A Shot at Normal

Content Overview

Overall Content



Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking


Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty


Violence, Weapons, Blood, Crime


Potentially Intense Themes


**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

A Shot at Normal

Marisa Reichardt

Marisa Reichardt’s A Shot at Normal is a powerful and timely novel about justice, agency, family, and taking your shot, even when it seems impossible.

Dr. Villapando told me to get a good attorney. He wasn’t serious. But I am. I’m going to sue my parents.

Juniper Jade’s parents are hippies. They didn’t attend the first Woodstock, but they were there for the second one. The Jade family lives an all-organic homeschool lifestyle that means no plastics, no cell phones, and no vaccines. It isn’t exactly normal, but it’s the only thing Juniper has ever known. She doesn’t agree with her parents on everything, but she knows that to be in this family, you’ve got to stick to the rules. That is, until the unthinkable happens.

Juniper contracts the measles and unknowingly passes the disease along, with tragic consequences. She is shell-shocked. Juniper knows she is responsible and feels simultaneously helpless and furious at her parents, and herself.

Now, with the help of Nico, the boy who works at the library and loves movies and may just be more than a friend, Juniper comes to a decision: she is going to get vaccinated. Her parents refuse so Juniper arms herself with a lawyer and prepares for battle. But is waging war for her autonomy worth losing her family? How much is Juniper willing to risk for a shot at normal?

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5) This is a quick, easy read. Juniper lives the life of homeschooling, organic food, homemade hygiene and more. Most of it she’s ok with but when she contracts measles, she infects another person with terrible consequences. From here she is determined to get vaccinated and fight for what she believes.

She’s met with admiration from her friends and disappointment from her parents. Her parents actually act very immature and it was very disappointing to read.

While the book is definitely for vaccinations, it argued both sides decently. There were small debates throughout about homeschooling, organic food and more where once again, both sides were represented. 

The story is written well and kept me entertained, however, it’s not a subject I would typically read about and therefore was not as invested.

Content Summary: The romance was mild and sweet with nothing more than brief kissing. Language was at a minimum with 1 F word. There were some intense moments of fighting between kids and parents and sicknesses with an infant death.

Thank you to Fierce Reads for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

Detailed Content Review


F***- 1

H***- 3

S***- 10

A**- 6


D***- 3


Religious Cursing

J****- 1


G**- 8


Derogatory terms etc-

Pussy (name calling)

Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking

A party has a young man vaping with and many drunk teens. A young woman and young man drink beer. 

Two women drink wine while cooking and later after dinner. 

Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty

*Very minor LGBTQ+ aspects included*

A young man kisses a young woman. 

At a party two young men kiss and a young woman and young man kiss. Hands are roaming all over their bodies. 

A young man kisses a young woman.

A young man kisses a young woman.

A young man kisses a young woman.

A young woman kisses a young man. She kisses him all over his face as she holds his face with her hands. 

A young man kisses a young woman. 

A young man kisses a young woman then stops to “come up for air” and then they kiss some more. 

Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood

A young woman pushes a young man down. He tries fighting a young man but they separate. 

Potentially Intense Themes

A young woman is very sick with measles. She exposes many people without knowing it. She is placed in quarantine in the hospital with pneumonia. 

**SPOILER** A 6wk old baby contracts measles and dies. A young woman knows she accidentally gave it to her and is very devastated. It is talked about multiple times throughout the book.

Someone has spray painted on a family’s front door and lawn.

A young man gets stung by a bee. He is allergic. He starts swelling and can’t talk. A young woman has to inject his epipen then calls an ambulance. 

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 


  1. Vaccination is so important and I love that someone wrote it into a YA book. However, because I work in the medical field I don’t think I could read it. It drives me insane when they get medical things incorrect.

  2. It’s refreshing that both sides are represented. I’m actually kind of surprised they’re doing vaccines for chicken pox 🤷🏻‍♀️ I didn’t know it was a thing until I had my daughter. It’s actually the only vaccine she had a reaction too as well

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