Read The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini Online

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The Other Normals centers on 15-year-old Peregrine “Perry” Eckert, who’s seriously obsessed with an uber-dorky role-playing game called Creatures & Caverns. Concerned about his stunted social skills and need for fresh air, Perry’s parents decide to ship him off to summer camp to become a man. He anticipates the worst summer of his life until he arrives at camp and stumThe Other Normals centers on 15-year-old Peregrine “Perry” Eckert, who’s seriously obsessed with an uber-dorky role-playing game called Creatures & Caverns. Concerned about his stunted social skills and need for fresh air, Perry’s parents decide to ship him off to summer camp to become a man. He anticipates the worst summer of his life until he arrives at camp and stumbles into the World of the Other Normals, a place where his nerdy childhood may serve him well — but not without connecting with the real world first....

Title : The Other Normals
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 13507331
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 599 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Other Normals Reviews

  • Crowinator
    2019-01-26 08:36

    This was very entertaining, especially for an epic nerd like me. (Though really, Perry, who says only boys play Magic? I played Magic! Hmmm, perhaps I should not admit to that?! //looks around shiftly// Never mind, I never played Magic!). I've seen the concept of a RPG-come-to-life before but not done so well as this one, and I haven't had so many genuine laughs reading a YA book in a while. This one never stops being funny. The ending definitely goes for zany over serious, despite the bloodshed and supposed terrifying monsters, and that was OK with me. ((view spoiler)[Maybe because I couldn't stop picturing a mash-up of the Black Beast of Arrrrrgggghhh and Cthulu for the main beastie. (hide spoiler)]) More review to come.

  • Eric
    2019-02-15 02:32

    I wanted to like this, I really did. I loved Vizzini's It's Kind of a Funny Story. I love coming of age stories. I love the fantasy genre. So this book was an easy sell to me. Unfortunately, it didn't deliver on any level. The world building was just silly -- lots of basic mechanics were poorly explained or glossed over entirely, while lots of unnecessary details, such as the protagonists inability to pronounce the Other Normals word for money, were expounded on for far too long. More importantly, the characters were unrealistic to the point of bad parody -- the main character is supposed to be fifteen years old, and acts, at best, twelve. He is obsessed with his newly sprouted pubic hair, and this embarrassing-to-read-about detail is brought up multiple times. This surprised me, as this is the same author that captured the teenage zeitgeist so well in his previous work.Another issue is this book's claim to be a young adult novel. This means the target audience will be about the main character's age -- hence the author won't be fooling his audience with his poor portrayal of a fifteen-year-old boy. Furthermore, the real goal of a young adult book is to give the depth of an adult story without detailing the objectionable sex, language and substance abuse -- meaning a 'PG'-to-'PG13' rating instead of a hard 'R'. While there is no sex (the main character is so naive in this regard it is unfathomable that he grew up in NYC, and not a cave), there are multiple f-bombs and other curses, as well as underage drinking. Now I am not a prude, and don't mind the language or drinking, I just don't understand the decision to make the story so immature and watered down, while leaving the adult vices in. It's the worst of both worlds, as far as a young adult novel is concerned.Finally, there is the ending. As with almost everything I read now, it was shamelessly set up for a sequel with too many plot threads left unresolved. I understand authors wanting to franchise their work, but it shouldn't come at the expense of a complete story.

