When I was sent “Normal Sucks” by Jonathan Mooney to review for my blog, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.
The word “normal” is such a trigger word for some people as many have shaped their lives by trying to fit into whatever that means. In movies and TV shows about adolescence, you often hear characters saying they wished they could just be normal. But what does that even mean, really?
Jonathan Mooney has such an interesting life story, and I’m thankful that he chose to share it the way he did in this book. This isn’t his first book, but it is the first one of his I’ve read.
He tackles the topic of “normal” in so many different ways in this book, from talking about the origins of the word and different studies that have been done to prove or disprove how normal people are or not.
At times it went a bit above my head, especially when it dealt with the section on history and studies, but I’m really good that I stuck with it because I really learned a lot.
Normal is a word that seemingly everyone in our society strives to be, but why? And what does normal even mean? Does the meaning stay the same, or does it change over time? Jonathan Mooney’s book tackles all of these questions and more, and I thought it was such an informative, interesting, heartbreaking and creative way to discuss this common word.
As someone who used to get bullied a lot for not being normal when that’s all I wanted, I really loved the title so much. After reading this book, it really made me rethink my relationship with the word “normal.” Even though I’ve made great strides in my life to overcome certain challenges and buck the status quo, I realized I still had some unconscious biases around wanting to be successful in a “normal” way. What does that even mean?!
Basically, reading this book made me realize that there really isn’t a such thing as normal. What’s normal to one person could be bonkers to someone else, and vice versa. Why do we live our lives trying to be as normal as possible according to someone else’s standards?
Jonathan Mooney’s book made so many different questions pop up into my head during and after reading it, and I’m very grateful for his words, thoughts, questions and more.
Whether you’re someone who strives to be normal, as far away from normal or somewhere in between, I think you’ll find a lot of value in “Normal Sucks” by Jonathan Mooney. Maybe it’ll help solidify your stance on the word normal itself, or maybe it’ll make you question how you and others define it.
While this book is seemingly about just one topic, it’s really about all of us, society and the world around us. It shows that we’re not alone in many ways because often when we think of something as weird or abnormal, more people likely agree with us than we think.
I’m not normal, and I’m proud of that. No matter where you stand on the word, I highly recommend reading this book to either solidify or rethink why you believe things the way you do.