Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads Says: 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 stayed up ALL night to finish this. Sleep was definitely begging me to succumb to its lure because I had stayed up all night the night before to finish reading another book. Both books, btw, were AMAZING.
I absolutely loved this book!
It’s been two days since I’ve read it and I’m still filled with emotion. I cannot begin to explain how real and familiar this book was. As I sit at my computer typing up this review I cry.
Travis is on leave after a tour in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of his best friend. Needless to say he is having a hell of a time dealing with not only the death but just being back in the States. Everything is familiar but not. Everyone is the same except he’s not. With the help of his supportive mother and girlfriend he tries to find a way to cope and live.
My brother -in-law enlisted in the Army about 3 or 4 months prior to 9/11 happening. He enlisted because, much like Travis, he didn’t feel like there was much else to do at that point in his life. I was on the phone right after my brother-in-law’s first mission. I sat next to my mother-in-law when she would join the online support groups or when she would spend endless hours searching for news about my brother-in-law’s company. I’ve also witnessed how my brother -in-law and his friends dealt with the loss of one of their brothers. He might not know it but every tour had my heart palpitating and my nerves a wreck, ALL THE TIME. Another thing, just like Harper, my sister-in-law was the one my brother –in-law opened up to. So I witnessed how hard his tours were on her. I love my brother-in-law. I love my sister-in-law.
So yeah, Trish Doller, you did your research well. This story was so accurate/real it felt like Déjà vu. The writing was on point, the emotions were on point, the characters were well developed, the love story was well balanced, Travis was an amazing character who I would love to meet one day if he were real :-), Harper, two words, KICK ASS. This just flowed so well that you couldn't help to read it in one sitting.
I think I’ll stop now because honestly I just can’t find the right words. Trish Doller, thank you for bringing awareness to PTS in a respectable manner. Thank you for trying to get people to understand what war is like for those that have never had to experience it. Thank you for creating such a wonderful read.
ARC provided by Bloomsbury Children’s Books via NetGalley
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