The Art of Being Normal is Lisa Williamson's first novel. For this author who is involved so much in acting, I was pleasantly surprised how well-written this book was.
This, and I'm saying it without a doubt, was one of my favourite reads of this year. Upon meeting the author herself at a convention where she discussed how she worked for two years with young people who struggled with their gender identity. As she listened to their stories, she was inspired to write a novel regarding the elements of gender and the like.
Williamson's main character, David, is a young cheerful teenager who hides a secret: he wants to be a girl. Sharing only this wish with two of his closest friends, he's not prepared for when Leo Denton walks into his life, grumpy and wanting to be invisible. The novel tells the story of how Leo and David meet, and how they bond with each other and learn more about one another.
In the middle of the book as it reaches its climax, David finds out a shocking secret of Leo's; the real reason he left his old school and moved to David's school. A plot twist that I did not see coming, nor one that I will be forgetting anytime soon.
I easily fell in love with these characters, as Williamson writes them oh so marvellously well. The lot was quite engrossing throughout the entire book that I simply couldn't put it down. And bravo to Williamson, who unlike many other YA authors, for showing some representation of the trans community in her books and not making them so miserable.