Saturday, June 16, 2012

|Review| Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Title: Something Like Normal
Author: Trish Doller 
Published June 19th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: YA realistic contemporary, romance
Goodreads summary:
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.
Racquel's thoughts:
Something Like Normal was my most anticipated YA book of this year and second book overall (Julie James's About That Night being the first♥) and I'm not going to lie, when the time to read it came, I was scared. It has been getting extremely positive reviews but I'm not a fan of hype because they create expectations and expectations lead to disappointment in most cases and also, Trish Doller is a debut author. With Julie James for instances, I read all four of her books and loved each one more than the other so I knew in my mind that her fifth one would be just as amazing. No room for error. Not so much for Trish Doller since I never read any of her writing but when I finally manned up and cracked open Something Like Normal, it only toke me roughly THREE HOURS (WIN!) to read it from cover to cover (or as in my Kindle case, from 0% to 100%) Yup, I LOVED IT!

So sorry for all the people who hate hype but this will be another positive review that will rave about Something Like Normal because yeah, I believe the book deserves every single 1 million star review it got and even more!! 

Without a doubt, what made the book utterly perfect is our main character, Travis. He was so realistic, extremely 100% so that I was surprised he made it to the publishing world with censoring and everything. On top of that, this is a new adult book, meaning out main characters are out of high school which I abosultely and positively loooved! I think there are not enough new adult books around, 17+ year olds deserve there story just as much as high school teens (and I'm a high school teen myself saying this!!) especially since it can be more important and mature which we see with Something Like Normal.

Travis, a US Marine, has just returned from Afghanistan and he's not in the best shape. Mentally speaking. He went through plenty of rough stuff at Aghanistan and he's not happy to be back home since he's family is not really any better.

Obviously, the emotions of this story could not be portrayed unless it is written in the mature way that it is written in and I could NOT be happier about it. Especially seeing a lot of people love the book too, I hope this will push publishers that mature books set after high school featuring teens is a BIIIG WIN.

Not only did I love the mature story, plot and such but Trish Doller is the mastermind behind it so of course her writing was great too. She made me finish her book in 3 hours and that speaks for itself!
Besides Travis, his Marine buddies, Kevlar and Moss, were my favorite characters. seeing them interact with each other made me laugh out loud but I also loved how behind all the teasing and laughs, these soldiers obviously care about each other and would do anything for one another.

Seeing Travis deal with his family was another WIN! for me. There is nothing more important than family and seeing Travis’s broken family and how he went about it was great (in the heartbreaking sense). I really saw Travis grow and change with how he grew closer to his mother and how he put his foot down against his father. *slight spoiler* I even teared up when Travis called his mom to tell her he loves her! *end of said slight spoiler*

Laughs AND tears, in the SAME book? You know this is a must read! DOUBLE WIN!

The only that wasn’t on the level of awesome as everything else is Harper. I guess since Travis just shined so much, he outshined her. I felt like I didn’t know her character very well. While Travis, his mom, his marine buddies, even Charlie and Paige were all 3D, Harper fell a little flat for me. The book is told from Travis’s POV (this is a definite WIN!) and there is no other way to tell it but I have read other books from a male POV’s and we are never in the females love interest head but that females was equally developed so it wasn’t a problem of POV and while I understand and I know the romance is not the main focus of the book and I have no problem with that, I still feel that Harper isn't as developed as she could have been.

So while I did like and even somewhat cared for Harper, I wasn’t very much connected to her like I was with the other characters which hindered my enjoyment of the romance. Just a little though because romance is my favorite and there was no room to dislike it!

Because of that, I contemplated giving the book 4.5 starts but overall, there are way too many WINS! for it to be anything but a 5 star book. Something Like Normal (the book titles ties in with the story very nicely. Another WIN!) is a book I will be rereading and recommending to everyone, even for people who don’t usually enjoy contemporary because this book is too good to pass up. Trish Doller did justice to the issues she tackles in the book and her portrayal of the teen world is spot on perfect. Something Like Normal is going straight to the FAVORITES shelf. Plus Trish Doller is an absolute treat of an author and I just LOOVE her! I STRONGLY suggest you follow her Twitter & Tumblr. (another WIN! WIN!)

Rating: 5 hearts~ my most anticipated YA book of the year was worth anticipating! An absolutely terrific read.
At the end of the concourse I can see a few kids from the high school marching band playing the "Marine's Hymn" and a couple old guys- their blues straining at the waist- acting as an unofficial color guard. Jesus Christ, please tell me my mom didn't hire a band.
"'Dear Diary, Kenneth is my BFF. I hope he gets laid, because it's a special night when a man loses his virginity and contracts a sexually transmitted disease at the same time.'"
"You're not twenty-one."
"I am a veteran of a foreign war." I hand her a cup. "More importantly, I'm thirsty."
Also, Trish did an interview over at Reut Reads and I would like to share with you one of the questions Trish answered about the current book she's writing:
6. Can you tell us anything about projects you’re working on now?
My current project is called All That Was Lost. It’s about Callie, a girl who comes home to a dad she doesn’t remember after living most of her life on the run with the mother who kidnapped her. Callie is pretty damaged and–as one of my early readers called her–a bit feral, so the adjustment to a more stable, normal life is not without challenges.
Check out Reut's blog HERE and the full interview HERE. Thanks Reut for letting me use this! Doesn't All That Was Lost sound extremely, very GOOD?! Who's excited?!?!

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