Author: Trish Doller
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Rating: 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
Are you ready to be blown away? Read Something Like Normal.
What is not to love about this book. First, it's told from Travis's point of view as he is home for a month on leave from Afghanistan. After being gone for a year, his life has completely changed and how does he handle it...not the best. Travis is one of those characters that you instantly like. He may be a jerk at times, but you know that down deep he's a great guy. I loved how complex Travis emotions were in this novel. Trish Doller dives into Travis's head and you really get a feel for the struggles he goes through everyday. Not only is he dealing with PTSD, but his family is falling apart and his brother has essentially taken over Travis's old life.
Enter Harper. Travis was a first-class-jerk to Harper back in the day and I love how the first time she sees him when he's on his leave, she slaps him across the face. Oh she's definitely fiesty and my kind of girl. These characters that Trish Doller writes are so relastic and authentic you feel as if they could be people you know.
There are not many novels featuring military personal, especially in the YA field. I though Trish Doller did an amazing job at bringing this aspect of the novel to life. She showed not only the good stuff associated with being a solider, but also the bad. She explored the life of an active duty officer as well as one on leave. It was intriging and connected us to Travis on a whole other level.
I highly recommend Something Like Normal! Trust me...you won't regret it.