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Normal People - Sally Rooney

Normal People

By Sally Rooney

  • Release Date: 2019-04-16
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4
From 3,235 Ratings


NOW AN EMMY-NOMINATED HULU ORIGINAL SERIES • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A stunning novel about the transformative power of relationships” (People) from the author of Conversations with Friends, “a master of the literary page-turner” (J. Courtney Sullivan).

TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—People, Slate, The New York Public Library, Harvard Crimson

AND BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—The New York TimesThe New York Times Book Review, O: The Oprah Magazine, Time, NPR, The Washington Post, Vogue, Esquire, Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire, Vox, The Paris Review, Good Housekeeping, Town & Country

Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life changing begins.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

Normal People is the story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find that they can’t.
Praise for Normal People
“[A] novel that demands to be read compulsively, in one sitting.”The Washington Post

“Arguably the buzziest novel of the season, Sally Rooney’s elegant sophomore effort . . . is a worthy successor to Conversations with Friends. Here, again, she unflinchingly explores class dynamics and young love with wit and nuance.”The Wall Street Journal

“[Rooney] has been hailed as the first great millennial novelist for her stories of love and late capitalism. . . . [She writes] some of the best dialogue I’ve read.”The New Yorker


  • Remarkable, Relatable, Absolutely Stunning

    By B2423
    I can’t express how much I absolutely adore this book. The TV show on Hulu and the book are lovely companions to one another. As a fellow person who doesn’t know how to be “normal”, this book shines a light on what makes us human and the difficulties and joys of human connection. Please do read.
  • A superb look at young love...

    By MacDaddio58
    This novel is a gripping, incredibly intimate look at romantic relationships when you are young and how intense they can be. I was continually having flashbacks to my own youthful romances as I was reading it. Kudos to Sally Rooney for writing such an emotionally honest book!
  • Not terrible

    By LillieAnderson
    This book wasn’t horrible, but yet it wasn’t that great either. It was just okay

    By Allkhat
    I love this book and would read it multiple times if had the time. Seriously, I would do anything to read this book for the first time again. Please read this, and I will recommend watching this Hulu show afterwords.
  • Phenomenal

    By BrysonArms
    My title says it all. Read this book please
  • I couldn’t finish it

    By nhhhhhhgccv
    I felt like the book lacked purpose & the story line was too long.
  • Brilliant.

    By BrockH1
    What a brilliant, brilliant way of portraying anxiety and self doubt in an individual that often comes in the way of relationships. Read the book in two days, don’t think I’ll ever come across another book quite like this one.
  • Taught me about Real life relationships

    By mariahcarey21
    I’m 18 and I just came off from reading John green and Harry Potter so this was like my first real adult book. It taught me about real life relationships and how everything isn’t black and white with a damsel in distress and a knight in shining armor coming to save her. It was messy, intense at times, and very depressing; yet it’s also a coming of age story where each person grew up stronger and very different because of each other’s existence in their life. It showed the true gray sides of a modern love story. Sally Rooney taught me that love is not always what you think it might be.
  • Normal People

    By Laurennnn F
    This book was a great read. I loved diving into the psyche of the characters. Conell uses his love for reading as a way to get closer to other people in his life. It exposes the true evolution of a what makes a writer a great one. From being young and studying your fellow writers works to then using what you’ve learned and writing about your own life experiences. Marianne struggles with insecurities but only with Conell. She presents herself as Marianne with a hard shell to everyone except him. To him, she is vulnerable and open. You watch and see how her life turns and flourishes. You discover with her what it means to be a normal person. I loved the title because throughout the book you ask yourself what defines normal? Rooney’s character choice is brilliant in the sense that both characters are so relatable to anyone who reads the book. It begs the question to me that no one is truly “normal” and isn’t it that we all just live in our own little “abnormal” worlds? The relationship between Marianne and Conell echoes an idealistic yet realistic, amazing, strange, ordinary yet extraordinary relationship. Highly recommend. 🙌
  • An easy read

    By henrycupcake .3.
    This is going to be a polarizing book. I mean, I think I liked it. And I say "liked it" in the sense that it made me very miserable. It is a quiet character study, almost a YA novel but not quite, and it is a profoundly lonely and depressing love story. I didn't begin by liking it. Normal People follows two characters - Marianne and Connell - through adolescence and into early adulthood, and they begin by being the kind of uber-precocious teenagers who read Proust and Marx for fun. It took a while for me to settle into their story. My initial impression was that this was going to be some kind of John Green for adults, which is not something that floats my particular boat. Without fully realizing it though, this book had crept quietly under my skin. The relationship between Marianne and Connell is angsty, sure, but it felt painfully real. They are so flawed, marred by unlikable characteristics, and yet, I could not stop caring about them. Not for the first time Marianne thinks cruelty does not only hurt the victim, but the perpetrator also, and maybe more deeply and more permanently. You learn nothing very profound about yourself simply by being bullied; but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget. The story is really just about the two of them and their relationship. In high school, Marianne is a smart and wealthy girl, but is socially ostracized and emotionally abused at home, whereas Connell is working class, but very popular. Connell's mum works as a cleaner for Marianne's family. They begin a secret sexual relationship that falls apart when Connell fears his friends will find out. The compelling dynamic between them drives the story-- issues of class and social status cause much conflict. In college, the two meet again. This time, Marianne is popular, and Connell is feeling increasingly depressed. The two of them lean on each other time and again as they move through a social world filled with social expectations. There's a bit of a When Harry Met Sally vibe, except that this book is more soul-destroying. Nothing had meant more to Rob than the approval of others; to be thought well of, to be a person of status. He would have betrayed any confidence, any kindness, for the promise of social acceptance. There's clear criticism of our constant need to impress and perform for others in a world that grows ever more connected. Much of the tragedy that befalls Marianne and Connell is caused by other people, peer pressure and social expectations. It is very sad to think that someone might give up who they love the most because they can't deal with how it makes them look to others. The pair's inability to adequately communicate is frustrating but feels realistic. I was on the verge of tearing my hair out at all the things left unsaid in this book, but I think it was a good kind of frustration. The kind that comes from caring too much. I feel like there are any number of reasons I could have hated Normal People, but I didn’t. I actually kinda loved it. It's a weird, awkward, depressing novel about a connection formed between two very different people who find exactly what they need - and perhaps a lot that they don't - in each other. CW: sexual assault; domestic abuse; drug use; casual racism (called out); depression; anxiety; suicide & suicidal ideation.