Liked It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“Overall I think this book was an amazing read. It's mostly a romance book, therefore i'd recommend it to anyone who likes romance/drama. This book is filled with emotion such as anger, sadness, happiness, love, and sacredness. This makes the book extremely easy to like because it's relatable....”see full review » see other reviews »
“Great story about a 19-year old Marine home on leave from Afghanistan. He confronts his domineering father, deals with his ex-girlfriend who's now dating his brother, and meets a girl whose life he almost ruined. Deep, troubling and moving look at PTSD and its many victims.”BE Kelley wrote this review Monday, August 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
I really enjoyed this book. It had a good plot line and believable characters. My problem with the book is that I think teenagers may have a hard time relating to these characters. They are clearly older than high school. However the family issues as well as other relationship problems made for a good read. I have a student reading it now, so that will help ease my fears about this title.”
“Travis is a Marine on who has returned home to fighting parents, a brother who is dating his ex-girlfriend and endless nightmares about the war in Afghanistan. He is forced to face the troubles in his family while coping with the death of his best friend Charlie. Interesting read dealing with relationships, the reality of war and the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. Really bad cover! I'm hoping that the paperback has a more appealing cover for guys. ”Ms. W wrote this review Tuesday, March 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Overall I think this book was an amazing read. It's mostly a romance book, therefore i'd recommend it to anyone who likes romance/drama. This book is filled with emotion such as anger, sadness, happiness, love, and sacredness. This makes the book extremely easy to like because it's relatable. Everyone gets betrayed in their life, and so does the main character Travis. He goes off to war and when he comes back his brother stole his girlfriend. Also in this book he is forced to deal with his parents splitting up, and feeling like it's his fault, or as if he's stuck in the middle. This is very relatable for anyone. Everyone gets stuck in the middle of a fight or feels like something is their fault. Travis's parents fight over him going to war and Travis feels it's his fault. The language of this books is pretty much Travis and his opinions on everything, and he's a teenage boy so it's very relatable for everyone. It's his dry sense of humor that really shows through throughout the book. Also he is faced with losing his best friend in war. He's haunted by him, and it bothers him and changes the way he was before. The overall theme of this book is pretty much to be real with everything that comes at you. Whether it's betrayal, a death, being stuck in the middle, or a romance you have to accept it for what it is. There's nothing you can do about what comes at you, and you're forced to live with it. As amazing as a relationship can be Travis finds it hard to open up to his new girlfriend Harper. Everything is a lot different with her than with his ex Paige, and it scares him. So overall I really enjoyed this book because it's extremely relatable, and it kept me reading.”Rachel wrote this review Wednesday, February 27, 2013. ( reply | view 1 replies | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“ABURRIDO¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡”GEORGINA B wrote this review Tuesday, February 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Easy fun read to pass the time.”Kristin Glocksien wrote this review Thursday, January 31, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I felt guilty reading Something Like Normal. As if, in order for it to be acceptable that I read a novel about war, I have to approve of war and be gungho in supporting our troops.
Except, I'm not and this wasn't a novel about war. This was about a screwed up kid with an even more screwed up life who was slowly trying to pick up the pieces without getting too cut by the jagged edges. I'm discovering that the mistake I make is labeling people too fast to know them. And then when I find out who they really are...referring back to the label whenever necessary. It's NOT necessary nor is it correct, but America has instilled in me the firm belief that people can be placed in boxes. Emotions, memories, attractiveness, trashiness, intelligence. Box. Box. Box. Box. Box.
My brother actually almost went into the Marine Corps. He got all the way to boot camp before realizing it wasn't the thing for him. He's still trying to pick up the pieces from that as well. I guess we all are, right? I suppose I understood on some level what Travis's situation was like. I do know, at least, from reflecting and I feel vile for writing soldiers off so easily.
I had no idea that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) lasted forever. It doesn't just go away with a click of a button or some pain pills. I can't even begin to imagine waking up in the middle of the night with a picture of my dead best friend seared into my mind. Although, I did feel that some of the flashbacks about Travis's time in Afghanistan were slightly confusing. Nevertheless, Travis's grief over his best bud, Charlie, was well-executed. Him running out on the memorial was totally reasonable, and I loved Charlie's mother's, one of which gave Travis a tattoo to remember him with. She said that carrying grief in the form of a tattoo would be a lot easier than the alternatives. In general Charlie's mother, Ellen, was incredibly insightful, spiritual, and understanding. I respected her three-dimensional character and identified her with my own mother who is also somewhat of a raging hippie, lighting incense around the house and wearing swishy skirts.
