Rating 5 stars out of 5 ★★★★★
Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. He knows this. Everyone in his small town of Abby, Oregon, knows this. He reads encyclopedias every night before bed. He has a pet ferret called Harry S. Truman. He owns a video rental store that no one goes to. His closest friends are a lady named Lottie with drag queen hair and a trio of elderly Vespa riders known as the We Three Queens.
Gus is not normal. And he’s fine with that. All he wants is to be left alone.
Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the newest employee at Lottie’s Lattes, enters his life. For some reason, Casey thinks Gus is the greatest thing ever. And maybe Gus is starting to think the same thing about Casey, even if Casey is obsessive about Instagramming his food.
But Gus isn’t normal and Casey deserves someone who can be. Suddenly wanting to be that someone, Gus steps out of his comfort zone and plans to become the most normal person ever.
After all, what could possibly go wrong?
This is my sixth book by TJ Klune, my sixth five stars review and I’m still amazed by this author’s work. Each time I read a new story of his is a fabulous journey, sometimes full of tears (BOATK series), other times full of laughters (The Lightning-Struck Heart). How to Be a Normal Person was the perfect balanced mix of emotional parts and unbelievably hilarious scenes. To me it was another amazing winner, since the first time I read about Harry S Truman, the albino ferret! Only Tj could have chosen a pet like Harry for our Grumpy Gus.
I’m not going to talk about the plot, TJ can write what he likes, I couldn’t care less because to me his creative mind is this fantastic place I want to know. I have no clue how he creates characters so unique and lovable. This time Gus won me over, I loved him through out the story. I cheered him on through his journey in the discovery of a normality he thinks he doesn’t have and absolutely need to be with Casey. I so wanted to hug him and his friends, they gave me a warm sensation I needed so much.
Like all TJ’s books, there is a great cast of characters, I don’t like to define them as“secondary characters” because to me they felt like the main ones, all of them with a smart mouth, funny and supportive and perfect in their imperfections. The three queens were probably my favorite ones, the story would have been nothing without the lesbian/ sisters trio.
As I said I loved all of TJ’s books but I’m realizing he’s doing better with each new one he releases. He grows and improves and I have no idea what he wants to achieve. I always think he can’t do better than the book I’m currently reading and he duly contradicts me. And even though How To Be a Normal Person has the typical quality of Klune’s work, I think it’s really different from the previous novels, just a little over the top but not too extreme, no angst at all, maybe the right choice if you’re approaching this author for the first time. I’m going to re read it really soon to appreciate it better, I rush through it because I was too hungry and curious.
I just want to add, as you can read from the blurb, Casey, the other MC, is asexual. This was not my first time with this sexual orientation and to me not the better one cause it wasn’t addressed a lot, but still I think the author chose the perfect way to deal with it, most of all according to his style. There’s no sex in the story but please don’t let this be a reason to not give the book a chance. There was no need for sex, I got my steamy fix in other ways.
Maybe it’s not clear, but this is a highly recommended read, sweet, hilarious and emotional. I couldn’t ask for more.
Cover art by Reese Dante. It’s simply, fitting and FINALLY something different. I love it!
ebook, 290 pages
Published October 16th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English