Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

I received Something Like Normal from the publisher through NetGalley

Something Like Normal

YA Contemporary Romance

Pub Date 
June 19th 2012

Bloomsbury Children's Books

Available At
Barnes & Noble


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.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars!

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the cover in it's beautiful simplicity. Then I read the blurb, noticing that it would be told from a males perspective, I was instantly hooked. There is something about reading from a males point-of-view that just makes me so incredibly giddy.

Travis is a unique voice, he's blunt, and like mentioned in the blurb, he has a dry sense of humor and his sense of honor is amazing. I fell in love with Travis Stephensen the instant he walked off that plane and into my life, as a reader. He's suffering from post-traumatic stress, something that can happen to anyone. He's extremely fleshed-out, he's so real that he could be any of the real-life Marine's walking around on this planet. In fact, each and every character is real, they have qualities that are real, struggles that are real and a camaraderie that is real. Trish Doller does an exceedingly great job of NOT romanticizing the relationships that Travis maintains, be it with his mom, dad, brother, Harper, Paige, a fellow Marine or whoever else. They just are, they just happen, and everyone and everything flows together with perfection.
Something Like Normal has a raw gritty truth staring you in the face, impacting the emotional level up an infinite magnitude. Trish Doller doesn't gloss over the abrasive facts, she doesn't breeze by the embedded layers. This is deeply intense, I had tears dripping down my face the whole time I was reading, even in the happy moments. Heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time. The romance between Harper and Travis lends a sweetness to the unyielding harshness that is Something like Normal. Trish Doller rose above by choosing to write in Travis's voice. His thinking wasn't hidden behind lyrical, descriptive prose, it was straight to the point, simplistic bliss. It was brilliantly genius. There wasn't any mystery to wade through, the story was laid out right from the beginning, yet another wise choice from Trish Doller. Something Like Normal, didn't need the extras, it was just a story that needed to be told.
I recommend Something Like Normal to every single reader of both genders(well, maybe 16+), it is a book that needs to be read. There is some mature content, but in this book it is a necessity. Also, highly, highly recommend to anyone who has family, friends, loved ones in any military. This is an extremely eye-opening novel that shouldn't be missed.

I've been to Doller's blog (click here! Absolutely gorgeous!) and I've read the little snippets (one or two sentences) that she has placed all over of her next projects. I will tell you now that Trish Doller is going to be a HUGE hit among readers. She exudes natural talent when it comes to writing and those snippets, they have me anxious to read everything and anything that flows from that beautiful mind.

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