We Are Totally Normal – Rahul Kanakia

Rahul Kanakia’s previous novel, Enter Title Here, came out from Disney in 2016. Additionally, his stories have appeared in Asimov’s Science FictionClarkesworldFantasy & Science FictionLightspeed, the Indiana Review, and Nature, and he has received fellowships from the Vermont Center for the Creative Arts and the Lambda Literary Foundation. Originally from Washington, DC, Rahul now lives in San Francisco.

We Are Totally Normal

In this queer contemporary YA perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story, Nandan’s perfect plan for junior year goes awry after he hooks up with a guy for the first time.

Nandan’s got a plan to make his junior year perfect, but hooking up with his friend Dave isn’t part of it—especially because Nandan has never been into guys. Still, Nandan’s willing to give a relationship with him a shot. But the more his anxiety grows about what his sexuality means for himself, his friends, and his social life, the more he wonders whether he can just take it all back. Is breaking up with Dave—the only person who’s ever really gotten him—worth feeling “normal” again?

IS IT JUST A PHASE? This OwnVoices book deals skillfully and realistically with the complications of understanding and owning your identity as a queer person, especially the bisexual experience. Fans of Ramona Blue and Rebecca Podos will find another favorite in Nandan.

DIVERSE CAST: The book is set in a California high school, where the main cast is made up primarily of people of color, including both the protagonist, Nandan, who’s Indian American, and his love interest, Dave, who’s Asian American.

SAVVY NARRATOR: Nandan’s got everything about high school figured out—or does he? Fans of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe will appreciate the narration, which is full of smart observations about modern high school culture measured with the occasional misstep.

NOT JUST ANOTHER COMING-OUT STORY: Nandan’s identity may be the focus of the book, but the story doesn’t center on his coming out; compared to drama with his friends and misunderstanding in his relationship with Dave, it’s almost a nonissue.

On Sale Date: March 31, 2020 – HarperTeen


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