  • Heather
    2019-01-23 05:39

    I just don't even know where to start with a review of this novel. The characters, Perry, well he is so endearing in an adorkable way, you know boys like this even if you were a girl, you were like him, maybe still have moments like he did. You can't help but like him, he's just trying to become a man and has no idea how to do it. He's fifteen and hasn't hit puberty. He's into playing an RPG game that's not played on a computer. Yeah, more adorkable. He makes his own battle plans and characters but doesn't name them. He doesn't buy the expensive characters. He doesn't even have friends to play the game with. What? No other "nerds" to play this game with. Until he meets Sam in the comic book store. And buys a book about C&C called "The Other Normals". They play in the stairwell at Perry's school and plan campaigns and battles. Perry has one friend.And then his alcoholic brother tells him, he's going to Summer Camp. Not Math Camp. Nope this is normal camp with regular kids. His parents have been divorcing for 8 years and are dating their respective divorce lawyers so the lawyers confirm this bit of doom and then his parents do, too. It's the worst news he can imagine. As they drive to the camp, there is a sign that all lawyers must get out there. So the divorce lawyers get out without questioning it. (Weird) Maybe if they compared the brochure to the camp they would sue. The lake on the brochure is beautiful, in reality, it's drained. And so it goes with the rest of the camp. Perry's RPG things are confiscated except for a small figure his mom gives him before she leaves. It looks amazingly like Perry and comes in handy when he gets in a fight immediately.And then, Perry's life changes forever. He follows a creature that he created for C&C into the woods and travels to the world of "The Other Normals". The adventures that follow prove his mettle as a boy on his way to manhood and disprove everything he thought he knew about the universe. He meets Mortin Enaw, Ada, Gramary and Leidan all of whom change his life and he changes theirs. He is tasked with kissing Anna, a girl from the camp across the non existent lake and when they send him back to his side of the world he gives it an awkward try. An embarrassing, unplanned and completely inappropriate thing happens. He has to escape to "The Other Normals" to get away from his shame.Through a few trips back and forth, the events in his world are changed as well in "The Other World" but Perry himself is changed. He's no longer this kid who is afraid to live in the real world that he has to escape into an RPG to live. He learns to trust himself, think, be brave.It is a funny story with weirdness at every turn. It is a story about an awkward teen whose pick up line is to hold a fire extinguisher and say, "You need this because you're so hot." He thinks the three story comic book store is like a "nerd Mothership." This is the young inexperienced Perry.This is Perry in the world of "The Other Normals", just taking things in stride, sorta. "No I'm not. I put down my spork. Everybody uses sporks in the world of the Other Normals." Funny little tidbits are thrown in that make you back up and say, wait what? And you go back and read it again. I so see my youngest son in Perry an I'm going to get a print copy of this for him so he can see that growing up isn't all terrible. It can be a fun adventure. That's what I got most from the story, that despite the awkward phases, you can still go on, no matter how embarrassing or hard it seems.I definitely think there is room for another story though it's nicely wrapped up. I'd love to read another adventure, growing up story about Perry. It was amazingly well written, fast paced, humorous and fresh. No wasted words, it never got slow or dragged. Even at 400 pages it was a fast read.I haven't done it justice with my review. I know that. Hopefully others will do a better job. This is an amazingly well written story about the awkwardness of being different in a world of "normal" and trying to fit in. It's about finding that fitting in isn't at all what it's cracked up to be and that being different, being who you are is just fine. But you have to find out who that really is, be honest with yourself about who you are. And you have to move forward. Ned Vizzini is so great at capturing awkward teen years. I hope he continues to write these stories, for the awkward teens, boys and girls, everywhere.I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher Balzer and Bray for an honest review. This in no way influenced my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

  • Laura
    2019-02-19 02:38

    This was such a great book for the slightly geeky boy who is into RPGs (and possibly a fan of "The Big Bang Theory"). Perry's experience playing Creatures & Caverns by himself makes him a sadder character than the usual hero, but his actions in the World of the Other Normals will make them cheer.It's his incredible geekiness and lack of social skills that makes him endearing. The scene at the dance? Priceless, and one that will resonate with just the boys who should read this book. Ditto his rant about being a Late Bloomer (and the Discovery of the Hair). He's so out of place in our world that you know that something will have to change. The changes he undergoes are obviously not normal (how many readers will end up in another version of the universe?) so aren't really inspirational except that they may give those gamers hope for the future. My biggest complaint was that the C&C game wasn't well-explained, and the Other Normals' world didn't seem to match the game. Had that happened, it would have tipped the book into a 5-star.ARC provided by publisher.

  • Aylee
    2019-02-15 04:25

    In short: The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini is the most hilarious book I've read this year.Hands up if you've ever wished you could visit a fantasy world that you've always dreamed about seeing in real life. I know I would offer up my first born to be able to go to Hogwarts (kidding, of course...). So I was very envious of The Other Normals' unusual hero, Peregrine "Perry" Eckert, when he finds out that the alternate world he has been obsessing over from his Creatures & Caverns rulebook (a play on Dungeons & Dragons) is a real place that he can visit. What a fun concept! Seriously every nerd's dream.Having never read anything by Ned Vizzini before, I can't speak to whether all his books have a similar tone, but The Other Normals was BEYOND hilarious and the humour was absolutely the highlight of the book for me. It definitely takes the prize for funniest book I've read this year. That awkward moment when you're reading something funny in public and you burst out laughing causing everyone in the vicinity to stare at you strangely? Be prepared for a lot of that if you read The Other Normals in public. Everything about the world Ned Vizzini created was just silly and ridiculous and brilliant.Most of the humour is derived from protagonist Perry's interaction with other characters and his approach to various situations. He is without a doubt the most geeky and socially awkward character I have ever read about and Ned Vizzini utilizes these characteristics to maximum comic effect. In other circumstances, I might be annoyed by how ridiculously blundering Perry can be, but Ned Vizzini manages to endear him to the reader, creating a very sweet and charming character. It was nice seeing Perry finally take hold of his life and live it to the fullest.I will say that I thought the world building and concept was pretty sketchy and riddled with plot holes, but I realize that criticism is not entirely fair. The Other Normals isn't a book that is meant to be taken too seriously. I definitely recommend The Other Normals to anyone looking for just a fun, nonserious read to pass the time. A fast pace, tons of quick witted dialogue, and really short chapters will ensure that you speed through it in no time. I believe it is also a standalone. If ever I'm craving another genuinely funny book, I will be sure to turn to Ned Vizzini's novels first.

