Rummanah Aasi
     We all have bad days. Days where nothing seems to go right at all and all you want to do is stay in bed, but how do you deal with chronic bad days? When you are constantly faced with obstacles that you can't solve and people who refuse to mend their ways, how do you prevent yourself from becoming jaded and cynical? How much can you take until you breakdown? These are the questions that played over and over in my mind while I read Leslie Connor's multiple award winning novel called Waiting for Normal.

Description: Addie has been separated from her beloved stepfather and her stepsisters. She and her mother live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York. Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and relies on herself to survive. All Addie wants is a life where normal exists, a day where she can count on the people she loves to be there and not disappear.

Review: Waiting for Normal is a heartbreaking story of abandonment, yearn of love, and where persistence and a positive attitude prevails. Since her mother disappears for countless numbers of days (many of which are not known ahead of time), 12 year old Addie is forced to grow-up and raise herself. She tries to make the best of a bad condition by making friends with a local mini-mart and to focus on the opportunities where she can see her stepfather and stepsisters. Addie is a character that embodies positive thinking and persistence. I did have a hard time, however, buying her positive thinking. I expected her to breakdown and stand up for herself a lot sooner than she did in the book. There were times when her dialogue was not fit for a 12 year old but rather an adult, which is the author's point: a normal, 12 year old does not have to worry whether or not she has enough to eat or wait until late at night to reassure herself that her mother will return.
   Waiting for Normal is not really an uplifting book. For majority of the novel, Addie's mother acts as a child. She is moody, spends her time by surfing the Internet or watching TV. There were several moments where I wanted to shake her and yell at her for not taking care of her daughter. The author does not give a reason why Addie's mother acts the way she does. There are some hints that she might be manic depressive or bipolar. What is mentioned, however, is her history of finding a new man and becoming pregnant with another child. I was disappointed that the other adults in Addie's life didn't step up and help her when they knew she was in trouble. Addie does get a happy ending, but she deserves more. Overall, an okay book that made me really sad. 

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: None.

If you like this book, try: Pollyanna by Elena H. Porter
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