Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Pages: 214pgs

The Story

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.

The Review

A big thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!

Trish Doller definitely has a great story idea going for her, one that particularly focused hard on grief and guilt that war generally has on people. In that aspect and personally for me, I initially loved that direction that she went for for this particular storyline as it is very relevant for today's world of war and the effects it eventually has on our young soldiers and so on. So while I did like that take in this new contemporary YA book, but by the time I finished this book, I didn't particularly feel anything from the book nor did it have a big impact on me. At least not in a way that would make me recommend the book.

SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL, again, had a great idea initially but the characters were the main problem for me when connecting with this particular book. Travis, in particular, was one of the major problems for me. While I liked his voice in the beginning, but slowly as I began to read further into this book, I soon became to feel very distant with his character and the problem is I don't why exactly.Yeah . . . it's something that I feel very iffy about lately because I don't know how to feel about Travis. One moment you think you might like him, but then he does something or you learn something about him that makes you turn off him again. But all in all, I think perhaps the character just didn't do anything that made me take more notice of him . . . or perhaps it had something to do with his new romance with Harper, a girl he once knew in his past.

Now as for Harper, she too was someone I felt pretty iffy about sometimes. I mean, I did connect with her and I did begin to actually like her as a character more so than Travis, but again my problem with Travis had something to do with her all the time. The thing about Harper is that she hated Travis (or that was my impression at least at the beginning) and that was because before Travis left to enlist as a soldier, he had spread a certain 'rumor' about her which instantly made me not like him one bit. But, as I began to like Harper, for some reason she quickly forgave Travis for what he did which is rather hard to believe because anyone in her shoes would not forgive so easily or at least that is what I would do if someone spread a rumor that had a great effect on me. But . . . that's Harper for you. Sure Travis had his problems and some people may forgive him because of that, but I thought Harper didn't have a great connection to Travis and I thought she forgave him for certain things way too easily. But that's my opinion.

Overall, SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL was decent contemporary book, but wasn't the book I thought it would be like. But if you like contemporary reads that do explore grief and guilt, along with a little bit of subtle romance on the side, then this might be right up your alley.

The Rating
2/5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Aww, so sad you didn't enjoy this one as much as other people did. But I get your reasons. *pats* Thank you for the great honest review! I'm not sure if I'll go for this. Though maybe I will if I read more reviews.

    Precious @ Fragments of Life


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