  • Jamie
    2019-02-19 08:31

    Considering that my tastes have been heading towards fantasy as of late (I've just consumed Graceling and Fire, not to mention my love of The Guild), I needed a break from the depressing kind of YA realism I've been overdosing on. This book was a perfect balance between realism and fantasy, straddling both genres in a fresh way.

  • Cat
    2019-02-01 04:41

    I can't even express how much I loved this book. Laughed out loud so many times. I am Perry Eckert's number one fan!

  • Karielle at Books à la Mode
    2019-02-02 07:25

    The Other Normals by Ned VizziniRelease Date: September 25th, 2012Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins) Page Count: 387Source: Complimentary ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest and unbiased reviewI've been a Ned Vizzini fan since way way back. I recall purchasing a first edition hardcover copy of Be More Chill at a school book fair the moment it hit the shelves; reveling in his next release, It's Kind of a Funny Story; and the pride/nostalgia/elation I felt when I discovered the latter had been turned into a movie. So I was a little more than excited to try his newest, The Other Normals, which is for a slightly different audience, but regardless full of his typical teen angst (see what I did there?) and literally laugh-out-loud-able humor. Many thanks to Ned for the ARC!The book could read middle grade because of the high-fantasy elements that teenagers might rather roll their eyes at, as well as Perry's inexplicable dorkiness — though it is the essence of his character, which I absolutely loved — but the content is more mature: a bit of mild swearing, sexuality, and just plain giggle-worthy inappropriateness... giggle-worthingly inappropriate for middle-grade boys, that is (penis jokes, anyone?). Nothing offensive to me obviously, but I can imagine some parents disapproving. On the other hand, it's extremely child-friendly. The Other Normals is the kind of book you want your children to stay away from, but whose story you don't want them to miss out on. Honestly, if you're a parent reading this, just be a cool mom/dad and hand it over to your kid. So what if they learn more than a few ways to name the male genitalia? The deep recesses of a teenage boy's mind are bound to contain far more incriminating thoughts.Plot-wise, it contains that classical Vizzinian magical realism (classical to Be More Chill, anyway) and never gets boring. I was stunned by the span of creativity that's portrayed; Perry's adventure, and subsequently, Vizzini's imagination, is endless! The teleportation, the nefarious villains, the odd and enchanting array of introduced creatures, the geekiness, the underground adventures — such a thrill of a read! The world of Other Normals and the concept of correspondents are both novel and intriguing; brilliant and yet at the same time, somewhat devastating. I really couldn't get enough of them. One thing was slightly off, though. While often-hilarious anecdotes pertaining to growing up, family, the perplexing female species, and just regular daily observances are picked up on, I feel at times, there are too many attempted stretches of humor. Maybe my sense of humor itself has evolved over the years, but I feel The Other Normals wasn't as remarkable because it doesn't possess the entertainment factor Vizzini's other works have. I constantly wondered if he was desperate for ideas to make kids laugh... because some of it is just not funny, as if he's trying too hard. The story, I loved — it's original, it's grand, it's marvelous. The tone however, is just stiff. I was slightly disappointed.That being said, overall, I'm glad I got to try this new side of Ned Vizzini. It's definitely unlike his previous works, but enjoyable nonetheless. It's one of those books that are for reluctant readers: fast-paced, action-packed, and funny; more like a comic book or movie without images, something middle-grade boys will enjoy because they'll be able to relate to it best, but girls will still be able to find humor and insight within. Combining a fresh, believable voice with deep discoveries about interpersonal relationships and adolescent identity, The Other Normals is a wild escape from reality I both applaud and recommend. It's hard to make a children's book profound, yet still appealing, but Vizzini, as always, does it seamlessly.Stephanie Loves: "I look at the stars ... they force you to think in a different direction." Radical Rating: 7 hearts: Not without flaws, but overall enjoyable.

