Something Like Normal
By Trish Doller
Publication date: June 19, 2012
Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 224 pages
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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.
— Goodreads.com description
If I have one complaint about Something Like Normal by Trish Doller it is that it ended far too soon. I fell in love with Travis and Hayden and would have been content to follow their story for at least another 224 pages.
The kissing scenes certainly helped contribute to this feeling. No siree, no complaints whatsoever on the panty-dropping bits of this novel. High-five, Trish Doller!
Okay, I’ll be serious. Travis’ story, though by no means representative of all modern soldiers’ experiences, does show in a very real and raw way what so many young servicemen and women are battling, even after the war’s end.
Sure, we read a lot about post-Apocalypse life or dystopian societies, but what about the wars we’re fighting in the real world, right now? It’s often ignored in modern YA literature, and it was extremely eye-opening for me to experience through this novel. People often ignore the fact that when a war is over, it still lives on in the soldier’s memories, often in the form of PTSD. Trish Doller did a beautiful job of tapping into the fear and brotherhood and death and putting it all on the page in an extremely raw way.
I loved it. There’s so much angst and compassion and tears. This novel will move you. Read it.