Book: Something Like Normal
Author: Trish Doller
Category: Young Adult
Thanks Estelle for lending me the book!
Summary: When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, everything at home has changed 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. (Adapted from Goodreads)
The good: This was one of the most realistic books I've ever read. Every character and the entire situation felt so true-to-life and not overdone in any way. I rarely read books that are from a guy's POV and Travis' perspective was one that I really enjoyed. He's not perfect. He's flawed, haunted by his experiences in Afghanistan and trying to figure out what it means to be home again with his friends and family. His voice was so clear and all typical guy but I think that was my favorite thing about him. He felt like someone I could know. The girl he runs into from middle school also felt like someone I could know. Another thing the author captured perfectly - girls DO remember what happens in middle school and high school. Especially if you were treated like crap. So Harper's reaction to seeing Travis? Spot on! And even though we only saw her through Travis' eyes, I loved her character. She's in a situation I think a lot girls want to be in - the one where you're the girl that changes everything for this one guy. But their relationship, while important, was secondary to what Travis craved most..peace with his past and a sense of normalcy after all he had gone through.
The bad: It's not even 200 pages! Ok, not a bad thing per se but I definitely wanted more of Travis's story, more of his relationship with Harper. Even though the book did end at a point that made sense, I still wanted more.
Do I recommend?: Yes, I do!