Adorable New Sports Romance! || ARC Review: Far From Normal

After finishing Becky Wallace’s Stealing Home, I found out that Becky was coming out with a new sports romance! I was so excited! And even more fun, I won one of Becky’s giveaways and received an ARC of Far From Normal! I’m so happy because this book was so fun! I loved it!

Title: Far From Normal
Author: Becky Wallace
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Release Date: September 22, 2020
Genres: YA Romantic Comedy

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Official Synopsis

From Stealing Home author Becky Wallace comes a Devil Wears Prada-inspired YA romance, in which “normal girl” Maddie must repair the image of Major League Soccer’s bad boy to ace her internship. A perfect read for fans of Morgan Matson and Miranda Kenneally.

Maddie McPherson is sick of Normal—both her hometown of Normal, Illinois and being the ‘normal’ sibling. But when she lands a summer internship with a sports marketing firm, she finally has a chance to crawl out of her genius brother’s shadow. Not to mention, a glowing letter of recommendation could secure her admission to her dream college.

But Maddie’s nickname is “CalaMaddie” for a reason, and when the company tasks her with repairing the image of teen soccer phenom Gabriel Fortunato, she wonders if she’s set herself up for embarrassment. Gabriel is a tabloid magnet, who’s best-known for flubbing Italy’s World Cup hopes. As Maddie works with him to develop “pleasant and friendly” content for social media, she also learns he’s thoughtful, multi-talented, and fiercely loyal—maybe even to a fault. Falling for a footballer is exactly how CalaMaddie would botch this internship, but with the firm pressuring her to get the job done, perhaps her heart is worth risking?

Lasting Impressions

Let’s start with Maddie. Maddie believes she’s super unlucky, wherever she goes. But she continually tries to push back on that, despite her mom always treating her like she ought to do less than her genius brother. I loved her go-getter attitude, and how she wouldn’t let those negative words and feelings get in her way. I love that she isn’t a genius, even though she is smart, and she works so, so hard. I was able to relate to her really easily and loved cheering her on.

Her relationship with Gabe is rocky at first (their “meet-cute” is hilarious), but the development of their relationship is so sweet. Because they have to work together in a professional aspect, I liked seeing how they began to trust each other, then develop feelings for each other. There were times I couldn’t stop swooning because of how cute these two are.

I found Maddie’s relationship with some of the secondary characters interesting as well, in particular her relationship with her aunt. I won’t give much away, but some things her aunt does is … hmmm. But I really liked how the author handled this relationship in the end.

Quick Thoughts

  • This is such a quick read! It’s light and fluffy and fast-paced—I was able to read it in just a couple of sittings, blissfully ignoring everything around me.
  • I loved Maddie’s relationship with her brothers, Max and Cube. I don’t find sibling relationships much in YA, so this was a nice surprise!

Overall Feelings

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was such a fun book! Definitely one of my favorite rom-coms now! I would recommend this to any sports romance fans or anyone looking for a light, fluffy, and distracting read!

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