Mon, April 23, 2012

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller Book Review

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller book cover

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.

— 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.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: death, romance, trish doller


  1. Cass (Words on Paper) said:

    When I saw this book in the Bloomsbury catalogue I jumped for it! That is exactly what I’m in the mood for, actually. Something raw and truthful and very, very relevant to today’s society. Something that is happening everyday, but is blatantly ignored. Well said. I hope I enjoy (enjoy is probably a funny word to use in this case…) it as much as you did!


    Posted on: Mon, April 23, 2012

  2. Lori said:

    I keep hearing such great things about this book! Your review has sealed the deal, I’m going to read it this week!


    Posted on: Mon, April 23, 2012

  3. Estelle said:

    This just landed in our NetGalley box and I’m super excited to read it. So much so that I alread pre-ordered it last week. haha. I love the “panty-dropping” comment. I may have to borrow that someday. But I agree, there should be more books written about kids our age going into war & coming out. Because there are so many. Maybe we just have to go out and search for a few? Or maybe people our age will be the ones to write them.

    Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend!


    Posted on: Mon, April 23, 2012

  4. Sarah @ Y.A. Love said:

    I loved this book as well! It’s so authentic and real. Great review 🙂


    Posted on: Mon, April 23, 2012

  5. VeganYANerds said:

    Love this review, Anna. I am SO looking forward to this, I wish June would hurry up already!


    Posted on: Mon, April 23, 2012

  6. a. knight @ paranormal indulgence said:

    You and Jen, I swear, are out to kill me with your reviews of THIS BOOK. I have to wait a little while before I read this, cos I’m trying to, you know, stick closer to the RELEASE DATE. That’s like a month or two away, so STOP TORTURING ME. I can only imagine how delicious this romance is and then with all the Deeper Stuff. Gosh, it’s getting WAY difficult to hold back for a little longer.


    Posted on: Mon, April 23, 2012

  7. jen said:

    YES. TRISH DOLLER, FTW. She owns my soul a little bit.


    Posted on: Mon, April 23, 2012

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