Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Blind Guide to Normal by Beth Vrabel

A Blind Guide to NormalMy name is Ryder, and I have my eye on you, ha ha! My right eye is fake, and some people freak when I pop it out (like my homeroom teacher!) I'm starting eighth grade at a new school, I'm living with my wacky grandfather, and my worst handicap might be myself. Things I'm thinking sometimes jump out of my mouth. On the plus side, Jocelyn, the girl next door, is gorgeous, but her boyfriend, Max, is the most popular, perfect kid at school. That doesn't stop me from hating him. I don't know why I feel so angry all the time, but my great sense of humor covers it up, right? I now know how Jocelyn's brother died and why Max is always protecting her. My grandpa thinks taking karate lessons from Max's dad will be great for me, but I'm not so sure. I'm enjoying the lessons, but my feelings are even more mixed up seeing Jocelyn and Max there too.

I didn't read the first book, but A Blind Guide to Normal was fantastic! Ryder has a wacky sense of humor (he calls his fake eye Artie), but I enjoyed how he tried to work through his issues. Middle school kids, actually everyone else too, have issues and feelings that confuse them. Ryder doesn't understand why he's so angry, but he realizes Jocelyn has problems too. Even grandpa has problems he's been dealing with since Ryder's dad was born, and Max reveals his own demons at the end. Ryder's not sure how to deal with his feelings for Jocelyn. He hates seeing her with Max, but Ryder isn't sure what to do when she turns some kindness his way. The whole story is about Ryder, and his character's personality carries all of the entertainment in the plot. I highly recommend you check out this book, literally and figuratively!

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