  • Juhina
    2019-02-05 05:41

    The Other Normals was just 400 pages of laugh out loud hilarious dialogue, characters, and plot. I enjoyed everything in The Other Normals. Ned Vizzini knows how to write humorous dialogue and has a way of portraying a fifteen year old boy's insecurities and issues without sounding whiny, cliched or boring. The whole setting of this novel had me cracking up. Peregrine, who hates being called that and prefers Perry, is the son of two divorced parents. His brother is a cliched bad boy but his parents are each dating their own divorce lawyer (weird huh?), Ned took it to the next level and showed us that through this divorce Perry got a set of new parents. Everything in his family is facilitated through the lawyers. Be it setting up time for lunch or sending in a birthday gift. I found that unbelievably funny especially when I read people's reactions later on. Also, the camp he is sent in had a sign saying no lawyers allowed, so what did the two lawyers do? they got out of the car in the middle of no where, and bid them farewell. I mean what? These scenes are so ridiculous yet so funny so you don't really think too much on how that made no sense. Perry loves role playing games, his game of choice is Caverns & Creatures. However one day in camp he sees a creature just like the one in his story. This is when the fantasy is infused in the novel. Perry ends up going to the other world that can not be pronounced using the human language. A whole conversation is dedicated on choosing a name for that world and it was decided to call it "The Other Normals World". Now Perry is a late bloomer, or at least that is what his mom says which is backed up by his hairless situation that he mentioned once or twice to the readers. So once he is in The Other Normals World and ends up participating in a fight or two and actually using weapons to fight, he does not want to go back to the human world where everyone thinks of him as a white boy, not man or guy, but a boy. I really enjoyed the secondary characters, such as Mortin and Ada, who are Other Normals. The story was fast paced when we get to the action and we meet so many different creatures and species and I just had a blast imagining them all. One species had the bodies of supermodels but frog heads, others had human heads but octopus bodies. One thing I really liked about this novel is the format of its chapters. I know many people hate long chapters and I am one of them. Some chapters were one page long! I found myself reading more and more this way, every time I end I chapter I see the next chapter is only two pages long so I tell myself to just read the next chapter. This cycle would stay like that and I end up reading 50 more pages that what I was planning to! Also whenever Perry and his gang moved from one city in The Other Normal World and also to our Earth, a two page header with the name of the city/world they are in is added. I really liked that because it felt like the book was divided in sections. Also we get to see a map that Ada has with her where I referred to it multiple times to see where they are exactly. All in all The Other Normals isn't just a novel, it is an adventure. Perry was a great companion on this adventure and I really enjoyed Ned Vizzini's writing. I honestly hope he writes more humorous young adult novels because I could not stop laughing while reading The Other Normals. I would definitely suggest it to all YA readers because this novel isn't like any YA novel I've read before.

  • Tasha
    2019-02-20 02:39

    Perry Eckert loves to play Creatures & Caverns in all of his spare time. He doesn’t have any friends to play the game with, so he just creates characters. When someone inspires him to create a character based on himself, he does. Of course the character differs in some ways, like his red skin, yellow hair and tail, but he is also not that strong, not that fast, but full of honor. Perry’s parents are worried about him being a social outcast, so they send him to summer camp. There, Perry is swept into a world where Creatures & Caverns is real! Even better, they need Perry to help them save their world. All it will take is Perry kissing the most popular girl at camp. No pressure.Read the rest of my review on my blog, Waking Brain Cells.

  • Rachael
    2019-02-15 08:46

    Rating Clarification: 3.5 / 5If you want to see more of my reviews, check out my blog @ Moosubi Reviews!Disclaimer: The fact that I received an ARC of this book through ARCycling has not affected my rating. This review expresses my honest opinions.I have to admit that The Other Normals wasn’t what I expected. When I think about books about video games, I think about something around the lines of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Epic by Conor Kostick, or Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. All three of those books have different levels of seriousness, but all have one similar factor – to save the world, in a way. Although The Other Normals has a plot also around the lines of saving the world, the “quest” per se isn’t as “serious” (slight spoiler ahead) – it’s simply to kiss a girl. Still, the book had great sparks of humor, and I definitely enjoyed it.Perry’s voice was unique and full of quirks! His voice definitely sounded like a guy’s, and there were some pretty ridiculous (but hilarious) moments that literally left me gaping or smiling kind-of creepily. His character itself definitely isn’t perfect, but it’s relatively realistic – I could name a couple of guys from the top of my head just like him. As a coming-of-age story, his journey, although unrealistic in the fantasy part, had some elements that mirror some soul-searching journeys today. However, what I eventually found bothering me was the fact that in order to learn something and grow to be more mature, Perry needed to go on this fantastical journey. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely enjoyed the book, and the moral (basically, get outside more often) made sense – it’s just that when an author combines a coming of age story with such a journey like Perry’s sometimes it didn’t make sense to me. I’m not sure if this would apply to others, but after finishing the book and currently when I’m writing this review, it’s just another point for me to bring up.I loved the idea of Correspondents – it’s an element that I might have seen in another book (right now I can’t remember if I did though), but it was fantastically portrayed. When I was reading, I enjoyed guessing which character could correspond to whom in the Other Normals’ world, and vice versa. It was probably because of this that sometimes in the book, I literally thought “Oooooh. I get it now…”. The plot was also pretty engaging, although there are times where it gets a little weird, mostly due to the language. Personally, I liked the fact that it was a bit strange, but it might not appeal to everybody. Still, the storyline moved fairly quickly and was full of fun! Another factor that I think is worth mentioning is the world of the Other Normals itself – probably one of the biggest pluses for me. If I’m not reading, I’m probably gaming, watching anime or on Tumblr blogging about anime or video games, so it was a factor that appealed to me.Overall, The Other Normals is a pretty light and funny read, full of video game goodness! I definitely enjoyed it and recommend it to those that are looking for a quirky read with some geeky fun (:

