Normal People Review
Updated: Sep 8, 2020
I’m probably over-generous with my rating for Normal People. But I’m a sucker for love stories. The story between Connell and Marianne gave me all the feels and I absolutely loved the ending.
I’m probably over-generous with my rating for Normal People. But I’m a sucker for love stories. This one earned a spot on my favorites shelf for sure. So much of this book felt relevant to me in both characters. In their actions, thoughts and what they experienced.
It was a very heartfelt book. It made me sad, angry… I got all the feels in this one. Although I didn’t agree with all the characters’ actions. I could understand why they did them and why they felt they needed to do them.
Connell and Marianne went to school together, where they pretend not to know each other. Connell is popular and Marianne is not. Connell’s mother works for Marianne’s family and their relationship becomes intense and intimate which they decide to keep quiet until it falls apart.
Almost a year later both of them are in college, Marianne has become popular amongst the other students and Connell couldn’t feel lonelier. They fall into old habits circling around each other. No matter what else they have going on in their lives, they are magnets to each other. Willing to do whatever it takes to help the other.
Connell and Marianne’s relationship reminded me vaguely of a relationship I had throughout high school which ended abruptly in a similar way as theirs did as they finished school. Though my relationship was not nearly as complicated as Connell and Marianne’s, it helped me understand their relationship on a deeper level. The regret of their actions as they went on with their lives. Often filled with those what-ifs.
Connell and Marianne’s relationship reminded me vaguely of a relationship I had throughout high school which ended abruptly in a similar way
As well as their interactions with others also reminded me of the interactions I’ve had throughout my life. This book was just filled with relevance for me. Their actions with other partners and friends, and how they wanted to be treated or treated them.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It flowed really well. It was written in a unique way I hadn’t read before in terms of the conversations between the characters. I had expected this to bother me as I went through the book, but it didn’t bother me at all. It’s such a heartfelt love story of two teens who find their path in life. I would totally read this again. It’s just that good. Keep reading for additional thoughts of mine on Normal People.
Warning! Spoilers :)
There was one interaction that reminded me of a memory I didn’t expect to be reminded of. I had almost forgotten it had happened. This whole idea of who deserves to be awarded scholarships. I respected Marianne’s choice to apply for the scholarship, as well as Connell. Each of them needed it for different reasons. Just because you have more money than some doesn’t mean you can’t strive for the same things. Marianne wanted it to prove to others she was smart, more than just the family money that brought her there, also being independent of her family’s money as well. Connell wanted it to make it easier on his studies, yes he needed the money. But he was already able to excel without the scholarship, the money and benefits from the scholarship just made it easier for him to focus on his studies.
I respected Marianne’s choice to apply for the scholarship, as well as Connell. Each of them needed it for different reasons. Just because you have more money than some doesn’t mean you can’t strive for the same things.
This scenario with the scholarship reminded me of scholarship I had applied for during my senior year of high school. A friend of mine at the time started acting strange with and around me simply because I won a scholarship we both had applied for and she didn’t. A mutual friend later told me that she felt that she deserved the scholarship more because she needed the money more than I did. Not that I was rich, my family is far from it. She just knew my family was better off than hers. I didn’t think one’s money status should determine if someone should be awarded a scholarship or not.
I couldn’t have been happier with how at the ending Connell and Marianne were finally together as an official couple. The ending was left open but I think even if Connell left for New York, they would have stayed together.