Title: How To Be A Normal Person
Author: TJ Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 16, 2015
Page Count: 290
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 1 flame out of 5
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?
Honestly, I am running out of ways to praise TJ Klune’s books. This one was a slam dunk for me, surprising absolutely no one. It has everything you’d want in a romance –well except for sex scenes, obviously, but I personally didn’t miss that aspect one single bit. This book touched me in ways I never ever thought would happen. It was funny, it was emotional, it was damn near genius, and I couldn’t stop reading.
I feel like I should make a template for reviews of TJ Klune’s books because I always cover the same things. Check this out:
1. Super unique and interesting characters? CHECK.
2. Laugh-out-loud, embarrassing-yourself-with-your-reaction, intelligent humour? CHECK.
3. Emotional, sweet, romantic, smile-so-wide-I-look-like-I-just-had-botox-done? CHECK.
4. Side characters who are strong enough to fill out a whole other book on their own? CHECK.
5. Beautiful, introspective writing that makes you disappear into the book for hours? CHECK.
This is one of my favourite books by TJ. It has all the signature Klune things that I love and look for. After reading the Lightning-struck heart, I thought this asexual comedy would be more of the same, outrageous, no filter type of humour. Boy was I wrong. There was something very careful and deliberate about the way this book was created. And I loved that! The humour was excellent but it felt like there were limits. The characters were obeying an invisible boundary which allowed the story to blossom within certain parameters. It felt contained so that the romance and the characters were still the focal point, without the humour overtaking them.
I am not going to tackle the plot, because as I usually find the case to be with TJ’s books, it’s best for the reader to discover everything on their own. I cannot highly recommend this book to all fans of romance, mm or otherwise. This is the type of book that tugs at your heartstrings so so so hard, and I will admit I wanted hugs so bad after finishing it!
PS. How cool was it to find a hidden reference for Bear, Otter, and the Kid???