Brought to you by OBS reviewer Adelynne
Sixteen-year-old Olivia Richards’ last day of normal is just that, normal. She worries about impressing Sawyer Rising, the hottest guy in school, and argues with her mother. Everything seems fine except for that strange, glowing plant in the yard and her dad lying to her and deaf twin brother Charlie, which is the weirdest thing of all because their parents do not lie to them. Ever.
Normal ends as lights shoot out of the sky and turns into stinging drones, killing their parents. As he lay dying, their father gives them cryptic clues about coordinates and begs forgiveness before insisting they leave.
The twins join forces with Olivia’s boyfriend Axel, her best friend Clara, and heartthrob Sawyer. Together they go in search of answers only to find conspiracy, death, and an awful truth about their families.
End of Normal had too much info-dumping for it to really have a fast-paced, electrifying feeling one would usually associate with a dystopian sci-fi novel. It did have its good points, but the whole book just turned out to be an average sci-fi novel.
I did like the twins/main characters Charlie and Olivia. And since the book was told from Olivia’s point of view, their relationship felt even more close. I really enjoyed reading about the two, and I love how family relationships are important in this book. Their parents are important to them and play a huge role in their daily lives, and I enjoyed how End of Normal was able to make their family dynamics so realistic. Olivia’s friendship with Diane was also very realistically written; and although it was not very complexly written, it was a nice, solid relationship.
What I didn’t like was the “romance” and the plot. The romance was kind of superficial (Olivia’s crush) and very indecisive. In fact, it was pretty much a love triangle until *spoiler* one of the characters died. Olivia kept going between the two and well, one of their deaths was conveniently placed so one of them could be the main love interest. Actually, it felt like a lot of the character deaths were just for convenience. Honestly, I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters in the book, so I didn’t really feel anything when some of them died. The character dynamics felt pretty dry.
The plot was not as interesting and engaging as it should have been. In the beginning, I was really intrigued by what was going on, and I really loved the detailed descriptions. However, some chapters in, it just started getting more boring as the story went on. There were some plot twists placed in between but rather than giving the emotional impact they should have, they were just a tiny pebble on a road. I wanted more out of this story, but it just turned into info-dumping and random scenes.
However I did like the ending. The last two sentences were a nice conclusion to the book. Overall, I would recommend this book to readers who are looking for a light, realistic sci-fi read, and don’t mind info-dumping.