Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Normal People” as Want to Read:
Normal People
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Normal People

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  21,312 ratings  ·  2,084 reviews
Connell and Marianne both grow up in the same town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. But they both get places to study at university in Dublin, and a connection that has grown between them despite the social tangle of school lasts long into the following years.

Sally Rooney's second novel is a deeply political novel, just as
Hardcover, 266 pages
Published August 28th 2018 by Faber & Faber
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Normal People, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jacqui Williams Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. Both are about relationships from two perspectives over many years.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Nicole the ending itself is sort of open-ended, a ;little bittersweet, but there is a climactic event toward the end when she finally starts to turn things…morethe ending itself is sort of open-ended, a ;little bittersweet, but there is a climactic event toward the end when she finally starts to turn things around.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  21,312 ratings  ·  2,084 reviews

Sort order
Emily May
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, contemporary
No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not.

This is going to be a polarizing book. I mean, I think I liked it. And I say "liked it" in the sense that it made me very miserable. It is a quiet character study, almost a YA novel but not quite, and it is a profoundly lonely and depressing love story.

I didn't begin by liking it. Normal Peopl
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19-20-19, book-club
Sally Rooney is the real deal

Normal People has been lavished with praise from critics, longlisted for the Man Booker prize and is apparently being adapted for television by the BBC. And it only came out last week!

All that attention will no doubt attract quite a few readers who would not ordinarily touch this subject matter with a barge pole. Because this book:

A) Is about young people
B) Is a love story (but not a romance)
C) Contains a fair bit of sex (which is crucial to the story, btw, and is n
Portal in the Pages
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Goddamit Sally Rooney and now I'm crying.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bookclub-reads
Man booker prize long list nominee and Costa book awards nominee This is a book that has many admirers and sadly it didn't work for me and while I would love to agree with all the judges on this one I only struggled to the end because it was a bookclub read. It is difficult to go against the grain on a book that is nominated for so many awards. So as always you need to judge for yourself because books fit people differently

Quite simply this book didn't Fit Me. I really have no interest in r
Sep 24, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure how to write this review because I seem to be so far beyond the pale on my antipathy to this book. In simplest terms I didn't connect with this work at all and I would be best to chalk this up to a "reader/writer" mismatch and move on but I will try and articulate some of my reading experience.

Some of my perplexity with Normal People is that I just couldn't relate to the twenty something, highly educated, politically aware and cynical young adults that populate this novel. I am not
Larry H
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars.

Sally Rooney's upcoming novel Normal People almost felt like a puzzle, in that you didn't really know what you were truly getting until all of the pieces came together. Beautifully written although a little slow in its pacing, it's a novel full of deep emotions, which made it difficult to read at times.

Connell and Marianne know each other from high school, although they pretend not to, plus his mother works as a cleaner for her family. Marianne is a bit of a laughing stock in school,
Britta Böhler
I have to admit I wasn't taken with Rooney's debut Conversations with Friends but I tried to read her second book with an open mind. The writing was good and some of the themes were interesting but I was rather bored by the selfabsorbed, cliché-characters: women who just want to 'get the man' and who always question their self-worth after a break-up, and men who are behaving as if they come straight out of a 'boys-will-be-boys'-movie. So 1950ies. And the ending is just plain cheesy.

2.5* (mainly
Peter Boyle
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: booker-nominee, irish
I wanted to like this book more than I did. How thrilling that the author hailed as "Salinger for the Snapchat generation" is Irish, and from my own province of Connacht at that. There are moments in this novel that would certainly back up such a bold claim. But I believe that she is a writer still honing her craft. Not quite the finished article just yet, but with all the potential to become a literary heavyweight.

In the beginning we meet Connell and Marianne, two young people growing up the we
Sam Quixote
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oooof. Alright - a disclaimer before I start. Normal People by Sally Rooney is superb. I’m gonna gush about this one (warning to those in the splash zone!) and I honestly feel that the less you know about it, the better the experience will be for you. So, to those of you who’re thinking of reading it, don’t bother with any reviews about the book - just read it. It’s a contemporary story about a boy and a girl who fall in love. That’s all you need to know. And when you’re done, come back and we c ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018

This will probably be the last book I read from this year's longlist (unless Snap or Sabrina are shortlisted). I have been hearing great things about Sally Rooney since her name got a number of glowing recommendations in last year's end-of-year reviews, but I only got round to reading her first novel Conversations with Friends last week. I was impressed by that, so my expectations for this one were very high.

