Release Date: August 1st 2012
Author: Trish Doller
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Source: Publisher for Review
Where to Buy: Fishpond | Booktopia | Dymocks
More Info: Goodreads
Summary from Goodreads:Cover:
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.
I'm not really liking the cover because it doesn't quite reflect the book (I would never have thought this book was about a guy who returned from war if it weren't for the summary), but I like how the font of the title is set out on the cover. It makes the cover look quite interesting!
War is only half the battle...
This quote perfectly summarizes the entire story of Something Like Normal. Fighting in war is half the battle, and the other half is fighting for your sanity and to be prepared for what happens after the war. This book is one of my favourite contemporary reads this year. It was raw, heart-breaking, realistic and very well-written. This book addresses a serious and definitely not light issue about the experience of a guy who returned from war and how it changed him.
Trish Doller's writing was absolutely concrete and real. Her story was realistic and she voiced her characters really well, particularly Travis since the book was narrated from his POV. The book talks about the US Marine Corps and what life is like for soldiers in the Afghanistan. Doller clearly knows what she's writing about because she does not merely attach the word 'Marine' to Travis but explores deeply of what it meant to serve for your country in another country and how it can change you. I also really enjoyed the romance between Travis and Harper. They both had an amusing past before Travis left to serve in Afghanistan but I loved the scene when Travis and Harper met for the first time after Travis returned to the US. It was really funny! The ending was really beautiful. I loved how it wrapped up the whole story!
I loved the characters just as much as I loved the story. When Travis returned to the US, he changed. He was no longer just a teenager who fooled around and partied all night. He had served for his country and had 30 days of 'holiday' before he had to go back and serve his country. During his time in Afghanistan, he had the experience of killing someone and watched his best friend die in front of his own eyes. He was filled with different emotions; grief, guilt, sadness and this became a huge problem for him. He knew that nothing will be the same and war was a trauma for him. His parents were not exactly in good terms, his brother stole his girlfriend (and don't forget his car) and these are not helping. But when he spent his time with Harper, she understood what he's going through and loves him for whatever he is. I just loved his romance with Harper. Harper was a strong, funny and admirable girl! No wonder she was able to capture Travis' heart. I loved their developing relationship and there was this one scene I really loved where Harper took Travis to watch Sea turtles' eggs hatch at night! I absolutely love all the characters because they felt so real to me.
Something Like Normal is a heart-breaking, raw, well-written and realistic debut novel about a guy trying to recover from his troubled experience during the war, what it means to serve your country, how war can change you and what happens next after the war. Travis' life will never be back to normal, but perhaps something like normal will do. Something Like Normal is a fresh, new voice and a beautiful addition to the world of YA!
|5 Forget-Me-Not flowers for Something Like Normal!|
Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy!