Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Standalone. Bloomsbury (June 2012) Library
When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother's stolen his girlfriend and car, and the nightmares of his best friend getting killed keep him completely spooked. But when he runs into Harper, a girl who despises him for rumors Travis started back in middle school, life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he falls deeper in love with her and begins to find his way through the family meltdown, the post-traumatic stress and the possibility of a interesting future. His sense of humor, sense of his own strength and incredible sense of honor make Travis an irresistible and eminently lovable hero in this fantastic and timely debut novel.

I'm not usually someone who goes for stories with soldiers, but I enjoy stories that really make me feel a genuine emotion. Travis just lost his best friend and he blames himself. He's trying to deal with nightmares, hallucinations, and adjusting from Afghanistan to coming back home. His mom is so thrilled to have her son home, his father still doesn't respect him from quitting football, and his brother is dating his ex-girlfriend. And then there is Harper, who he started a rumor of and didn't stop back in middle school. He starts falling for the turtle-loving, tough girl she has become. As Travis navigates his life back home he must come to terms with Charlie's death before it eats him up inside.

I was expecting to feel this strong connection and emotion towards Travis. I felt for his relationship with Charlie and his struggle with his death. When his feelings surfaced I teared up. Yet I didn't feel overwhelmed with emotion. I felt like I should feel more with Travis' story. I also thought the romance would be one of the central story lines that I would enjoy. I love any romance in a book. I love gushing over the main character and their love interests conversations. I liked Harper, but I didn't feel anything for her relationship with Travis. I actually did not understand it at all. I would have never straight away wanted to be with a guy who ruined my life. And he acted very nonchalant about it which annoyed me. They didn't make any sense to me. I just didn't connect with Travis or his romance with Harper. I don't really understand why this is liked so much to be honest, but it is so you might want to check out some other reviews before you decide you want to read Something Like Normal. You might have a completely different experience than me.

Have you read any great stories centered around a soldier?


  1. It doesn't sound like the romance worked too well - that's a bummer! I don't like to read books about soldiers just because my brother is in the army.


    1. Oh yeah, this would be rough to read about if you have a family member in the army.


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