Ellie Haycock Is Totally Normal

Ellie Haycock Is Totally Normal
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Release Date
March 05, 2024
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The Breakfast Club meets Five Feet Apart in this big-hearted novel from debut author Gretchen Schreiber.

Ellie Haycock has always separated her life into sections: Ellie at home and Ellie at the hospital. At home, Ellie is a proud member of her high school’s speech and debate team alongside her best friend and her boyfriend. At the hospital, Ellie has a team of doctors and a mom who won’t stop posting about the details of her illness online. It’s not hard for Ellie to choose which of the two she prefers.

But this latest hospital stay is different. Ellie becomes close with a group of friends, including Ryan, a first-timer who’s still optimistic about the doctors that Ellie stopped trusting years ago. Despite their differences, she can’t seem to keep him out of her head. Ellie’s life has never been ordinary―but maybe this time it will be extraordinary.

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1 review
Intimate and emotional look at living with a disability
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Ellie Haycock is Totally Normal is a contemporary romance (ish), based on real-life experiences, and about different disabilities/illnesses.
It takes a good look at how not just others see you, but how you perceive yourself and the world around you.
I liked the entire cast of characters, each one believable in some way, some more than others. There were times when Ellie's jaded attitude got on my nerves. She was super hateful at times, but then had this almost blasé attitude toward her mother's blog and wouldn't stand up for herself. That being said, I also didn't care for the attitude the mom had throughout a majority of the book. She, too, seemed very selfish.
The friend, the true friends, are amazing! They all were there for Ellie, even when she didn't want them to be, with the exception of one. They all had their own things going on, but still stuck it out with Ellie and all her drama. Caitlin is the best. I love that she pushed Ellie to see things differently and wasn't afraid to tell her what was up.
The romance was cute. I think Ellie and Ryan have a lot of potential together. A few scenes in his POV would be great bonus material.

I also like that this novel showed the reality of hospitals and doctors. Schreiber points out that they aren’t always right and sometimes they treat lives as a science experiment. There is a bit much doctor hate on Ellies part in different chapters, but I think the author does well to also bring attention to the fact that there are some amazing doctors our there, with good intentions and those that do see patients as people.

All in all, this is a wonderful YA contemporary novel, that focuses on a hidden world many know little about.
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