Holly Bourne, author of Am I Normal Yet? (Usborne), answers five questions about her book and YA.
What is Am I Normal Yet? about?
It’s about a girl called Evie, who’s recovering from OCD and doesn’t want any of her new friends to know about her condition. But, in her quest to be seen as ‘normal’ again, she starts to lose herself along the way. She also co-founds a kick-ass feminist grassroots group called ‘The Spinster Club’ and talks about her period a lot.
What does it mean to be on the YA Book Prize shortlist?
Actually amazing. I have to keep checking it’s real. I’m hugely proud of Am I Normal Yet? but never thought it would get listed for a literary award after my copy-editor had to check if the word ‘bell-end’ is hyphenated. Reader: it is.
Seriously, I almost cried when I found out. Especially as the rest of the shortlist is so stunning.
Why do you think your book should win?
Well, this question goes against every rule of how-to-be-a-modest-British-person EVER. Umm... I do think it would be great if a funny book could win a book prize. Am I Normal Yet? deals with dark topics, but always with a dose of funny, as I wanted Evie to be so much more than an ‘OCD sufferer’. That said, every single book on this list is sublime and a worthy winner.
What is special about YA in the UK and Ireland?
The community surrounding it, for sure. It’s the best bunch of enthusiastic, dedicated, warm, talented, wonderful lovelies ever.
What kind of YA books do you like to read?
I’m a contemporary girl, but I really will read anything if the characters and writing is good. I adore every book on this list, so that’s a good place to start.