Fiction Reviews

Normal People | Book Review

Author: Sally Rooney

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: ⭐⭐/5

Trigger Warnings: molestation, physical and sexual abuse, suicide, mental illness, depression


The book essentially revolves around two main characters, Marianne and Connell. Starting from their school days, Connell is a popular and star of the soccer team while Marianne is a lonely, private but extremely smart student. While pretending not to know each other in front of their school friends, they form an intense connection which grows into more soon.

Soon they enter the same college while not speaking to each other where they develop separate and different lives. But throughout their lives, their paths keep crossing causing further heartbreak, misunderstanding yet a deeper connection that neither one of them seem to fully understand while tackling several personal problems.

What I Liked About the Book

Overall I disliked this book but in a way I also got why the book had such a sad and depressing tone. The book feels very detached which in a way mirrors Marianne and her life accurately. However, the book still fails in several places.

What I Disliked About the Book

This was such an odd book. When I started the book I thought my e-book copy had some issue because none of the dialogues had any quotation marks. Soon I realized this was the way the book was written which I wasn’t comfortable with at all. Occasionally when the dialogues are present in middle of the paragraphs, it becomes hard to differentiate between the narration and the dialogues.

Even without that, I had MASSIVE problems with the story. All that the characters seemed to do was hook up and then randomly decide not to talk for long periods of time. They seemed unable to commit for no good reason. Even the characters in the book lacked any real depth and made them so unlikeable.

The characters were barely fleshed out where you couldn’t even discern what each of them felt. The story was more in the form of “so this happened and then that happened” and so on and the author offered no insight into their thoughts or feelings.

I also absolutely hated the time jumps since it felt so jarring in the middle of the already weird story. As it is the book makes you feel disconnected from the story and the characters, the time jumps further aggravate the feeling making it extremely hard to follow and decipher.

Another thing that made me hate this book was the depressing tone that it harbored throughout the story. Unknowingly, this book affected my overall mood for 3-4 days and I was just lying around the house in a funk and felt so dull. The ending leaves you so dissatisfied, frustrated and offers you no closure so you end up carrying Marianne’s traumatic experiences as your own for quite a while.

Recommended for anyone who:

Honestly, I doubt I would recommend this book to anyone unless you are looking for a sad read that will really get you down mentally. But please look into the content warnings before you pick this book up.

Comment down below your thoughts on the book or if you are going to be picking it up soon.


By Harini @BookSpiral

Hi! I am Harini and I run this blog. I am a massive lover of books and like to spend all my time reading. My main aim is to explore new topics and unique books and talk about it on my blog. Hope you enjoy the content that I put out!

3 replies on “Normal People | Book Review”

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