out.

This book is all about feminism and 16 years old cisgender girls realizing that the society isn’t that perfect for them. Most of the time, they were talking about really important subjects and were making some very good points. I already knew most of it but it’s still is necessary to discuss about it all in literature, especially in YA. However, they made some comments that made me cringe a lot. It is important to note that all the characters are white and straight. As they kept talking about feminism, it has been said a lot that only women had their periods and that it’s what makes them women. By saying that, it excludes transgender and non-binary people. Because yes, some men have their periods and they should be recognized as well. Plus, they often make each other feel bad for talking about men, as if dating one was against feminism. I really disliked that. I’m a feminist but I’m also a romantic and I love to talk about men. I would love to date one and if all I see suddenly is him, so be it. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect myself or women in general. It was really hard to agree to everything when they kept excluding people from their feminism.

Am I Normal Yet? is a very good book and I loved it. I loved seeing myself represented and it will definitely help me when it comes to my anxiety and OCDs. However, I wish the feminism talked about in this book was intersectional and didn’t exclude anyone, nor made anyone feel bad for talking about men. Yes, women are more than just lovers, mothers or wives, but it doesn’t give anyone the right to shade someone else for liking another person or even dating. Judging is never the key, and your feminism should always include everyone in it.

Now, despite everything, I just can’t wait to pick up the sequel and I already know that I’ll binge read this series. Oops.

“Bad stuff happens, people are mean, there are no steps you can take that ensure the world leaves you alone. All you can do is try not to be one of those people who contributes to the bad.”
Profile Image for NAT.orious reads ☾.
871 reviews361 followers
May 1, 2019
5 heart-bursting stars

This is definitely a case for my favourites-shelf. What makes this book so lovely is the absolutely amazing mix of issues and actions that somebody without an anxiety disorder could never ever even closely relate to and those every day tragedies that fuck up each and everyone of us on a daily basis.

Evie, to a large extent a teenager right outta the books, suffers from OCD, she definitely has been worse and is on her way to recovery, but sometimes slaying that nasty demon in her ear gives her da damn hard time. To her, the best solution is to become like everyone else - normal. She makes list of things to do in order to fit into that category wihtout realising that normal is not exactly a unified expression for one certain thing. Normal is indeed an illusion, a word without meaning and without determination. Still Evie cannot but compare herself to others 24/7 and suddenly finds herself caught between fuckboys, snakes that used to be friends and becoming a feminist. Questions over questions fall down on her and while she is struggeling to hide her OCD her demons begin to conquer her yet again.

If only a boy would love her - surely, that would make everything better. Wouldn't it?

Surprisingly, I found that I could learn a lot from Evie, her mistakes and the things she aces. If you are looking for a story that makes you laugh out loud within the first 50 pages and question your own morals and standards, than you can stop looking now. Just sit down with a nice cup of tea (or coffee, for the weird ones among you) and some relaxing music and you will find yourself immersed in wonderful story that gives lessons about friends, men, feminism and anxieties.
Profile Image for Alice.
229 reviews42 followers
February 28, 2018

The ending was really good up until the epilogue. That ruined it a bit. A lot of the side characters are really underdeveloped. They all seem to have their own issues, but they are never really explored since this is the main character's Evie's story so by the end I'm like ARE THEY OK?

The main character Evie has OCD. She just wants to be normal. She goes to college (16 years old, UK system) and meets 2 new friends Lottie and Amber. They form the spinster club in which they discuss feminism.

So this book is pretty different from the mental health contemporaries I had read previously because it's split evenly between a story about romance/boy troubles and Evie's OCD. They are intertwined together and combined with a message on feminism.

This story missed the mark for me a bit because of too many side characters and it was just too meta. Too ironic. The characters know that they shouldn't be obsessing over boys so much, but they do anyway. I mean they literally discuss in the narrative that they should not be doing this while complaining boys are trash. The humor I think is known as "British humor" and it's kinda close to my type of humor, but not really. The humor added a very distinct tone to this story that I've never seen in any other book. I did get a very interesting message out of this story.

The way the feminist aspects are presented are very realistic and typical to real life. How many times have I seen people complain about problematic stuff and abusive guys and then obsess over another slightly toxic guy. THAT'S THIS BOOK. People are contradictory about their ideas all the time, but honestly it's not that big of a deal. People are messy and no one is truly normal.
Profile Image for K..
3,796 reviews1,022 followers
February 4, 2019
Trigger warnings: mental health, self harm, drug abuse, alcohol abuse.