  • John
    2019-01-24 04:18

    Terrific Young Fantasy Novel from Ned VizziniOne of our finest American chroniclers of adolescent angst in nonfiction and fiction, Ned Vizzini, has written one of the most compellingly readable and imaginative works of fiction published this year that, I promise, will thrill children of all ages; "The Other Normals". It is a bold, brash, quite imaginative, look at adolescent male bonding and blossoming sexual interest between the sexes masquerading as a cleverly plotted sword and sorcery fantasy that is light years removed from J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series. Fans of Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" and "The Magician King" will find much to admire in Vizzini's fantasy debut, from his realistic depiction of adolescent life in the Brooklyn, New York neighborhood of Bensonhurst and the relatively remote Camp Washiska Lake to the parallel Earth inhabited by the "Other Normals"; a world that resembles a crazy patchwork quilt of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth and C. S. Lewis' Narnia that is still uniquely Vizzini's own and among the finest recent examples I have encountered of memorable world-building in fantasy and science fiction literature. However, one doesn't need to admire any of Lev Grossman's excellent fantasy literature to realize that Vizzini's creation is, to quote Lev Grossman, "wildly imaginative, incredibly funny, and weirdly wise". "The Other Normals" is an especially memorable ode to sword and sorcery games and to teenage geeks everywhere; readers will identify with and recognize themselves in fifteen-year old Peregrine "Perry" Eckhart, who is so obsessed with his sword and sorcery role-playing game "Creatures & Caverns" that he finds himself relying on it as though it is a sacred text through his hazardous treks on the "Other Normal" Earth with the likes of "Other Normals" such as Mortin Enaw and Ada Ember, whom he regards as far more beautiful and fascinating than any of the adolescent girls he knows in camp, helping them save their version of Earth from impending doom. Anyone seriously interested in taking a fresh look at fantasy literature shouldn't hesitate in adding Vizzini's latest to their list; "The Other Normals" is destined to be remembered and celebrated as a contemporary classic of fantasy, ranking alongside the best from Lev Grossman, Philip Pullman and especially, J. K. Rowling.

  • Mel Barnes
    2019-02-15 07:35

    As soon as I finished Defiance by C.J. Redwine, I pulled this book out of my bag to start on. I'm so glad I did. This was so completely different that I was able to switch gears and get me on a different track. I love switching up the types of books I read. Where Defiance was such a girl power book, The Other Normals is very much a guy who starts believing in himself book. YAY for these books. I love that there are such great books coming out now that we can build confidence in our teens and young adults. Anyway, I picked this book from the stack at work ages ago because HELLO?! I love Ned Vizzini's books. I have both Be More Chill and It's Kind of a Funny Story on my shelves back home. I love the character view points he chooses. In The Other Normals we are following Perry, a gamer, to summer camp. After a bad start on the first day, he ends up in the World of Other Normals. That isn't the actual name, but I can't tell you what the actual name is. You will have to read the book to find out why! The Other Normals was full of adventure and a full array of characters. I loved following Peregrine's line of thinking and at times trying to guess what would happen next. Even if you haven't played role-play games you will easily get sucked right into the storyline. Perry is definitely making his own way in this world and even though he starts out having a rough time he ends up far stronger in his decisions by the end. I know this isn't a series but this could easily be a book that starts out a series. It ends at a perfect point and while the storyline is resolved there is definitely an opportunity for Peregrine to return to The World of Other Normals and have more adventures.

  • J.A. McLachlan
    2019-01-23 03:25

    The Other Normals by Ned Vizzani is a fun read. It's also one of those stories that changes the way you look at things. Vizinni portrays his protagonist - nerdy 15-year-old Perry Eckert - so well I felt all the angst and hopefulness of a socially misfit adolescent boy navigating the treacherous waters of peer rejection, emerging sexuality and impending adulthood. Perry's social gaffs, his inept attempts to make friends and talk to girls, and his loving but malfunctioning family are exaggerated for comic effect to the edge of believability, but Vizzini competently stops short of turning this hilarious story into farce.The novel is so skillfully crafted that the World of the Other Normals can be read as fantasy or as the fantasizing of a bright, imaginative boy desperate attempting to create a place where he is accepted and liked, and where his strengths are validated rather than made fun of. Either way, Perry's story is entertaining and emotionally involving.Between readings, I found myself thinking of Perry and wondering how he would resolve each situation he blundered into, and I eagerly returned to read the next chapters. Having experienced adolescence from the female perspective, I find this book has made me more understanding of and sympathetic to the trials of adolescence for a young boy. The Other Normals is both educating and a really fun read for either sex.

  • Steve Rogers
    2019-02-21 04:37

    C.S Lewis meets Edgar Rice Burroughs by way of Holden Caulfield. The action scenes are the kind that you cannot leave for fear that they will continue without you. The humor comes from the wry perspective that young teens thrive on and the succinct poetical turn of sentence gives a satisfying soulful element to the prose. Though there are some language and action elements that might keep this out of school libraries it is the very honesty of these sections that will let young adults know that they are not being talked down to but rather that they are respected. I would imagine that this, in and of itself, will inspire more than one fledging writer to forge ahead. Besides all that it's a delightfully fun adventure with a charming protagonist who you will root for all along the way.

