What has stuck with me most about Something Like Normal has been how real these characters and story are. They feel like a part of me. Like I know Travis, or like I am Harper. And I think what it is is the fact that we probably all know someone like Travis. In almost every generation there have been people from our lives who have fought in some war. It feels real because it is so real and relevant to today. It will strike a chord with anyone.
Travis is a character that instantly found his way to my heart. I wanted to reach into the pages and hug him, make him feel all better. Even though there were times I wanted to shake him and tell him he was being an idiot, most of the time I wanted to just hug him. It was so heart-wrenching reliving his experience in Afghanistan with him. I think Trish Doller did an incredible job of making us feel like we are in the middle of that war with Travis.
I loved how Harper kept Travis on his toes. She sure gave him a run for his money and I totally loved that! I felt really bad for what she went through in school too. Because of Travis, no less! I felt very vulnerable while she opened up to him and let him in. Like he was going to hurt her again and in turn, it would break my heart. Mostly because I loved Travis and didn’t want him to mess things up with Harper.
There was also something about the writing that felt so different and genuine. It felt more real than a lot of contemporaries I’ve read. Travis’s voice was so true and I completely believed myself in the head of this 19-year-old guy.
To say I loved this book would be an understatement. It moved me. It touched my heart so completely. It’s something like perfect, actually. You do not want to pass this book up. I cannot wait to read this book again soon and I cannot wait to see what else Trish Doller will have in store for us in any future books.
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pub Date: June 19th 2012
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | 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.