Sticking with 4.5 stars on reread. I LOVE the friendships in this series and the girls' realisation of how misogynistic the world is. There were a few moments where I cringed in 2019 ("periods are what all women have in common" type of cringe). But on the whole, this book is great and it gives me all the feelings.

4.5 stars.

I've been putting off reading this book for the better part of a year now, and I have no idea why. I finally picked it up last night, needing something quick and contemporary to break up all the war-torn literary fiction I've been reading in a sad attempt to finish my Around the World in 80 Books Project in the next 15 days. And I absolutely SPED through this.

You can't help but feel for Evie, who just wants to live her life without freaking out over every little thing, the way she sees others living their lives. But as an adult, you're like "EVIE, GIRL. YOU NEED TO STOP. NO, SERIOUSLY. PLEASE STOP. OH MY GOD YOU POOR BABY WHY HAS NOBODY NOTICED YOUR SELF DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOUR PLEASE START TAKING YOUR MEDICATION AGAIN."

Overall, I think it deals with Evie's OCD and anxiety pretty well and without it feeling cliched. There WERE a few moments where I was like "Um. I'm not sure your therapist should be doing this??", but there weren't many of them.

On the whole, the friendships and feminism in this book are A+. The mental health stuff is probably an A. Evie needs a hug. And Guy needs to be set on fire because he's the actual worst. Also, I really want to relive my childhood by having a conker fight now, but horse chestnut trees don't do too well in Australia. Also it's summer. So. Yeah.
Profile Image for Shaikha Alahmad.
197 reviews145 followers
February 5, 2018
After reading Am I Normal Yet, the first thing that came to my mind was: ”I have to get the second book ASAP!!!❤️❤️❤️”

The Spinster Club is a feminist series, but it also focuses on other important aspects such as mental health awareness.

The main protagonist, Evie, is a teenage girl suffering from mental illnesses, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She was tired of getting called the “crazy girl” back in high school, so now that she’s going to college, she wants to live a normal life and hide her OCD from the friends she’ll soon meet.

Considering the sensitive topics that are addressed in this book, which also turned some events into serious situations, Holly Bourne still managed to add fun and humor into the story, overall. I did not once get bored in any way, I just kept going and wanting more. Holly’s writing is very easy to absorb, It really feels like I’m inside the head of Evie. She managed to pull me in, when Evie is experiencing panic-attacks, it’s as if I am also experiencing the same thing in the real world. Which is the best thing about this book, it is realistic!

Let’s talk about OCD.

You’ve probably heard a lot of people saying stuff like “I’m feeling OCD.” Or in the cases of bookworms, when we own a book series that are not in the same height or format, we get anxious. I am guilty of that! I sometimes use that expression, or rather, I sometimes misuse the term.
The thing here in Am I Normal Yet is that it’s “one of the most serious” cases of OCD. The real thing. This book is an eye-opener about OCD. Many people use the term OCD as a mean of expression, when they feel like, or when they see people arranging, or organizing things – a stereotype about OCD. People often think that individuals suffering from this disorder are just those being extremely neat, or organized. Which can be the case, but there’s certainly more than just being a neat freak.

Reading in Evie’s voice made me realize how hard it is to suffer from a mental illness. Not just OCD, but all kinds of mental health disorders – anxiety, depression, etc. Your own mind is eating you. You are fighting against yourself.

This book means a lot to me, I didn’t expect myself to love it so much. I think people should read this book to further understand mental health disorders. Or at least, read more books that talks about issues like this – to be aware of what’s going on inside the head of an individual suffering from these kinds of mental disorders.
If you are looking for a book that empowers women, and talks about relevant and important topics in life, this is the perfect book to pick.
Holly Bourne deserves an award for her amazing portrayal of what a real OCD is. Read this book now! 👏🏼
Profile Image for Stacey.
550 reviews1,549 followers
May 10, 2016

Am I Normal Yet? is a much loved UKYA novel that had been on my TBR since last summer. I heard such good things about it from the Twitterverse and couldn't wait to get stuck in (I'd already bought the companion sequel, How Hard Can Love Be? ).

I knew that Am I Normal Yet? was a story of teenage friendship, feminism, and mental health, so it was my first choice book to give out on World Book Night on April 23rd. I left copies on coffee shop tables and at bus stops for teenagers around my local community to pick up.

