“In short: The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini is the most hilarious book I've read this year.
Hands up if you've ever wished you could visit a fantasy world that you've always dreamed about seeing in real life. I know I would offer up my first born to be able to go to Hogwarts (kidding, of course...). So I was very envious of The Other Normals' unusual hero, Peregrine "Perry" Eckert, when he finds out that the alternate world he has been obsessing over from his Creatures & Caverns rulebook (a play on Dungeons & Dragons) is a real place that he can visit. What a fun concept! Seriously every nerd's dream.
Having never read anything by Ned Vizzini before, I can't speak to whether all his books have a similar tone, but The Other Normals was BEYOND hilarious and the humour was absolutely the highlight of the book for me. It definitely takes the prize for funniest book I've read this year. That awkward moment when you're reading something funny in public and you burst out laughing causing everyone in the vicinity to stare at you strangely? Be prepared for a lot of that if you read The Other Normals in public. Everything about the world Ned Vizzini created was just silly and ridiculous and brilliant.
Most of the humour is derived from protagonist Perry's interaction with other characters and his approach to various situations. He is without a doubt the most geeky and socially awkward character I have ever read about and Ned Vizzini utilizes these characteristics to maximum comic effect. In other circumstances, I might be annoyed by how ridiculously blundering Perry can be, but Ned Vizzini manages to endear him to the reader, creating a very sweet and charming character. It was nice seeing Perry finally take hold of his life and live it to the fullest.
I will say that I thought the world building and concept was pretty sketchy and riddled with plot holes, but I realize that criticism is not entirely fair. The Other Normals isn't a book that is meant to be taken too seriously. I definitely recommend The Other Normals to anyone looking for just a fun, nonserious read to pass the time. A fast pace, tons of quick witted dialogue, and really short chapters will ensure that you speed through it in no time. I believe it is also a standalone. If ever I'm craving another genuinely funny book, I will be sure to turn to Ned Vizzini's novels first.”