Define "Normal" by Julie Anne Peters

Antonia can't wait to get out of her house and away from her family so she jumps at the opportunity to be a peer counselor so she can get an extracurricular. That way she can get into a program so she can graduate early. Problem is that she will be counseling Jazz, a punker, a druggie, and a gang hanger. One look at her and you might think the same thing with her purple hair, black ripped up clothes, and black lips. Antonia has to be convinced to continue on being her peer counselor and I'll tell you she won't regret it. 

Antonia's family life is like this: Depressed mom who doesn't work or clean, a bratty brother named Michael, and a sweet but can be a pain even littler brother named Chuckie. I have to comment on that name. Chuckie? That's probably the worst name ever because of that doll. It's not a good image to have when you're thinking of a toddler. So anyways Antonia is basically the mom most of the time. She cleans up, does the laundry, and makes sure they don't starve to death! You know the basics. 

Jazz I'll keep a mystery except all I'm saying is that she's more than meets the eye like it always is in these cases and that she is war with her mother. Jazz acts tough but she really cares about Antonia and more than anything she cares that she be her own person which is the main problem with her and her mother. I liked her more than Antonia or "Tone" like Jazz calls her. When she first came to her house and all the mess she seemed so dramatic because I guess I didn't know her well. She wanted to fall down on her knees because she was so exhausted. She acted like such a mom throughout and always had her brothers and what needs to be done on her mind. She judged and was very sarcastic towards Jazz when she didn't know anything about her. She couldn't even back her claims. I would need to overhear her say that before I think she does anything like that. I need to hear it or see it with my own ears. I'd probably think she was mean though and wanted to intimidate and I'd probably stay out of her way. But she's a punk so she must love punk rock which I can appreciate about her. I did end up liking Tone a lot in the end. She was very loyal to her mother and she had to deal with a lot from her so good for her. 

This was definitely written in a different time because it mentions a cd player (I still have one). It reminds me of The Breakfast Club. Not because of the concept but because of the 80's vibe. The way they talk and act just reminds me of that time. It was like that and it was a simple read but I feel bad calling it simple. It's such a great book I don't want to demean it. It isn't by all means a complex book with so many twists and turns but in its own right it was a well worth read. It had me crying a little bit. I don't know how else to try to convince you to read it. But you know now I'm trying to convince you because it's so good. You won't regret it. I know Peters likes to push the envelope with her books. This is the second book I've liked from her the first being By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead. Two more books and she'll be a favorite of mine. Read this book. You will fall in love with Jazz and Tone lives and maybe even like me wonder what became of them.


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