  • Amanda Liston
    2019-02-06 07:18

    I really like this book. It's a blend of contemporary AND fantasy which is something you don't see very often. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for something fresh and creative. Win an ARC over at my blog this week!:http://appraisingpages.com/2012/09/08...

  • Tobias
    2019-01-22 05:28

    My interview with Mr. Vizzini: http://www.vol1brooklyn.com/2012/10/0...

  • usagi ☆ミ
    2019-02-14 03:26

    3.5/5 stars.This one was fun, but there's definitely a gender bias. But since there's so few YA lit for guys by guys, in this case, I think that's a good thing. "The Other Normals" is a tale of a tabletop RPG geek, coming of age, and trying to straddle both the worlds of being a child and being an adult - and being or going none of those things are easy. I think that the YA male audience is really going to hook into this one and relate a lot. Caution, there are a few spoilers in this review, so if you haven't read the book yet/don't want to be spoiled, tread carefully.Vizzini manages to cram a lot into this one book - two worlds, a battle of good versus evil, and coming of age, to name a few. This isn't heavy reading, though - Vizzini has managed to make this one of the most lighthearted books on the matter of what it means to be a teenager today. And while there's some of the traditional tough stuff tropes thrown in to construct our MC Perry (divorce and bullying, to be specific), Perry is a pretty awesome MC who really manages to blossom and grow and by the book, by virtue of his character arc, is able to stand on his own two feet with pride, no longer fearing his peers. And that felt good to read.What I kind of wanted more of was in the worldbuilding department of The World of the Other Normals - we're transported there and back multiple times, and while it's very rich in action and characters and generally a lot of fun, I just kind of wanted more. We do get important information on how the Other Normals' world matches our world, and the use of the multiverse/M-Theory to help explain that really kind of impressed me. I hadn't seen that coming. I also liked the idea of having "alternates" - your alternate self in the Other Normals' world or on Earth. I absolutely loved the sheer diversity in the amount of races in the world of the Other Normals - it just got so creative and original that I really kind of wanted to stand up and cheer. However, I think that the connections to Earth could have been more clearly laid out - with the explanation of how Earth/Other Normals' World works and with a certain character saying how the creators of C&C "got it all wrong", it was a bit too fuzzy for me. I wanted a more explicit explanation there, as well as more than just one map (though I'm glad we got one!) of that world, since it seemed to be built upon itself in layers (which was an awesome idea). In terms of characters, I feel like Perry grew the most, and the rest grew through their alternates in the World of the Other Normals. I kind of wanted more in terms of how these other main cast characters (Sam, Jake, etc) were growing in the human world instead of the simple interactions/explanations we did get whenever Perry crossed over to either world. While I won't deny that this was an interesting way to grow characters, I still wanted more of a balance - it felt too much in the hands of the alternates, and while Vizzini really clearly lays out how alternates' behavior affect each other in either world, I wanted a clearer delineation of character growth in both worlds. You are not always your alternate, even if your alternate's behavior really heavily affects you. I also wanted on more on the female characters (Ada AND Anna) as I feel like they really got shortchanged in this book - though I will say that Ada did get more facetime than Anna did. In terms of arcs, I think everything did flow fairly smoothly, though the transitions to the "changed" timeline each time Perry came back to Earth were, at points, a little clumsy. Sometimes parts of the plot felt very oversimplified, and there was a lack of tension - sometimes feeling like filler. However, the final fourth of the book really gave me the feeling that that's where Vizzini hit his stride, and everything really came together then. And that's always great to read. Final verdict? There's not much YA lit on RPG geeks, so this was a really nice change of pace of reading for me. It's nice to see things written by dudes for dudes and giving them a bit of power in a largely female market. I really liked this one, though I wish it'd been a little bit better cleaned up. I'd still recommend it for those wanting to get out of the paranormal/contemporary rut that YA has gotten itself into because it really is a breath of fresh air in those areas. "The Other Normals" is out today from Balzer+Bray/HarperTeen in North America, so definitely be sure to check it out!(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)