I found the first couple of chapters a little fl
Bernard O'Keeffe
Sep 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
On the second page of Sally Rooney’s universally acclaimed, Booker- longlisted novel is the following paragraph:

‘He puts his hands in his pockets and suppresses an irritable sigh, but suppresses it with an audible intake of breath, so that it still sounds like a sigh.’


I get the hand in the pockets bit, but how the hell does the rest of it work? A sigh is an exhalation and I have no idea how any attempt to suppress a sigh by inhaling could possibly sound like one. I’ve tried hard to imagine
Engrossing, complex, and emotionally honest, Normal People is an understated powerhouse of a novel. As this book ends up being so much more than the sum of its parts it's particularly difficult to summarize, but basically, it's a sort-of-love-story about Connell and Marianne, two young people growing up in small town Ireland together, who both move to Dublin for university in 2011.

There isn't much going on in this book aside from Connell and Marianne's 'will they/won't they' relationship, but I
Gumble's Yard
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker – and the only book published after the longlist was announced, and so the last I came to read (a month and 2 days after the announcement).

While not shortlisted for that prize - the book is now (and not surprisingly) starting to sweep other awards: Irish Book of The Year - Best Novel. National Book Award - International Author, Waterstone's Book of the Year - Best Novel and Best Book, Costa Award - Best Novel.

I have little doubt that the author will be the on
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The night before the Man Booker Shortlist was announced, I was approved for the eARC of this title, so I stayed up late finishing it. Sadly it was not included in the shortlist, but if you like novels about relationships, this is excellent. It traces Marianne and Connell's friendship from childhood, and also tackles class difference and family violence.

(I often find my favorite books from award lists are long but not shortlisted anyway.)

Thanks to the publisher for granting me early access; sadl
Lucy Langford
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it

You learn nothing profound about yourself simply by being bullied; but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget.

This was a hard book to review as it is so outside my usual type of book. This book follows Marianne: intellectual, cold and a wallflower; and Connell: likable, lives in poverty and anxious how people see him. Both have secret family lives outside what their classmates can see; one in a household of love and one from coldness. These two unlikely people be
Anna Luce
★★✰✰✰ 2 grungy stars

If you believe that characters who dislike themselves, shrug a lot and say "I don't know" 24/7 , are very deep and realistic, well this is the perfect read for you.
Or if you enjoy reading about "in" authors...look no further. After all, Rooney is "defining a generation".

If you are thinking about reading this novel, I suggest you listen to the following song instead, since it will take you less time and you will get the same story:
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-25
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I feel so fucking claustrophobic and depressed right now.

Barry Pierce
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
In her first novel, ‘Conversations with Friends’, Sally Rooney introduced us all to her schtick – young Irish novels for young Irish people. Her debut followed a sort of ménage à quatre in which no character, and I literally mean no character, came out as loveable or bearable. It was like witnessing a car crash in slow motion. ‘Conversation with Friends’ also lacked a cohesive mood and prose style. The Guardian rightfully bashed Rooney as a non-visual writer, stating that the dialogue in the nov ...more
(2.5) Conversations with Friends was one of last year’s sleeper hits and a surprise favorite of mine. I was part of the official shadow panel for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and was pleased to see Sally Rooney win the prize. So I jumped at the chance to read her follow-up novel, especially after it was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. It’s been earning high praise from critics and ordinary readers alike as being even better than her debut. Alas, though, I was let down.

