Normal People - Sally Rooney

Normal People

By Sally Rooney

  • Release Date: 2019-04-16
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4
From 4,523 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


  • Unique, Enthralling, and Catastrophically Emotional

    By Created By Paul
    I have to open with saying that I absolutely loved this book. It was heart-wrenching and heartwarming and interesting and fun and sad. It was everything I wanted it to be. It was a little short but I think I only think that because I wish that there was more of it. I simultaneously believe that it is just the right length for the book and any more content would have stretched the characters and story too thinly. I was first introduced to the concept of this book when browsing YouTube. I found the trailer for the Hulu series based on the book and was instantly sold on the idea. Of course I had to read the book first and I am so glad that I did. The story is deeply psychological and a lot of it takes place in the heads of the characters. No matter how good an actor is they can’t come close to portraying the inner workings of the mind in the same way that Sally Rooney does with her writing. There are two unique quirks of the book that a reader should be aware of. First it uses present tense which isn’t too difficult for most readers to get through but it is a deviation from the norm and it took me a couple of pages before I settled into this style of reading. Over the course of the book Sally Rooney’s use of present tense enhances the book by providing a deep divide between the inner thought of the characters in the moment as they forge their relationship forward and their deep ruminations on the past actions that have been taken. I definitely think it was a good choice and my experience was better for it. The second quirk is a little harder to get past. The dialogue does not use any quotation marks at all. I don’t know why the book is like this and it took me some time to get used to this wild deviation from standard writing practice but eventually I did move past it. I wonder if I missed some nuance and intrigue in the opening of the book as my mind adjusted to the new normal of Normal People but there was enough in the rest of the book to satiate my appetite fully. Once I was used to the dialogue reading through it was totally natural.
  • So many emotions

    By ohsoTay
    I love the emotions tied up in this book. Even though I wanted to scream at the communication issues these two had, sometimes that is just reality and some people can’t face it. It was unique to read it all play out. I loved it
  • Perfect

    By Scelee
    Beautiful and relatable
  • It was alright

    By cielo lopez
    The characters are relatable, I don’t think the point of the story is to climax I think it is simply to be relatable, which the author does very well.
  • Highly recommend!

    By Zhrgnuehokdwipydmdkfajhdnhcn
    Amazing book. Very compelling characters and story line. I felt the emotions of the characters so deeply and really related to the story line
  • Normal People

    By TrickyThoughts
    Exceptional book and an exceptional film. Captured many things…brought on so many feelings. I felt myself wanting to know where the relationship platonic or romantic might go next.
  • kinda dull

    By hbbbu
    the writing style is nice but it isn’t enough to make up for the lackluster story. I was captivated at certain points but really struggled and still haven’t finished the book.
  • I loved the book

    By Michi0395
    I love how deeply into the minds of Connell and Marianne the writer goes but , when it comes towards the end I felt it was a little more to say.. I don’t know. The ending in the show gave me more closure but, again, maybe that’s what the writer wanted, to let the possibly out there for Connell and Marianne to be together one day..
  • Should’ve been called useless people

    By Apryla
    I was into this book until the end when it seemed like the author just gave Connell a free pass from all the hurt he inflicted upon Marianne. He used her for sex and was at times kind of repulsed by her but yet he kept going back to her when he needed something emotionally. He was ashamed of her and made her feel bad about herself over and over again. It was a very messed up relationship. He was not a good person. He was weak, wish washy and a coward and just fell into things instead of actively going after things with a goal. And yet the author actually wants us to view him as some kind of savior to Marianne just because he threatened her brother. Sorry you don’t get absolution from YEARS of knowingly outright emotionally abusing someone from one act. Marianne was very mentally unstable (I can only deduce that it was due to sexual abuse from her father which made her mother blame her and treat her terribly. Her brother abused her emotionally and physically but not quite clear if there was also sexual abuse towards her along the way - not sure because the author never explains. The mother is pretty much absent throughout the book and the father has long since died so we are given nothing to work with there and thusly must draw our own conclusions). Marianne feels she deserves to be mistreated in every way by everyone she comes in contact with. This was a tough read due to all those issues. You can only endure so much soul crushing negativity before you feel like you have to save yourself. I wish I could scrub my mind from some of the stuff in this book. This is basically just two damaged people who inflict their extreme dysfunction on one another over and over ad naseum. Finally it appears that Connell may be getting on with his life but next thing you know he and Marianne are living together and everything is perfect (how?! She all of a sudden woke up one day and said ya know I should be useful and get a job and try to function in the world like other people? So ridiculous! She needed a lot of therapy and medication and yet nope! She just fixes herself?! Why then? Why not before then? So bizarre) until the author can’t help herself and she throws these two into another conundrum where they can’t quite get on the same page. At some point you gotta move on and these two just can’t quit one another. If you’re a miserable person with no redeeming qualities this might be the book for you. Everyone else - find something different. This will only leave you infuriatingly frustrated.
  • Better the second time I read it

    By mymyswag123
    Something about her writing just speaks to me. I reread it in one night a few months later and liked it even more