  • Aeicha
    2019-02-12 08:36

    I'm a self-proclaimed geek, nerd, queen of awkwardness, so when I read the synopsis to Ned Vizzini's The Other Normals I felt an instant connection to the main character Perry and I hoped I'd find a kindred spirit in him...alas, I did not. I loved Vizzini's other novel It's Kind Of A Funny Story and I think he can craft a stellar contemporary voice. Unfortunately, this particular novel just didn't strike a chord with me.Peregrine “Perry” Eckert is by all definitions a loner, geek, late bloomer. At 15 years old, he has no real friends, has never kissed a girl and spends all his time playing Creatures & Caverns, a role-playing game infused with magic and myth. He longs for the day when he can put his C&C skills to work and be a real life hero, and when his parents ship him off to summer camp he may just get his chance. While at camp he discovers the World of the Other Normals where C&C creatures are real. The Other Normals enlist Perry's help to save their princess and world and Perry finally has the chance to be a hero and maybe even make real friends.The Other Normals has a great, fresh premise; Vizzini takes a well used plot (outsider loner is transported into a fantasy world and must become a hero) and taken it to some imaginative and unexpected places. Unfortunately, the story, with its unlikable hero; awkward writing and all over the place storyline just did not work for me.At 400 pages, this is a longer read and I considered DNFing halfway through because of the slow, meandering pace and baffling storyline, but I pushed through, wanting to see how Perry's story ended. I genuinely liked the fantasy world and grand adventure aspects of this story. The world of the Other Normals is fantastical and intriguing, but the world-building is often fragmented, overwhelming or confusing. While fascinated by certain aspects of this fantasy world, I didn't feel like I ever got a complete grasp of this world and its history, people, cultures, etc.I think my biggest issue with this book is the main character, Perry. I didn't find him very likable or relatable at all. Yes, he's smart, exhibits a certain level of courage and thoughtfulness and clearly has a difficult home life, but I found him incredibly immature for a 15 year old, tactless and his awkwardness is less endearing and more eye-rolling. I had a really hard time liking Perry or rooting for him. There's just something about his characterization that feels forced and clunky. And so much of his dialogue and humor is flat or stilted and many of his actions are perplexing...at one point he pulls his pants down at a dance to show a girl his first and only pubic hair to prove that he's a “man”...I may have never been a 15 year old boy, but I'm pretty sure this is not a normal reaction to rejection, right?!Many of the other characters read like over the top cliches or caricatures. There's also a bit of unnecessary and kind of offensive racism going on in this book; both Perry and other campers often point out that he's the only white kid at camp and refer to the camp as “ghetto”.Much of the storyline feels jumbled and confusing. And perhaps being a twenty-something female, I'm just not the right audience for this book, but I didn't really “get” the humor, voice or style. The only thing that kept me reading this book until the end, and the reason it gets two cupcakes, is the character Ada. Ada, one of the Other Normals, is the only character I actually liked and enjoyed. Her humor is actually funny, her actions actually make sense and her personality is actually likable.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: I really wanted to like The Other Normals but just never connected with the less than greatly executed story or unlikable characters. I just don't think I was the right audience for this particular book, but I have no doubt the right audience will get Vizzini's story and connect with Perry. And I may not be a fan of this book, but I will certainly continue to read Vizzini's work in the future.

  • Ramona
    2019-02-04 03:21

    15 year old Perry is obsessed with Creatures and Caverns, a pen-and-paper role playing game, to the point where he has nearly shut out the rest of the world. This worries his divorced parents, who (communicating only through their lawyers) decide to send him to summer camp. There Perry discovers two things: the camp is totally ghetto, and the world of Creatures and Caverns is real, is in trouble, and Perry is the only one who can save it (or so it seems). Parts of this book got a little slow, but I loved Vizzini's dry wit, and there's a really good mix of fantasy and urban grittiness to his worlds.

  • Lauren
    2019-02-04 07:42

    Are you a Dungeons-and-Dragons-playing, fantasy-loving nerd? Then this book is for you! Are you the opposite of all those things? Then this book is also for you! Vizzini's tale of a scrawny unlikely hero who must save an alternate universe whose fate decides our own, is hilarious, adventurous, and fast-paced. Teen guys and girls won't be able to put this down, I certainly couldn't (but I'm not a teen, don't tell)!

  • Haley
    2019-02-06 08:27

    This book was really funny. So many ridiculous things happened. The characters themselves were pretty funny too. It felt kind of like a parody of some epic fantasy story, with some sci-fi thrown in. Perry is very naïve for a nerdy mathlete/RPGer. And very immature. He kind of reminded me of my brother, except my brother addicted to Call of Duty and other war games instead of WoW and RPG stuff. Ada and Mortin are pretty cool characters. Perry likes Ada a lot.There are some very unique creatures in this fantasy. Lots of unique world building. It’s almost a dystopian, but it’s really a parallel world or mystical creatures, some from mythology and other created by the author. You’d have to read it to understand how unique this book really is. It reminds me of a few other books. Parodies by the Harvard Lampoon have similar humor. And There Is No Dog was also a funny one. If you like fantasy stories with faeries and elves and such, or are into RPG and WoW, then this is one book you can relate to. I also recommend this to all the nerdy and geeky guys out there (you are loved, we aren’t trying to make fun of you). I think this book would make a funny movie. Fantasy-comedy. It reminded me of that Scott Pilgrim movie, also.Cover Art Review: This cover really captures the content. You have the figurines in the background and a guy who’s supposed to be Perry on a figurine stand. It’s just a good, fully, well designed and simple cover. ~Haley GMy blog:http://breathlessbookreviews.blogspot...

