Reviews, Media, Interviews


“Highly compelling, intensely moving and ultimately hopeful, this book heralds the arrival of a talented new young adult author.” Books and Publishing

‘Honest, perceptive and gutsy; I loved tuning into Peta’s world.’ Emily Gale

“Peta is someone who I’m sure will sit with readers for some time after finishing the novel. She bursts on the page in technicolour, with raw honesty which makes me ache to know her.” The Unfinished Bookshelf

I really would have loved to have had a book like this during my teen years – I would have had the language and the understanding of why I felt so angry and exhausted all the time and why I felt like I was a liar and a fake and a nothing person underneath that facade. And I would have felt less alone, and understood that I didn’t HAVE to playact neurotypical. Goodreads

Peta is someone who I’m sure will sit with readers for some time after finishing the novel. She bursts on the page in technicolour, with raw honesty which makes me ache to know her. Unfinished Bookshelf

“I cried happy tears when I finished reading – it was so good and so validating to feel SEEN; to see someone like me written BY someone like me.” Goodreads Review


Books and Publishing

Good Reads Magazine: ★★★★★
“With neurodivergent people still misconstrued in media today, a book like Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal is absolutely vital. As a neurodivergent person myself, I wish I’d had a book like this as a teen – but reading it now is just as special.”

Issue 3, 2020, p.56. English Teachers Association of NSW
“Whateley’s voice is highly distinctive, accessible, and unique.” Alex Wharton

Just Kid’s Lit:
“I talked to this book. I laughed and I cried. I wanted to rescue those kids. I wanted to yell at some of the adults and hug others and tell them they were excellent human beings. This book is sure to speak to the hearts of so many people – both those diagnosed as “letter kids” and those, like me, who still struggle to find their “rating normal”. I heartily recommend it to absolutely everyone. This book will change lives.”

Sparkly Pretty Briiight, by AussieMoose:
“Much of what makes Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal such a compelling read for people of any age – it is ostensibly a YA book but I can’t think of anyone who couldn’t benefit from being a part of Peta’s life… it is as honest as any first person account you’re likely to get. Anna Whateley’s Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal is a brilliantly real and heartwarming read, a book which takes us deep into the world of the neurodivergent, the full extent of which many of us do not fully appreciate, and in so doing, reminds us that the differences between us are not a liability or some sort of deficiency but something to be valued and to be treated as just as normal as any other expression of humanity because in the end that is exactly what they are. Just ask Peta.”

Inside a Dog, by Imosshelf:
“This novel was a celebration for anyone with ASD, ADHD, SPD or who are a part of the LGBTQI+ community. It represents groups of people that for someone who reads as much as I do, I haven’t read all that much about. It also happens to be an Own Voices novel which means that these are experiences coming from the author (real people!!!).”
“There was so much I didn’t understand about this novel when I read it for the first time. It is full of identities that don’t belong to me and characters that at face value, I share next to nothing in common with. When I revisited chapters that I’d taken note of, I realised that that was the quiet brilliance of Anna’s writing.” 

Kathryn’s Inbox:
“This was a charming own voices read written with a whole lot of heart and understanding for the main character. Adolescence is a tough time, and its even tougher for someone who has to stop and think about whether following their natural impulses is okay, or if it will just cause them more trouble. It gave me a real appreciation for the way that people feel the need to mask themselves in public, to deny their sense of self in the hope of being considered socially acceptable. The ratings that Peta gave herself broke my heart a little, but something about it also made the story feel very real.”

Amelia’s Library.
“Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal by Anna Whateley is the Neurodiverse (and queer!) Tale we all Needed to Hear.
Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal by Anna Whateley is my honest-to-god new favourite book. I feel in love with Peta and the way her brain works made so much sense to me. Novels like this one are the stories of the future, where neurotypical and straight are not the default. Peta is so much like me (and so many other readers) and by the end of the book I felt like I was her best friend.
Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal is about a girl with ASD, ADHD and SPD and her journey of self-acceptance and learning to stop giving so much of a crap. It includes a wholesome skiing trip and an lgbt romance that we can all get behind.
This feel-good novel has such a wonderful message and I loved every page. Peta is a character that I can finally relate to and Anna Whateley portrayed neurodiversity in a positive and proud light that made autism seem so much simpler and more familiar to the reader. When I finished the book I was a little bit heartbroken to be back in the real world again, but I know I will come back to Peta time and time again and my copy of Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal will become well-worn and loved even more each time I read it.”

Rambles, Writings and Musings
“A story of romance and friendship and expectations. It is also a story of mistakes and miscommunication. This is a book about Peta’s discovery of herself. And of the pain caused by the rules she has been taught to make other people more comfortable. A story of a neurodivergence and of finding your place in a world that doesn’t like difference. I couldn’t put this book down once I started reading it. It is well written, emotional and glorious. A beautiful book.”

Aussie Kid’s Books. Sandy Bigna.
“This is a beautifully written and thought provoking portrayal of a teen embarking on the path to self discovery and self-acceptance. There are moments of pure light in the beautiful prose, which glimmer like sunlight on snow; so that even as our heart breaks for Peta, we are reminded that there will again be light in the dark.”

The Northern Rivers Review. The best books for kids this summer, according to author Kate Gordon
“This book completely rocked my world. A brave, brilliant and important book.”

Cass Moriarty. “And I think this is the great gift of this book: understanding, compassion and empathy.”

Virtual Oliver P. Vlog Review:


Turnip Lanterns. Frankenstein; or: The Autistic Self – Angeline B. Adams

Writer Festivals (online)

Queerly Beloved. Sydney Writers’ Festival:

Listen Here –


Wednesday Night Book Club. #WNBC August 13 with Dr. Anna Whateley and Dr. Susan Carland.
This is an insightful, educational and – frankly – joyous conversation about neurodivergence, based upon the brilliant new YA novel Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal. Huge thanks to Anna and Susan for their warmth, candour and wisdom.

Second Life Book Club:

ABC TV Weekend Breakfast:

ADHD-Hub: Are We There Yet? On this episode we talk to the amazing neurodiverse author Anna Whateley who wrote the book Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal. Through this interview we talk about the many different paths that Anna tried and how through writing this book discovered her own diagnosis of Autism.

2SER Book Club“The novel centers on friendship. Peta has her best friend Jeb. They’ve known each other for years and Jeb is the kind of person who cares enough to know when Peta needs him. Jeb is a study in masculinity that refuses to fit rigid definition. He’s strong enough to stand up for himself but does not let that make him hard. It was wonderful to see portrayed the ideal of men as supportive and present without needing to be dominant.”

Avid Reader book launch with Cass Moriarty:

OzAuthorsOnline book event with Rhianna Patrick:

Coming Out. Hawkes Bays Community Access Station “Putting You On Air” with Phoebe Wilton-Stuart –

Blog interviews

Ashleigh Meikle. Isolation Publicity with Dr Anna Whateley:


Amaze (Autism Victoria) #OwnVoices Author Interview – Dr Anna Whateley

Kate Foster:

Words and Nerds:

So You Want To Be A Writer?:

Blog version-

Better Words:

Anna Whateley interviews Kay Kerr for Sydney Writers’ Festival:

Dark Matter Zine:


ASPIRE Medal of Recognition, Individual Best Achievement, Writing of Any Genre.

“Anna Whateley writes proudly in her neurodivergent #ownvoice.”

Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal

A few articles, and interviews about Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal:

Here is the recording of my interview for the Wednesday Night Book Club, with Dr Susan Carland, and Tracey Spicer. Unbelievable really… !

#WNBC August 13 with Dr. Anna Whateley and Dr. Susan Carland