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Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Posted by Irish in Review4 Comments

Title: Something Like Normal (Goodreads)

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Source: Netgalley
Publication Date: 19 Jun3 2012
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 1599908441
Format: ebook (ARC)
Pages: 244

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Ft. Myers, Florida

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First Line(s): At the end of the concourse I can see a few kids from the high school marching bad playing the “Marines’ Hymn” and a couple old guys – their blues straining at the waist – acting as an unofficial color guard.

Buy the Book:  


This review is a long time in coming and its one that I’ve been wanting to write since the very first moment that I read Something Like Normal by Trish Doller. Only every time I would open up a blank blog post page I would just stare at the blinking cursor at a complete loss of words on what to say. Something Like Normal is a book that kept me up into the wee hours of the morning. Its a book that touched my heart in so many ways that there really aren’t words to describe just how much I loved this story.

Something Like Normal is one of those books that I guess could fall into that New Adult category in that the main character, Travis, is out of high school and starting his career as a Marine. While on deployment his unit is attacked and he is deeply affected by the loss of some good friends. Travis is then sent home on leave in order to deal with the emotional pain  only there was a reason why he left home in the first place.

Travis’s journey is one that I think everyone should read. Its not a new story but its not one that you typically see in a Young Adult book. What I love about the changes in the YA world over the last decade or so is that authors aren’t afraid to tackle some tough issues. Trish Doller gives us an honest look at PTSD and how it can affect our young soldiers. She doesn’t shy away from the harshness of its effects on personal relationships.  

I loved getting to know Travis throughout this book. I loved his interactions with all those around him. I enjoyed his growing relationship with Harper from their first dynamic meeting until the last page. But Something like Normal is more than just the story of Travis and Harper. There are real issues in this book and I think its a book that everyone should read. Just make sure that you have plenty of time to set aside because this story is utterly unputdownable. Also, be sure to have a box of tissues nearby because Travis’s story is at once heartbreaking and uplifting. Something Like Normal is an emotional roller coaster and its hard to believe that its a debut novel. 

This is a book that I’ve reread more times that I can count. Its one that every time I hit the last page I am sad that there isn’t more to the story. Its a book that I wish I could read again for the first time. It touched a part of my soul and the characters stayed with me long after I finished reading it the first time. With a story like this I can not wait to see what Doller comes up with in the future. Brilliant.

4 Responses to “Review: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller”

  1. Briana

    This sounds fantastic. I’ve seen tons of reviews for this book and I really have to check it out already 🙂

  2. Vivien

    I had a tough time with this one. I did enjoy it, but not as much as everyone else. I had a tough time connecting to the protagonist. (This may have hit too close to home too :/)