Very Nearly Normal is the love story between Effie and Theo, but it’s not a straightforward romance and does not go exactly as you might expect. They meet after Effie has had a disastrous date and it seems that she might finally have met ‘the one’ at last.
Effie has been compared to the character of Eleanor Oliphant and I can see why. At first I really didn’t take to her, she seemed a rather miserable character who had a real ‘poor me’ attitude when in fact most of her problems were of her own making. She feels like she has been a failure at life and that everyone else is prettier, more likeable and luckier than her no matter how hard she tries. She comes across as quite a bitter person but as the book went on, I certainly began to soften in my attitude towards her.
Theo on the other hand is a character who is immediately appealing. He is a good humoured character who sees past Effie’s misery and befriends her. I liked the various challenges he set for her to encourage her to move out of comfort zone. However, in a complete opposite way to my feelings towards Effie, something happens which made me rather angry with him!
This is a book I read pretty much over the course of a day as I became so invested in the lives of these two memorable and somewhat quirky characters. I loved watching Effie start to learn that she wasn’t as unworthy as she had thought and start to believe in herself. I must also mention bookshop owner Arthur who was another character I really loved. As I said at the beginning, this isn’t as straightforward a romance as you might expect, and the author certainly made me have my heart in my mouth on more than a few occasions, but I thought the ending was just right. Very Nearly Normal is an uplifting story about two characters who are far from perfect and whose love story is definitely out of the ordinary.
From the back of the book
Effie’s not perfect. Neither is Theo. But together, they’re pretty close.
Matilda ‘Effie’ Heaton has always felt like she’s swimming against the tide. Everyone around her has life sorted, but Effie’s living with her parents and crying into a wine bottle at night. The only thing she loves is her job at a bookshop, where she can lose herself in other people’s stories.
But then she meets Theo, who knows only too well that life isn’t something to take for granted.
Because Theo has a life-changing secret, and as Effie starts to realise that she’s falling in love instead of falling apart, fate steps in and deals her a new hand. And this time, the stakes are high.