Travis was also lucky to have Harper to help him along. Harper the girl he happened to tell a nasty rumor about in middle school which spread gossip that she was a slut. Not true, of course, and not forgotten either, but she still managed to forgive him for a lot of incidents throughout the book and I respected that. Swallowing your pride takes balls and Harper certainly had some. I wouldn't be able to do that. I also enjoyed that a bit of mystery still surrounded her in the end when Travis says he knows what her tattoo is now. Earlier in the story she had mentioned that she had one, although it couldn't be seen when she was wearing a bikini. Which doesn't leave many places for it to be...
Finally, I should discuss our protagonist, Travis. Travis was obviously broken. As was his family. He put pressure on his mom to stand up to his father, which she did and her reasoning for never divorcing made sense. My mom doesn't make nearly as much sense...He also added tidbits about each person he met up with in Florida which were intriguing but left me to wonder if everybody in that state is slutty, drunk, and hickish. Another complaint I had was that the cold shower/erection jokes became annoying after awhile. Although the funniest one, by far, was "I'm harder than trigonometry right now." Travis managed to end the book with a satisfying future and the resolution seemed solid.
Overall, Trish Dollar's characters were rounded, her writing average, and her details added to the novel wonderfully. The predictable plot brought the rating down by one star, although it might have started out there anyway. It was merely a romance after all , and having read A LOT of romances...I know when something is a bit too fluffy for four or five stars.”
“A battle-weary 19 year old Marine comes home on leave after a tour in Afghanistan. He struggles to fit into the old patterns of family and friends, while inside his whole world has changed. Suffering from PTSD and flashbacks, he is haunted by visits from the best friend he watched die in front of him and attempts to make sense of it all.
This was a fabulous young adult book that will appeal to adults as well. Vividly written war scenes and the emotions that accompany them were well done and heart wrenching. Recommended for adults and teens aged 14 and up. ~Michele”
“Travis is home on leave from the Army after his company returned from Afghanistan. We find out right away that the experience left Travis emotionally troubled. He has trouble sleeping and sees Charley, his dead army buddy everywhere. It doesn't help that his brother stole his girl friend and his car, his parents are talking divorce and he runs into Harper, a girl whose reputation he ruined years ago with a few careless words.
I really enjoyed the story because it didn't take a political stand for or against war, the armed services or political figures. It simply told the story of Travis and what he was going through ... because that is what's important! Travis tries to just get along with his very dysfunctional family, keep his ex out of his bedroom and make Harper see that he isn't the beast she thinks he is. All while trying to hide the fact that he sees dead people and has horrific flashbacks and feelings of guilt over Charley's death.
The romance is believable, the tension within the family rings true and unfortunately so does the pain that Travis feels. I loved the character development and the inclusion of some other army buddies. I will definitely booktalk this story to my high school boys and girls. It will certainly appeal to both!”
“Sometimes you see a book recommended on several different blogs and “best of” lists and eventually you read it so that the internet will stop bugging you about it. That was the case with *Something Like Normal* by Trish Doller. Some bloggers are calling it “New Adult” Fiction because the characters are out of high school, but still fairly young. Travis, the protagonist, is 19 and has just returned from his first deployment to Afghanistan. Upon his return home, he discovers that nothing is the same as when he left… except that he still wants nothing to do with his disapproving father. To make matters worse, his brother has taken several things that used to belong to Travis. Specifically, his car and his girlfriend. Even worse is the fact that his best friend Charlie was killed in action and Travis keeps seeing him in strange places. He struggles with accepting that he may have PTSD because, as a Marine, he is supposed to be tough. Enter Harper, the girl whose reputation Travis ruined by telling one little lie when they were in 8th grade. For reasons he is not sure he understands, Harper forgives him for the past and helps Travis as he struggles to find “something like normal” to replace the normal that existed before Afghanistan.
There are many relationships in this book that need repairing or severing. Travis and his father; Travis and his brother; Travis and his mother; Travis’ parents; Travis and his ex-girlfriend; Travis and Harper; Travis and Charlie. Even though Travis is suffering emotionally from the war, he may also finally be equipped to stand up to those who took advantage of him and let go of those who are gone.
It took me one day to read this book. That was partly because it is not very long and partly because I couldn’t put it down. I have been reading so much dystopian and fantasy lately that it was nice to enjoy a contemporary novel that was gritty, honest, and well-written. I highly recommend it, for whatever that is worth.