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This Side Of Normal Paperback – March 25, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric is a high school English teacher who aquired type one diabetes at the age of 12. Eric's writing stems from his classroom experiences, where his stories helped facilitate his teaching. Eric is actively involved with diabetes-related support groups including the Sugar Free Gang, a program affiliated with the American Diabetes Association. Eric is working on his next novel from his home in Upstate New York, where he lives with his wife, daughters and type one diabetes.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Long Tale Press (March 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981724930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981724935
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,836,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this to find out more about growing up with diabetes and I was pleasantly suprised to find an engaging and compelling story that vividly brought back the struggles of adolescence. This story was interesting on its own, besides being informative. Inspiring without being heavy handed. Great read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I breezed through This Side of Normal today. As soon as I saw the Amazon emblazoned packaged, I ripped it open and devoured.

Technicalities: Eric Devine crafts a story of a teenaged boy growing up in a time and adolescent age where nothing is for certain. He overcomes obstacles and learns how to fight for what he needs and for what he wants.

Disease and diabetes: Being honest about a disease is extremely difficult. Juvenile Type 1 Diabetes is something that not too many people know about. I'll be honest, I am a diabetes fighting champion. I struggle with the disease every single day- choosing to live with every single shot- and there are MANY. Devine's character, Ed, does the same. We watch him learn, cope, destroy and gather courage to fight something that has happened to him that is beyond his control. Who can't relate to failures and successes? Every day brings on a new challenge and dire consequences.

Even if you don't have a disease, every single person has an ailment- something that is holding them back from becoming the person they want to be. Be it Ed's loss of his brother, his mom's coping with her decisions, Stacy's "bad girl" image, Mark's broken family, Sid's need to fit in... everyone feels these feelings at least once.

Devine crafts a story that pulls you in and takes you for the ride. Yes, it is about diabetes and it strongly urges people to learn the disease. It also forces those with diabetes to reflect on their own experiences with it- to remember that first shot, that first finger prick, that first neglect from your closest friend. But, This Side of Normal is also about learning who you are, who you will become, and what you want to get out of "life".
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Format: Paperback
This book had me hooked from the opening line. Seriously. By the end of chapter 1, it was clear that the story centers around diabetes, so I don't think I'm giving much away there. What really impressed me, though, was the author's incredibly vivid and believable descriptions of the main character's experiences. I can't say that I knew very much about diabetes before reading this book, but boy, I do now. He really made me understand, in a way that could probably only be eclipsed by actually living with it, what it's like to live with diabetes. Especially _untreated_ diabetes. Yikes.

The story could have gone there, and stayed there in a relentlessly maudlin vein. But, it didn't. The main plot itself isn't really about diabetes. It's a much more human tale of the normal trials and tribulations of high school, combined with a double-helping of not-so-normal trials and tribulations of family and health. And it is all handled with great skill and sensitivity.

Note that I picked this book up directly from the publisher's website[...], where I they have it for a lot cheaper than here on Amazon. I just stopped by here to see what the book's sales rank was, and noticed it didn't have any reviews yet, which is a shame, because this is definitely a book that deserves to have nice things said about it.
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Format: Paperback
Whether you have diabetes, have a child with diabetes, know someone with diabetes or just enjoy a good read - This Side of Normal will grab you by the heartstrings by the time you finish the first page. Eric tells the story of a kids whose life is forever changed from the life he had before diabetes entered into it. He tells the story with honesty and humility and enough humor to remind us that despite the bad hands life sometimes deals us, there's always something to laugh at. This story isn't just about Ed and his disease, it's about the people in Ed's life whose lives are unavoidably changed as well. One can't help feel their pain, their struggle with Ed's disease and with the reality that diabetes changes everything. But it's the lucky ones, like Ed (and Eric) who find the silver lining in their diagnosis. This is a must read for EVERYONE who has diabetes or has a kid or student with diabetes. Either way, you can't help being affected by being a part of Ed's story. This Side of Normal a triumph and hopefully the first of many books by a wonderful author and courageous young man.
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