Something Like Normal
Bloomsbury USA Children's
[June 19, 2012]
A powerful debut novel about a young Marine's return home from Afghanistan and the new life and love he finds while fending off the ghosts of war.
When Travis Stephenson returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are on the brink of divorce, his brother has stolen his girlfriend and his car, and nightmares of his best friend getting killed keep him completely spooked. But when he runs into Harper Gray, a girl who despises him for trashing her reputation with a middle school lie, life actually starts looking up. As Travis and Harper see more of each other, he starts falling for her and a way through the family meltdown, the post-traumatic stress, and the possibility of an interesting future begins to emerge.
His sense of humor, sense of his own strength, and incredible sense of honor make Travis an irresistible and eminently lovable hero in this fantastic and timely debut novel.
Can you say awesome?
Let's start with our protagonist, Travis Stephenson. Travis is far from perfect. He's damaged, for very understandable reasons, he's a bit of a rebel, and he's done some crappy things. But this can be said for most teenagers, even if it's not in a way you expect (my rebellion is trusting some people on the internet. I'M SUCH A REBEL, GUYS.) I loved Travis. He was very different from narrators I usually read, in part because HE IS A GUY. He was lovely and gentle at times, but a lot of the time he was what you expect a teenager in the military to be like. Trish Doller did her research and she did it really well.
The story itself was also really different from what I usually read because the military in YA isn't exactly common. So you have a guy suffering from PTSD, trying to deal with what he saw in Afghanistan, trying to deal with his family problems, and kind of falling in love with a girl who's life he somewhat ruined. It's unique and interesting and while it has aspects we've seen before, it combines in this fantastic, beautiful way.
Guys...I wish I could explain why you need to read Something Like Normal. But I can't. I can sit here and tell you it's different and it's incredible, but you don't get it until you read it. Trust me on this, lovelies. This is truly an incredible read that followed me for days, weeks, really, afterward. Trish Doller is on my insta-buy list. I trust her. I trust her writing. I trust her ability to tell me an fantastic story that most authors can't. I trust her to write something I'll love.
Run for this book. Or, you know, click "buy" on your preferred website.