Review | How To Be A Normal Person


2016 Birdie Book Award Winner

How to Be a Normal Personh

About the Book:
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?

M/M Contemporary
Dreamspinner Press | October 16th 2015
amazon2 bn2

Then Casey sang the song of his people, four words that struck fear into Gustavo’s heart.
“Okay,” Casey said.  “It’s selfie time.”

I guess my stellar book selecting skills are going to make a liar out of me, because here’s another 5 star read.  Though this time I went searching for it, begging my online friend to give me another excellent book recommendation.  I love it when a rec is a rabid success!

As an M/M romance fan, TJ Klune has been one of those authors that I always knew about but for some reason was nervous to read.  I hate the feeling you get when everyone loves an author or book, and then you read it and feel nothing.  I really didn’t want to finally read one of Klune’s books and not get it.  (Particularly Bear, Otter, and the Kid.  That book is much loved, and I want to much love it too!  I still can’t bring myself to start it, even now.)

I am soooo thankful that I mostly got over it, because How To Be A Normal Person is ah-mazing.  I have so many reasons why it’s amazing, I don’t even know where to start.

First, TJ Klune either is, used to be, or has a best friends that is a major pothead because he writes the stoner humor, thought process, and cadence so perfectly.  I could hear Casey in my head, I could visualize him as though he were standing in front of me talking about how he needs his medical marijuana card because of his stigmata.  (Yes, I said stigmata, not a typo. Best. Scene. Ever.)  He was endearing, and charming, and yes very very hot.  Anyway, if the idea of Casey being a stoner speaks to you, imagine stoner Casey with Grumpy Gus!

Gus’s level of recluse and his cynical view of the world, paired with Casey’s happy spacey outlook made for some of the most hilarious dialogue in almost any book I’ve ever read.  By 8% I had already used the highlighter function 5 times, and it only let up when I was way too into the story to bother stopping to highlight something!

I also loved that Casey was asexual, and that the reader got an understanding of what being asexual means without feeling like the author is sitting you down to give you a sexuality lesson.  Casey’s sexuality was a big presence in the story, but it was perfectly balanced with everything else.  I’ve read other’s that had an asexual main character and for some reason the authors couldn’t find that balance between the story and explanation.  Klune hit it perfectly, and I was so thankful.  I was more than thankful, I was relieved, because I’d started to feel like it was me.  Like, maybe I couldn’t get into a romance that didn’t contain sex.  How To Be A Normal Person proved me wrong, because I was majorly into it.  I got all gushy in my heart as much as I have any other love story.  I was just as gushy over epic hugs as I have any epic love scene.

Oh my gosh, this review is getting long… lemme try to sum it up.

Lottie and the We Three Queens, loved them.  Loved their Vespa biker gang jackets, and Lottie’s Latte’s.  I loved that they pushed Gus to read inspirational quotes.  Everything.  I loved that the We Three Queens were Gus’s best friends, even though they were three elderly lesbian sisters, or maybe lovers.

I loved Harry S. Truman the ferret, even though in real life I can’t stand ferrets.

I REALLY loved the flashbacks of Gus and Pastor Tommy, and I confess to sobbing my eyes out at the end.  I just loved Pastor Tommy so much.

Lastly, How To Be A Normal Person is so gosh darn funny!  It was me trying to read at work, trying to hide my laughter, but it exploding out of me in snorts and giggles anyway.  I had tears streaming from my eyes.  Laughter even as my heart was expanding  from all the feels!

I loved this book.

This book + Me = Best Friends for Life!

A simple hello could lead to a million things.
“Yeah,” Gus said.  “Like herpes or getting fisted.”
Stupid fucking inspirational calendar.


About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

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