Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Something Like Normal
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.
Publishes in US: June 19th 2012
Source: publisher for review

My Review:
    If you've ever wanted a taste of life as a soldier, you can find it in this gritty, touching and romantic book by Trish Doller.
    Travis has his faults, but he is such a great narrator and it was quite a journey being in his head, living out his story with him. I got so lost in what he was going through--from his memories of Charlie (his dead best friend), his frustrations with his parents, his nightmares and triggers to the story with Harper. Speaking of, she is such a great girl. Their story from middle school is rough, and I hope that it can get across the message to others that it did for me. Lies of omission can still hurt, and labels that get put on you or because of you doesn't go away as easily as one might think. But I am glad that they could overcome that because I love how their friendship progresses and what happens to them. Harper also lightened the mood a lot with her remarks. She added a whole other dimension though with how she rolled with the punches (and sometimes doled them out) and how she responded to Travis.
    Another character that I adored was Charlie's mom. We didn't get much of her, but what we saw was nice.
    The dynamics between Travis and his parents felt authentic to me. His mom was behind him, making support packages and joining military mom's groups. She had this feeling of familiarity to me, which is a good thing. Watching her character change and evolve in here made me smile, and seeing it through Travis' eyes made it all the better. Travis and his dad had a rocky relationship and I think that its portrayed well in the present although we do get some peeks at what got them to that point.
    Trish Doller has a nack for writing emotions. I was moved by the story and his flashbacks of what happened in Afghanistan as well as the guilt he carried with him. There are so many layers to this book, and it kept my attention the whole way through.
What do you think of this book and/or my review?
Do you know anyone who's come back from, or currently serving in Afghanistan or some other war or suffered from PTSD? 
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  1. Funny how a cover can put you off a book - this one certainly wouldn't make me want to pick the book up.

    Still, a great review, this sounds like a very topical read ..... perhaps a little too topical for me.

    1. cover for me isn't actually all that fitting, but can def see what you mean

  2. Great review! I had not heard about this book before. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  3. Awesome review. I thought, by looking in the cover of the book that it will be another problematic teenager in love, but reading your review, it will a worthy read. Thanks for posting this.

  4. Great review! This sounds like a good book :)

  5. I really loved this book, all the emotions and the fact that it all felt so real. I really sympathized with the MC and all that he went through and would continue to go through.

    Nice review! :)

  6. great writeup. now, i'm off to find this book in our local store.=)

  7. Oh, that sounds pretty harsh. Great review and thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

  8. what a great review! I'm so looking forward to this one, so thanks for the amazing review. I love the emotional books.

  9. Nice review! I'm really glad this one worked for you. It sounds great..and I love books with a lot of emotion. I do know someone overseas right now. My brother is also in the army (his friend, who he grew up with for the most part is the one overseas). My brother has not gone overseas yet, but it's a scary thing to wait for.


  10. I just saw a waiting on wed for this book, cool :)
    great review as always. But as for your question, no on both accounts

  11. This story is so realistic. I could feel his emotions. It made me realize that these people who go through war are effected in a level we really wont ever understand. For that I appreciate what they do to keep us safe everyday. This is a must read.

    Zaira Lynn (Skagway Fishing Charter)


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