I read Am I Normal Yet? months after selecting it for World Book Night. After picking it up, I raced through the story and looked forward to sharing it with other people. I loved Holly Bourne's lively Spinster Club – Evie, Amber and Lottie, three friends facing the tough world of being a teenage girl. Am I Normal Yet? is Evie's story. She's off to a new college after having a breakdown at her previous school due to her troubling OCD and anxiety. But she's better now, right? Normal? She's going to parties, taking less medication, and not washing her hands all the time... but life is complicated and recovery isn't easy.

Am I Normal Yet? will be a welcome addition to any teenage (or not-so-teenage) girl's bookshelves. If you feel at home on Twitter, the girls' discussions on feminism may feel like conversations you've joined in with before. But if you're a teenager who doesn't have a group like this to turn to, it may be your first introduction. Am I Normal Yet? is tactfully told through Evie as she navigates the world of friends, boys, and school. We discover how difficult it is to tell what someone's going through, even if you're best friends with them, by following Evie's Recovery Diary entries and trips to therapy - we're with Evie the whole way and Holly Bourne shows us exactly what it's like inside her head.

Am I Normal Yet? is a fresh young adult contemporary story that packs so many important things into one book. But it's also about the fun friendship between the girls – and I'm ready for Amber's story!

I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books.
Profile Image for BrokenTune.
755 reviews206 followers
March 2, 2017
It's YA and I got given the book by a friend who had copies for World Book Night 2016.

Otherwise, I would not have picked it up, because...YA.

If I had read this when I was 15, I would have enjoyed this much more, but as I haven't the book fell a bit flat for me.

The intention of the book is great, tho: To give readers an insight into how OCD and general anxiety disorder can affect people. It's not something that I as a 15-year-old would have been that familiar with, other than by way of crude jokes. And this is the point of the book - to get people think about the jokes and flippant remarks that are based on mental health issues.

From that aspect, I really appreciated the book, too.

Where it fell flat for me was in the writing - it was so full of cliches that made it seem quite ironic that the books attempts to look behind the common misconceptions - and cliches - surrounding mental health issues.

And of course the precocious little sister character, just seemed a thinly veiled psychology lecture...
Profile Image for Marta Álvarez.
Author 23 books5,747 followers
December 10, 2016
Tiene un estilo ligero y con humor, y quizás por eso choca cuando la autora se pone seria hablando de feminismo y de enfermedades mentales. La evolución del grupo de amigas (respecto a lo primero) y de Evie (respecto a lo segundo) es notable. Al principio creí que estaba tratando ambas causas de manera superficial (y haciéndoles un flaco favor a ambas), pero no. Lo que hace es que sus personajes cometan errores, y que aprendan de ellos. No empiezan (ni terminan, ya de paso) haciéndolo todo bien o tomando siempre las decisiones correctas. Pero después se dan cuenta y se muestra que ciertas actitudes eran erróneas.
En fin, protagonistas que la cagan y dejan que las traten mal, pero que luego no se tragan la justificación del tío de turno. No se romantiza que te desplanten porque luego sean cuquis contigo. «Pues lo normal», pensaréis. Pero tristemente, no.
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,235 reviews445 followers
January 15, 2016
I know I'm a little late to the Holly Bourne party, and I'm sorry about that. After reading spectacular book, I definitely need more of her books! I definitely need to support more UKYA authors, and Holly is perfect for this.

In Am I Normal Yet?, Evie is about to start college. After just scrapping by with a few GCSEs, she feels as if now is the right time to reduce her medication for her OCD, and try to be 'normal'. She has a plan: not let anyone know she was the 'girl who went crazy', make friends, and maybe get a boyfriend? As her dosage slowly get lower and lower, she is confronted with the need to tell her friends about her history, and how to overcoming the urges and anxiety that is returning.

To me, Am I Normal Yet? covers the issue of mental health, and what being a teenager in modern Britain is like, to a T. Now, I've never had any interaction with OCD, so please correct me if I offend anyone - I really don't mean to. I just feel like the way Holly treated Evie's OCD was done perfectly. It wasn't hushed up like it was a bad thing; rather, it was explained in a clear way, and shown that while it can be painful and heartbreaking to sufferers and their families, there are various methods to deal with it. Just because you may suffer from OCD, anxiety, etc., does not mean you are crazy. There is such a stigma around the topic of mental health, and I think if more people read books like this (or like Every Last Word, which I reviewed last week) there would be a greater understanding on these topics.

