Title: Waiting For Normal
Author: Leslie Connor
Genre: Young Adult
Date Finished: 11 Oct 2008
12 year old Addie is waiting for normal. Unfortunately, she has a mother who is not able to offer a life with much normalcy or even stability. Addie's step father was awarded custody of her two younger half sisters after their mother left them at home alone for three days. Now Addie and her mother are living in an old trailer under railroad tracks in Schenectady, New York. Addie hopes her mother's erratic moods and behavior won't cause her to disappear again and that no more bad things will happen to them.
I really was not all that into this book at first. The title bothered me. What is normal and who decides what normal is? Then somewhere along the way the book just kinda snuck up on me and I found myself completely drawn into Addie and her story. I found myself parked on my couch, ignoring my family for the better part of a day because I could not put the book down.
I liked Addie. She had problems and she knew she had problems but she didn't just sit around dwelling on them. Yeah, she wished for a better life but she kept positive and did her best to try and keep her fragile world from completely shattering. She just kept trying, kept going no matter what happened to her and I could not help but root for her and hope that there would be a happy ending to her story.
In the end, I loved how Addie described normal and I decided the title wasn't so bad after all. "Normal...is when you know what's gonna happen next. Not exactly what, because probably nobody gets that. But normal is being able to count on certain things. Good things. And it's having everyone together-just because they belong that way."
Good things. Stability. Normal. That was all Addie was waiting for.
This book managed to tell a very powerful story in a very subtle way and it worked, really well.