Review and a Revisit: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

how-it-alwaysOur very own Thalia reviewed this novel a few weeks ago, but it’s so important I wanted to do another review in hopes that you will pick up this fantastic novel…Plus, I REALLY wanted to review it too! I loved it so much!

I loved this novel. I couldn’t stop thinking about this novel for days on end. I wish so much that every family in the world was as amazing as this family. I wish that every child that felt different had a Nan that went out of their way to make them feel normal. I wish all schools were led with forward thinking leaders that had the best interest of the children in mind.

The truth is, I personally feel, that it’s a vast minority that are like this.

I think I’m pretty open-minded. Or at least I try to be. I feel as if I understand what some people must feel. Reading this novel…well, how naive was I? This book made me see some things from a totally different angle. Yes, it’s one thing to hear an adult say that they always felt different…it’s another thing to actually see a young child going through something so difficult.

This book is so important.

Again, the parents of this novel did an amazing job! I loved them so very much. The siblings, again, A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!! I know parents and families like this DO exist.

However, if I had one complaint about this novel, it’s that the parents did too great of a job. That the siblings were too amazing. That the school leaders were too brilliant. That the fellow students were too perfect.

I don’t know. That sounds horrible. I so loved Claude and Poppy. THEY WERE VERY REAL TO ME…they broke my heart over and over again, and they gave me such joy as well. I want the happiness. I don’t want them to be hurt. I understand they were hurt. However, as in real life, much of the hurt we feel as preteens/teens is in our mind. No, that doesn’t make it less real. It’s still a valid hurt. It’s still a real hurt. I’m just saying that it wasn’t as bad in the school for Claude and Poppy as they imagined it to be. The peer group in the school DID accept them.

I don’t think the real world is like that. I think it’s just as bad as Claude/Poppy imagined it to be…no…I think it’s much worse. I don’t want that to be true…but I am afraid it might be.

That saddens me to say that maybe, for me…and families that are going through this…well…maybe the book was a small disappointment in that regards. It might be hard for the Poppy’s in the real world to relate to such perfect families and friends, when their own family and friends are very different.

I don’t want that to be true…I want the Poppy’s of the world to be free to be themselves. I want them all to be happy at the end.

I don’t know how to reconcile this desire with the reality of so much of the world…

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

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Review: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

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This book made me feel everything at once.  And then it did it all over again.  Sadness.  Confusion. Happiness.  Grief.  Empathy.  You name it, I felt it.  And I almost, note the use of the word ALMOST, cried.  I never cry over books.

Imagine having a child.  Not too much of a stretch for most of us.  But then imagine that child not being what you expected it to be.  Again, not so far off the mark for most parents.  Go deeper, though.  You thought you were getting another boy.  But then…

Rosie and Penn are the best parents.  With four boys, they’ve learned to accept whatever is thrown at them.  Quirks, idiosyncrasies, unusual hobbies and outfits-they’ve seen them all. When Claude comes along, however, they’re faced with something a bit different.  Because while Claude was born a boy, he felt different from a very young age.  He didn’t like typical “boy” things, preferring instead to wear dresses and pretending to be a princess.

So Claude’s parents handle it as they’ve handled everything else their kids have thrown at them, with acceptance.  Claude becomes Poppy.  Sadly, everyone isn’t as accepting as Rosie and Penn and Poppy’s four older brothers.  Secrets are kept and then unkept.  Change begins and then can’t be undone.  Along the way everyone struggles with who Claude/Poppy truly is and will be.

This is such an important book.  Rosie and Penn are the parents I’d want to have, especially if I were just a bit (or even a lot) different from what society expected me to be.  They’re not without faults, but everything they do stems from absolute love.  Their story is a reminder that the world is not a safe place for everyone.  And it’s our job to stand up for the Poppys of the world.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  This Is How It Always Is