Is Normal People by Sally Rooney a Good Read?

Destiny Patterson, Staff Reporter

A new and upcoming book that is raved about on TikTok by many avid readers, Normal People by Sally Rooney brings a new perspective on the way teens live their lives and grow into adulthood. In the time this book took place is when social media became popular which leads to different inner thoughts, how they deal with their inner emotions, and their inner conflicts rather than teens did in the previous century. Marianne comes from a family of wealth with a widowed mother while Connell comes from a lower class family whose mom works for Mariannes family as a cleaning lady. Due to this Connells mother takes a liking towards Marianne and they (Connell and Marianne) have a secret relationship during their teen years, furthering a little in their early adulthood. 

They have a very complicated relationship due to their classmates in their school. Since Marianne was an outcast, Connell was scared that people may find out but most of them suspected it anyways. A few years later, they both got into college, Trinity College Dublin specifically, their roles switched and Connell soon became the outcast. Their relationship complicates even further as they transition into this new stage of their lives. Marianne finds a new boyfriend (Jamie) and Connell finds a new girlfriend (Helen) but they find themselves becoming jealous of each other’s significant others. Jamie and Marianne breakup and soon after so do Connell and Helen. Marianne and Connells feelings for each other never went away even during those relationships so naturally they get into a relationship and move in together. 

Connell and Marianne struggle with tons of emotions, especially Marianne. Rooney adds in concerns like fluctuating power dynamics in relationships, issues of class, privilege, passivity, submission, emotional and physical pain, kindness, and depression. I strongly believe this book will leave you with a different perspective with teens’ mental status and the psychological process in their brains. This is a great read if you want something short but filled with raw emotion. This book is 4 paws out of 5 according to the Spotlights Tiger Paw rating system.