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Review: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Monday, June 18, 2012
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
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Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 224 pages
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley
Buy It: Powell's


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.

Why Something Like Normal is one of my favorite contemporaries this year:

Reading from Travis' point of view was my favorite part of the story. To start off, Travis is not perfect, which makes him an incredible character to read from. Travis has recently returned home from Afghanistan and he is continually haunted by the events there. Returning home, Travis seems to have unknowingly matured and has begun to look at life a bit harsher. Before flying over seas, Travis was... to put it lightly, not the kindest person in high school. He was the big shot, the one almost every girl wanted. ALMOST every girl.

Harper definitely knows how to make an impression. She's sweet and caring while also having an edgier side. Travis and Harper have a history that go way back. A history that earned Travis a punch in the face. Harper is a character that feels real with all of her realistic qualities. Even with her rough history with Travis, Harper is the one that slowly helps him move forward with his life and makes him realize the change in himself.

There was so much angst. As beautifully as they came together, the start was rough. It was one of those slow building relationships that I've started to love. The relationship created between Travis and Harper is one of the most well written and believable stories I have read so far. The two balance each other while making the other a better person. They just fit perfectly together with all of their flaws and problems.

Not only were there amazing characters and a well crafted relationship, but there was also the story of family. There was so much in this story and I loved every moment of it. One thing I will always remember is the strong and moving voice. Something Like Normal has just became one of my favorite contemporaries this year. This is an amazing debut from Trish Doll and I can't wait to read more.

I highly, HIGHLY reccomend picking up Something Like Normal.
Overall: 5 out of 5


  1. Ahhh, another positive review for this book! I'm usually the pickiest when it comes to contemps, and this is probably not one I would pick up, but all the glowing reviews for it has definitely piqued my interest. It sounds really wonderful so I may have to keep it in mind.

    Great review, Vy!

  2. I really appreciate sharing this type of great post because you make some valid points with which I agree and that is a number of inspirational stuff. I want to thank you for this informative read.

  3. I REALLY liked this one too! I loved how real Travis was, and it was nice to be in his head and really know what was going on in there. It made it easier to really understand everything he was going through. Harper was pretty perfect too. I loved that there wasn't a ton of drama in their relationship and what was there was overcome without being drawn out and tedious. Great review!

  4. Heard nothing but good things about this book! I honestly can't wait to finally read it.
    Thanks for the great review!

  5. I also have a book review blog. I am always trying to connect with other writers, readers, publishers and authors, as well as other like minded people to connect and network with. I really enjoyed your blog.



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