Sarah Jean
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I inhaled this book. It’s as cunning and perceptive as Conversations with Friends, yet more deeply interior and tender. I’m cemented as a Sally Rooney fan for life. I love the cast of normal people her exceptional mind creates.
I didn’t find the writing as earth-shattering as a lot of people, but I did enjoy the hell out of this book.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-booker, 2018
It was only recently that I got round to reading Rooney's first book (Conversations With Friends) and that was really only because I was waiting for this one to be published so that I could finish my reading of the 2018 Man Booker long list. I didn’t enjoy CWF, but then I started to see positive reviews of Normal People from other GR reviewers whose opinions I value and trust. So, I approached this one in a hopeful mood: I expected it to be better than CWF and thought there was a good chance I w ...more
Johann (jobis89)
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can already feel my book hangover kicking in 😭 BUT I WANT MORE. Full review to come.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2019
To be honest I don’t really know how to review this. I think this is probably the best book I will read this year. Rooney is the kind of writer who is not only exceptionally skilled at writing, but she’s also the kind of writer who really gets people. This novel, perfectly captures what it is to be young, anxious, confused, and imperfect. It’s much more than an exploration of relationships and their dynamics, it’s discussion of youthful decision-making, in all unthinking, arbitrary glory, and th ...more
Ova - Excuse My Reading
DNF at page 120..

This started really promising, but turned into a big yawn.. So much talk it could have been easily titled "Conversation with Friends 2"

Marianne and Connell were a bit interesting in their hometown, but in Dublin it's turned into a journal, a game of sleeping with different people and being so unsure about the situation between them? I really don't enjoy details like "destiny's child was playing.." or "she was wearing a black vest and the other girl was wearing this and that". Ju
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: booker-2018
3.5 stars, rounded down.

I wasn't looking forward to this Booker longlist novel, but I was impressed despite myself. I thought it was going to be new adult written as lit fic, but that assumption wan't accurate. The novel doesn't always work, but I found it thought-provoking and sometimes insightful. More tightly focused and less trope-y than Conversations With Friends, it's a classic coming-of-age university novel but very much of this era (which makes me curious about how it will age and be reg
Normal People is a novel that moved me. It's a book that could've so easily veered into the grandiose, but instead maintained a quiet kind of significance, an assertion of the momentous in the everyday. Its story hinges on two central characters—Connell and Marianne—their thoughts, their flaws, their conversations, their relationship(s). On the surface, the story's plot isn't much: two people living their lives, coming together and drifting apart. But what draws you into this story is not the st ...more
Alice Lippart
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
Intense and fascinating, but also a bit frustrating.
Maddie C.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, says Marianne. I don’t know why I can’t be like normal people.”

I will officially read (and likely love) everything Rooney writes. I prefer her debut to this one but the consistency in her writing and the themes she explores make her and her works a landmark to understanding our current generation -- which can be misinterpreted as very many things (according to the media, most of them not good) but, mostly I think what makes me and many other people in my gen
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
YA Buddy Readers'...: Normal People by Sally Rooney - Starting January 16th 2019 12 15 Jan 28, 2019 01:42PM  
Play Book Tag: Normal People - 5 stars and a ❤️ 2 30 Sep 30, 2018 07:37AM  
ManBookering: Normal People by Sally Rooney 11 141 Sep 15, 2018 09:36AM  
  • The Beat Hotel: Ginsberg, Burroughs and Corso in Paris, 1957-1963
  • Flickan och skammen: En bok om samhällets syn på slampor
  • Suede: Love and Poison: The Authorised Biography
  • To Throw Away Unopened
  • Lemon Jail: On the Road with the Replacements
  • From a Low and Quiet Sea
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection
  • Coal Black Mornings
  • Gingerbread
  • Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars 1955-1994
  • Crudo
  • The Most Dangerous Man in America: Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD
  • The Kenneth Williams Diaries
  • Mrs. Everything
  • David Bowie: A Life
  • In Our Mad and Furious City
  • Kudos
  • The Nickel Boys
Sally Rooney was born in 1991 and lives in Dublin, where she graduated from Trinity College. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Dublin Review, The White Review, The Stinging Fly, and the Winter Pages anthology.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“It was culture as class performance, literature fetishised for its ability to take educated people on false emotional journeys, so that they might afterwards feel superior to the uneducated people whose emotional journeys they liked to read about.” 35 likes
“No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not.” 28 likes
More quotes…
Boost your memory – and sharpen your mind | Reproducir | The Meaning Of Life (1983)