Welcome back for another series review 🙂
I’ve been hearing so much hype about this book, and the series that came out a few months ago. During lockdown, everyone seemed to be reading this book- and Sally Rooney’s works have been held up as modern classics.
Unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of Rooney’s books. I read and reviewed ‘Conversations with Friends‘ earlier in the year, and I thought it was okay- a little underwhelming. I couldn’t finish ‘Normal People’ and so I decided to give the series a go to see if it was more captivating.
‘Normal People’ is about two teenagers, Marianne and Connell, who go to the same school but live completely different lives. Connell is part of the popular crowd, and while he is brooding and quiet in private, he has a school persona as the popular kid to keep up. Marianne is quiet and lonely at school, constantly taunted by Connell’s friends. Marianne is more well-off than Connell, and his mum, Lorraine, spends her afternoons cleaning for Marianne and her family.
Despite their differences, Connell and Marianne start a tentative relationship, sleeping with each other in secret and enjoying each other’s company. But at school, Connell still ignores Marianne, and his friends continue to bully her. Eventually, their differences take their toll on the “couple”, and they separate before starting University.
When Connell starts at University, he bumps into Marianne again and they begin to explore their relationship, deciding whether they should just be friends or try to reach for something more. Marianne and Connell’s relationship experiences constant ups and downs, and the series is all about following as their relationship grows, changes, and develops- with lots of obstacles along the way.
I wasn’t a huge fan of this series. In my opinion, it presented a very unhealthy view of relationships and love. I’ve heard a lot of reviews suggest that it represents “modern love” but if this is what modern love is like, it’s definitely like nothing I’ve witnessed! Their relationship never seems particularly enjoyable, and neither of them seem very happy.
I also didn’t really like either of the characters, and both of them always seemed to be sad and brooding. I’m glad I gave the series a go as there were some lovely romantic, touching scenes, and it’s always interesting to understand the hype- and form your own opinion! It’s clear that Sally Rooney can write brilliant romances that a lot of people can relate to- just not me.
Overall, I enjoyed ‘Normal People’ as a series about young people trying to understand love, loss, and their relationship. However, I thought it was quite underwhelming, and the pace was so slow. I couldn’t gel with either of the main characters, and Marianne especially annoyed me quite a bit.
I’m not too sure why ‘Normal People’ has caused so much excitement here in the UK, but I know my opinions are not the norm so maybe it just caught me at a time when I wasn’t really feeling it!
Have you tried this series? What’s your opinion on Sally Rooney’s novels? Would you consider giving this book or series a go?
Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below 🙂
Happy reading x