  • Jenny
    2019-01-24 02:36

    Quick action packed read that was lots of fun.

  • Lelia Taylor
    2019-02-02 00:43

    Ah, summer camp, that place where some kids can’t wait to go and others dread the experience as if it were prison, a punishment for unidentified misdeeds and social ineptitude. Such is the fate awaiting poor 15-year-old Perry Eckart when his parents drop him off at Camp Washiska Lake. It’s more than just his parents, though—his mom’s and dad’s significant others, divorce lawyers Horace and Kimberley, are actively involved in orchestrating what Perry is sure will be the worst summer of his life and his older brother, Jake, is enjoying his dismay immensely.Sure enough, that’s the way things start out, with autocratic counselors and bullying older campers, the kind that would maybe be better suited to a juvenile detention facility. To add to his woes, who can he play his beloved role-playing game with? Playing Creatures & Caverns is when he’s most comfortable but Sam, his RPG buddy who has also been dumped at camp, is acting like he doesn’t want anything to do with Perry.But wait, maybe there’s more to this camp than Perry expected! One minute he’s looking out a window and the next, he’s chasing a very odd and elusive creature into the woods and his life changes forever—or, at least, until he saves a princess who’s been kidnapped by a monster named Ophisa and brings order back to the World of the Other Normals with the help of his new friends, Mortin Enaw and Ada Ember.I love this book, yes, love it. Never having been a teenaged boy—and having raised only girls—I can’t say with knowledge that this is a faithful rendition of a teenaged nerdy boy but, oh my goodness, it certainly seems so. The angst and goofiness abound and Perry is a completely dorky delight. Add to that an imaginative cast of characters, Normals and Other Normals, and a story that takes wings and you’ve got a few hours of wonderful entertainment.Some of my favorite lines—“God, life is too boring for me to live anymore, so can I please wake up in the morning in a more exciting place? Not that I want to be a whiner.”“our transgressions are wholly childish and so we hide them as if they’re sexual”“Listen. When you were growing up, we always told you that you could do whatever you wanted with your life. It’s time to drop that lie.”“I don’t like being naked. I haven’t really had the Growth Spurt yet, you know what I mean?”“The younger boys surround us like horrible reminders of what we used to be.”Perry’s adventures and what he learns about himself along the way are nothing but fun—rush right out and get this book!Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, October 2012.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-03 04:23

    I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book initially, but it got better as I became more familiar with the concept. Honestly, when I read that Perry played Creatures & Caverns, I had the same reaction Anna did: oh, it's going to be one of those books. But I was surprised by this book. Sure, the story is based on a boy getting sucked into a real world based on the game he spends all his time playing, but it's a nice mixture of reality and fantasy. When he isn't fighting dog-headed creatures, he's constantly embarrassing himself at camp while trying to win a kiss from a girl. The book is split pretty evenly on which world Perry spends his time in, although I don't blame him for wanting to remain in the Other Normals World. I'm not sure if I liked or disliked Perry. He had no remarkable qualities, and sometimes it was frustrating to watch him mess things up one after another. But he was certainly an entertaining character, and watching him progress throughout the story was interesting. Also, can I just add that the concept of this story is all kinds of brilliant? Because that's what won me over in the end.

  • Tasha Robinson
    2019-01-28 04:44

    Really creative, colorful take on the "mundane person gets drawn into fantasy world as their savior" genre, but this book is missing any sense of solidity or depth. The protagonist is immature to the point of implausibility — like when someone implies he's immature, so he drops his pants to show the entire camp his lone pubic hair and shout that he is a man after all. After a string of events on that level of ridiculousness, it becomes hard to empathize with him as a character, or care what happens to him. The action and adventure is enjoyable, but none of the people seem like people, so much as like silly plot devices. I enjoyed this as a distraction on a long train ride, but don't feel any particular need to go on to the inevitable sequel.

  • Strugglingwriter
    2019-02-11 07:28

    I enjoyed much of this book. It's so close to 5 stars but not quite.

  • Olivia Olson
    2019-01-22 05:25

    This book is awesome at being totally unpredictable and way better than I thought it was going to be.

  • Gary
    2019-01-25 08:36

    There are some really funny lines in this book. I remember 15 and it wasn't easy. I would have even given this a higher rating, but I had a real problem with some of the language. (I really hate it when I read that in other reviews, but here I go.) I grew up with kids who called it each other Fa**ot and Gay (as in retarded, another no no.) Times have changed and these words are no longer acceptable. If the NBA can run an ad telling kids not to use those words, because they hurt, then adults shouldn't either. This could have been a fun adventure story about a boy becoming a man, but instead I found myself tripping over these things and saying to myself, there are million other insults that could have been used and it would have been funnier or rather "It gets better."

  • Reyes
    2019-01-22 07:18

    Full review to come! Loved it!