Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Something Like Normal By Trish Doller Review


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.


Something Like Normal is told from Travis’s perspective. Travis is a marine, and 19 years old. He joined the Marines to get away from his dysfunctional family, but then discovered that he was surprisingly good at being a soldier. I was impressed with how Trish Doller was able to get inside not only a teenage guy’s head, but also a soldier’s… and relay the experiences and emotions of Travis’s time in Afghanistan, and also dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You can’t help put love Travis as a character – he’s flawed, he makes mistakes, and he strives to be better.

When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his family is in shambles, and he feels out of place. He mourns the death of his best friend Charlie, and feels guilty that he wasn’t able to save him. When he meets Harper again, a girl he has a not-so-great past with since middle school, he begins to find peace, and “something like normal”. I really liked Harper, Its not everyday you get to read about a girl who punches a Marine in the face for something that happened when they were 13. LOL.

I loved seeing different sides of Travis – from his moments with Harper, to the way he was with his Marine buddies (like a family), to the relationship he has with his mom. I seriously wanted to strangle his Dad, and punch his brother at times. I felt so strongly about the characters in this book, they all felt so real.
I look forward to reading more from this author!