Skip to main content

Something Like Normal

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is a book that intrigued me since I first heard of it. I liked the idea of a book that shows soldiers returning from war dealing with the aftermath. Then I read Trish Doller's post during Marchetta Madness and became even more interested.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.

I have to say that for the first half of the book I was nervous I wasn't going to like it as much as everyone else has so far. I was loving the themes and setting, but something was keeping me from completely loving the characters. I felt distant from Harper and flat out didn't like Travis. I felt sorry for Travis and wanted him to get help for his obvious PTSD, but I didn't like him. Or so I thought. Upon reflection I have decided what I was really worried about was where the plot was going. I distanced myself from the characters because I was worried all of the plot elements were going to culminate in one of those overly dramatic YA novel Misunderstandings where the two main characters end up in some fight that could have been avoided if they had been honest and not acted like toddlers . I could have done a dance when the plot resolved itself in the exact opposite way. Yay for characters who act their age! Travis makes some seriously bad decisions at times, but the way he responds to the knowledge of those mistakes makes his character. And he is wonderful in all his messed up glory. 

My favorite thing about this book is that it tells a story of many real people that needs telling simply by focusing on one individual and all the complexities of his life. By letting us into Travis's head, Doller has given us a sense of what many young men we come in contact with regularly are going through. The mindset of soldiers returning home from war is one that needs to be addressed. This country is not serving well in so many ways those who serve us so well by risking their lives in our armed services. Travis's story is one that is playing out in cities and towns all across our nation. Travis's unwillingness to admit he needed help for fear of what acknowledging such a weakness would do to his career is such a real concern for these guys. I confess my favorite parts of this book weren't the scenes between Travis and Harper, as lovely as those are, but between Travis and his fellow Marines. It was a snap shot into a world I have never been and will never be a part of, and I was grateful for the view of it I was given.


Note on Content: I also should say that despite the sexiness of the cover this is not one of those books. If that is a concern that might keep you from reading it know that while it is clear sex is being had it is not described. The language in the book is reflective of the mc being a 19 year old Marine. 

I read a copy of this made available via NetGalley. It will be in stores on June 19th.

Comments

Betsy said…
Sounds intriguing!

Nice icons :-)
Brandy said…
It is pretty good, particularly for a debut novel.

Thanks! A really awesome friend of mine helped with those. :)
Chachic said…
So glad you ended up liking this! I thought you wouldn't based on your Goodreads update but I'm glad SLN changed your mind. Hmm come to think of it, you're right, the kissy cover doesn't really represent the book because the love scenes are fade to black.
Brandy said…
The cover definitely captures the wonderful almost there tension that exists between Travis and Harper BUT...if you read books with covers like that for the sexy times you will come away disappointed. If you try to avoid books with the sexy times the cover might be off putting. So ultimately I'm not really sure what they were going for.

Interesting you used the phrase fade to black to describe the love scenes. With Harper they are. With Paige they are more like blackouts-which I really liked because it did show exactly how little Travis was trying to think about anything and block out the world.

Popular posts from this blog

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

From Most Recent to Least:








What books have recently caught your eye?


Future Favorite Friday: June 2018

I take the 2nd Friday of every month to highlight some upcoming releases I am looking forward to that I hope are Future Favorites. Feel free to do your own post, just please link back to my blog and tell me about your post in the comments.

Two Naomis was one of my favorite reads of 2016 so I was understandably excited it's getting a sequel. 

In this sequel to Two Naomis, now that Naomi Marie’s mom and Naomi E.’s dad are married, the girls have learned to do a lot of things together, like All-Family Sunday dinners, sixth-grade homework, navigating the subway system by themselves, and visiting their favorite bakeries. Until sixth grade in a new school presents a whole new set of surprises and challenges.

Trusting her gut has worked for Naomi E. all her life, and she figures that it will be an asset to her role as a Peer Mediator—until she realizes how much of the job requires the Art of Compromise, which she’s only just starting to get used to at home.

Naomi Marie is excited about maki…

Lovely War

When I first heard about Lovely War by Julie Berry, I remember thinking, "Whoa, that's ambitious." And it is. The scope and depth of this story with all of its intricacies and thematic elements is massive. Berry manages to hold it all together beautifully. She managed it so beautifully that it is so far my favorite YA read of 2019.

The ecstasies and the wounds of love were Aphrodite's work. Forging passions was what she was born to do. She, too, was a welder, a mistress of fire of a different sort, working in materials more powerful and resistant than carbon and iron. And what did that toil do to her?

In 1942 New York City while men are partying on the eve of shipping off to war, a stunning couple arrives at a hotel in the midst of the revelry and departs for their room followed by an overly enthusiastic bellboy. But none of these figures are as they appear. The couple is Aphrodite and Ares on a secret assignation that turns out to be not so secret as the bellboy is Ap…

TTT: Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This Week's Topic: Auto-Buy Authors

Here are my auto-buy authors and their most recent or coming soon release. Also, I got stuck on twelve and couldn't cut it down any further. So it's really Top Twelve Tuesday today. Or Thirteen rather as I sort of combined Emma and Genevieve. (I auto-buy all their individual projects too.)








Who are some authors whose books you buy no matter what?

(I don't know what it says about me that there is only one male author on this list, but I don't dislike whatever it is.)


2019 Favorites So Far...

Who can believe we are halfway through 2019 already??? It's certainly hard for me. (Also, where did my summer go?) Anyways...here are my favorite reads of the year this year so far. I'm featuring my 10 Favorites overall and then 5 from each age category I read. It will be interesting to see which of these will make it all the way to the December 31 list!

Top 10 So Far:






 Top 5 MG:





Top 5 YA:




Top 5 Adult: