Cover Image: Finding Normal

Finding Normal

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Member Reviews

This was really informative and I wish this was the type of required reading we had in Health class my freshman year. In a world that is slowly (oh so slowly) becoming more comfortable talking about our bodies, our health, and our mental awareness, Finding Normal and similar resources are the perfect way to encourage open and honest conversation. Dispelling taboos and providing historical context, Tsoulis-Reay has created a wonderful sounding board for readers to find answers to some of their most personal questions, while sharing studies on intimate human experiences.
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When I saw this title I knew I had to request it . As I have grown older I have realized I have a passion for both the taboo and sexual awareness. What I didnt expect was the level of detail that this author took and the passion they clearly have for their writing. I found the book informative and thought provocking. While it did pull me in, I do have to admit that the format of the book threw me for a loop. It seemed like the chapers were a bit to long and the seperation of the book into two parts was a little strange. My overall rating hovers at a 3.75 but since there is no way to rate this title this way I am increasing my starts to 4. I would read from this author again if given the chance since they did such a wonderful job at keeping my attention.
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Unfortunately due to file issues, I was unavailable to read this or download it. Would love another opportunity. Please email me!
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What I think the author did well was really listen to a few people and help share their stories in a thoughtful way, but the biggest problem for me with this book was that it didn't hold together. The premise didn't come through. The the shift to Part II that had the content warning felt oddly abrupt - like a separate book. And the ending was abrupt. It was more like separate essays hanging out together. Or two books held together.

Also, I really feel like the second half of the book should have been its own book. I'm trying think of why, and I'm not there yet. That second part felt very, very different to me, perhaps the taboo element. It left me uncomfortable searching for author to articulate why they book together they way they did. Perhaps this is my own baggage. Maybe becoming normal felt too adjacent to the transgressing part. Those are two different books.
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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC for an exchange for an honest review.

This book was informative and interesting.  Loved it.
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Date reviewed/posted: June 12, 2021
Publication date: September 7, 2021

When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. Plus it is hot as all heck and nothing is more appealing than sitting in front of a fan with a kindle.!

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

Alexa Tsoulis-Reay's Finding Normal is an author's up-close tour of people who are using the Internet to challenge the boundaries of what's taboo and what it means to be normal.

Based on a popular series of candid interviews conducted for New York magazine’s human science column—"What It's Like"—Finding Normal explores the ways that real people are using the Internet to find community, forge connections, and create identity in ways that challenge a variety of accepted sexual norms. Ranging from the atypical to the shocking, each story in Finding Normal intimately immerses the reader in the world of a person who is grappling with a unique set of circumstances relating to sexuality.

Finding Normal at once celebrates the power of our current media moment for helping people rewrite the script for their lives and offers a warning about the danger of that seemingly limitless freedom to find yourself. Finding Normal shows the enduring power of the search for belonging -- for humans and society. Like happiness or life purpose, finding normal is perhaps the definitive human struggle.

I want to start off by saying I know some VERY KINKY PEOPLE ... so really nothing in me surprised me, but it may be triggering for others and trust me, she did  NOT DO THE GAMUT when it comes to sexual proclivity!  This was a fascinating book to read and I will be talking about it for seven months until it is released from the date of this review - I figure I can not shock a lot of people and shock even more with bringing this book up.

I firmly believe, personally, that whatever floats your boat floats it and as long as does not harm children or anyone who has not given their consent, they have the right to be who they are. I don't care if you are in a long-term heterosexual/heteronormative relationship or if you like to walk around wearing a butt plug with a furry tale coming out - your sexuality is yours and yours alone and I should not judge you for being you. (Remember, 40 years ago gay pride parades were shocking so I wonder what will be marching in 2041!) 

The book was expertly researched and crafted and I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THE REVIEWS here on Netgalley, on Goodreads and everywhere else, Amazon included as I can foresee closed-minded people, diatribe-spewing nuts and some religious "types" losing their $h1t over this book. Read it, get over it and don't ask me what floats MY boat as it may shock you...

I will recommend this book to friends, family, patrons, book clubs, and people reading books in the park as we do … I have had some of my best conversations about books down by the Thames! I will also be sharing this review on a site that I WILL NOT REVEAL as said friends might pre-order it based on my recommendation alone

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube  Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾 (the closest I could get to a paddle!)
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**WARNING** explorations of fringe sexual proclivities may be triggering.

This book explores rarely-explored sexual orientations. The chapter on Asexuality was especially informative, as was the chapter on grown adoptees having sexual and romantic attractions to the birth parents who abandoned them when they were babies or toddlers. A disturbing chapter on people who feel they are in relationship with animals folllows. Very well researched, and the author took a lot of risks locating those willing to talk about their unconventional feelings and lives.
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