Something Like Normal

by Trish Doller

Something Like Normal coverTravis has returned home on leave after a stint in Afghanistan. Home to the father who sees him as a disappointment, the brother who takes everything from him (including his girlfriend) and a mother who lets her husband walk all over her.

But things have changed in the year Travis has been gone, for him and his family and friends. Travis is trying to adjust to these changes while dealing with his own tragedy.

And an unexpected reconnection.

First and foremost, I probably wouldn’t have even glanced at this book twice if Kelly, over at Stacked, hadn’t mentioned how much she loved it. Because she was totally, totally right. Something Like Normal is wonderful.

Doller does (what I think is) an excellent job with the subject matter. The book isn’t preachy or over-the-top. It just is what it is. And the tone, plot pacing – all of that was great.

Travis was completely flawed. He makes some bad decisions. And he waffles over making good decisions. But he DOES make good ones. And great observations. His voice was just lovely – totally frank and unapologetic. And my heart just wrenched for him every time he saw Charlie.

Harper was an interesting character, as well. I would have liked to have more information about her, but, obviously, this isn’t really her story. It’s Travis’, so we get what we get. The relationship between Harper and Travis was a delight to follow. (Not “ha-ha” delight, just “this is pretty spot on” delight.)

My favorite part of the entire book, though, was the portrayal of Travis’ friends. Both his army buddies and his high school friends. Relationships can change so much once you leave high school and I really thought Doller did a great job capturing this – the difference between the “old” friends and the “new” ones.

All around great book. And a fantastic YA novel with an older protag, which is always fun (and rare, I feel).

Where this book came from: egalley from the publisher
Published by: Bloomsbury USA

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One response to “Something Like Normal

  1. I agree, Doller is absolutely spot on. I like your observation about the difference between Travis’s old friends and his new friends. I never even picked up on that, I mean I got that his high school friends were different from his army friends, but I like how you put it. I also think it’s great how flawed he is, that he isn’t painted to be some hot golden boy, but that he does stupid things, like Paige.

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