Also, on the subject of stigmas, Holly is not an author to shy away from controversial subjects. I can count on one hand, if I think really hardly, the amount of books I've read that discuss periods, and I mean actually discuss, not just gloss over them, or make them into jokes about PMSing or whatnot. As someone who has periods, like half the population of the whole world, they shouldn't be hidden away and made a 'controversial' subject. To be honest, none of us would be here without periods, just saying. If you think about it like that, shouldn't more be done to make them more 'normal'.

Another thing, there is no such thing as 'normal'. 'Normal' is an ideal, and one person's normal, will not be another's. We should just get rid of this word, while we're on. Today's world wants to make everything all idealised, and perfect. Reality check, nothing is perfect. Everything and everyone has something about them that makes them unique, and that's amazing. That's what makes us, us.

Anywho, I've ranted enough. I adored the friendship between Evie, Amber, and Lottie! They're the type of friend group I wish I had grouping up (and still do, to be honest). They talked about real stuff, not just the stereotypical 'girly' gossip, etc. It was a true feminist group, and should be shown to everyone out there - old, young; male, female - to show just what feminism is.

Yeah, there were boys in the book, and a little romance, but Evie's entire world didn't just change when a lad started liking her. Her whole world didn't suddenly shift off it's axis, and now revolve around him. She stayed true to herself, and I loved that, because I loved everything about Evie!

I feel like this review has been a bit full on, sorry (not sorry). However, it needed to be said, and you need to read this book! I wish I had this book when I was a teenager (eve though it wasn't written, but whatever). This is, quite simply, perfection, even if I have qualms about that word. It's a book that transcends all ages, and should automatically be given to all teenagers as a book to show that life as a teenager isn't great, but there are ways to deal with that. I'm doing to jumping right into book 2, How Hard Can Love Be?, as soon as I get a chance.
Profile Image for Trish at Between My Lines.
1,070 reviews292 followers
October 5, 2017
This review was originally posted on [Between My Lines]

Wow! Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne slammed me to the ground with all the feels. It broke my heart, made me roar with laughter, made me determined to fight more about feminist issues and most of all enlightened me about OCD.

First Line of Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne

"It started with a house party."


5 Things I Love in Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne

1.   The Jarring Descent in to relapse
When we meet Evie first, she is in recovery from a breakdown caused by her OCD and Generalised Anxiety Disorder.  Evie is adorable but walking in her shoes is exhausting.  She worries about all the usual teenage dramas but she also worries about her rituals and being normal.  At times these overlap at lot and it's impossible to see where the line ends between teenage worries and her illness.  Watching her descent back into crisis was so distressing but very honest and realistic.
"Okay, so I was stressing. And obsessing. 'Obstressing' times a million."

2.  The Friendships
The girls are amazing!  Evie, Amber and Lottie form a gang called the The Spinster Club to help figure out how to be a feminist.  They aim to stay true to themselves, and not lose their personality or their friends while trying to impress guys, and at the same time not being ball breakers!  It was such a fun theme but also very powerful and inspiring.

3.  The relationships
Evie's relationships won't have you dreaming of happily-ever-afters or swooning dizzily about the guys in her life.  But they are far more realistic than any others that I have read about in YA fiction.  Huge bonus marks here not over romanticising teenage love affairs, but at the same time capturing the giddy moments.

4.  The Bechdel Test
While reading,  I was thinking that this book aces the Bechdel test (girls taking about things other than boys).  So I was amused and delighted to see that it was also IN the book as a topic of conversation.

5.  The Quirky Format
We see Evie's recovery diary.  She describes good thoughts and bad thoughts as they burst into her day.  We get to nosy at test messages and watch Evie compile lots of lists.  All things I ADORE in books, so these were another huge highlight for me.


Overall I'm in love with this book and it tipped my TBR over the edge, as I now need to read all the Holly Bourne books.  The great news is that this is the first book in a series.  Each one focusing on a different member of The Spinster Club and I can't wait to read on.

Who should read Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne?

I highly recommend this to you if you love YA contemporary books that move from light moments to dark moments with ease, and if you want to read an authentic portrayal of OCD and Anxiety (as experienced by Evie, I know everyone has their own journey).  Or if you want to read a book with a great feminist message at its core.  Similarly fans of OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu and Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill should appreciate this one.
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