It’s so refreshing to pick up a book that only has about 200 pages, especially after the monster books I’ve been reading recently and so THANK YOU Trish Doller for providing me with a shorter, snappy story that I read in one sitting. I’d had my eye on Something Like Normal for ages as it was different to most YA books - the story centres on Travis, a marine who is on extended leave, trying to deal with the aftermath of his friend being killed and subsequently work his way through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His brother is hooking up with his “girlfriend” and his parents’ marriage is falling apart. Travis reconnects with a childhood friend (a girl whose reputation he accidentally destroyed when they were fourteen) and their developing relationship is both sweet and heart-warming as we realise that not all guys (also guys that happen to be marines) just want to get laid.
I LOVED the fact that Travis was the main protagonist and his voice was authentic and written well considering the author is female. She obviously put a lot of time and effort into her research about marines and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it shows. It’s also good to read about this kind of story as there are a lot of young guys and girls out there on the front line and really, we have no idea what they must go through out there and how it affects them if and when they return home. I liked the fact that the family were supportive and sending of care packages was very touching. I’m sure if I knew someone in the forces, I’d be doing the same.
I enjoyed the relationship Travis had with his mom and Harper was sweet. I couldn’t help thinking of The Last Song by Nicholas Sparkes when I got to the turtles scene though. Whilst I enjoyed the book, sometimes I’m not sure how I feel about character driven contemporary novels, I mean really.....NOTHING HAPPENED and really nothing was resolved BUT... I liked that part as the ending wasn’t all wrapped up neatly in a perfect package however there was an overall message of hope.
Whilst I enjoyed the book, it wasn’t an “OMG WOW” book for me but I’d still recommend it as a different kind of story and really, who can resist a man in uniform? ;)
Something Like Normal was published on 19th June, 2012. To find out more about Trish Doller and her books, please click here to visit her website.