Something like Normal
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Something like Normal

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  11,465 ratings  ·  1,310 reviews
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 othe...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Stacia (out of inspiration)
Sep 02, 2012 Stacia (out of inspiration) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Stacia (out of inspiration) by: Kay

"You might not remember me, but --"
"Travis Stephenson," she interrupts, her words like a roadblock. "Welcome home. Now leave me alone."

It's always nice to come across a book that has a little bit of everything. Something Like Normal definitely covered its bases in the emotion department. If there was an emotion left to be discovered, I couldn't tell you what it was. Everything from fear, anger, joy, sorrow, caution and anticipation was explored. This particular (male) narrative was somewhat d...more
Trish Doller
Sep 30, 2013 Trish Doller added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: books-i-wrote
I wrote this book so I like it very much. I hope you will, too.
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Before I start praising Something Like Normal, I need to point out a little thing that’s really bothering me: the cover is doing this book a great disservice. This is not a romance. There is a guy and there is a girl, and they do get together eventually, but the guy is suffering from PTSD and the girl is his lifeline, and all they’re both trying to do is chase away the nightmares. This is, above all, a book about survival, loss and guilt. The couple on the cover seems somehow less than appropria...more
Ariana
“War is only half the battle” - what a beautiful tagline <3


Dear Travis,

I know you’ve been through a lot and I care for you with all my heart.
I love the honesty with which you describe your world with the good and the bad, I love how you know when you’re wrong, how you are sad to be right, how you want to say you’re sorry but the apologies get stuck in your throat, how happy you would be to find some light in the darkness of your nightmares, how much you need to be held in fragile arms becaus
...more
Carla
Wow. Don't even know what to say. Speechless. Unflinchingly beautiful in that raw special way. Best contemporary novel I've read in a long long time.

*edited*

Sometimes you finish reading a book and you don't quite know what to do with yourself. You sit in the quiet and thoughts are richocheting off each other in your mind and your heart aches from happiness, you then you get that feeling. You know the one. Where it feels like something has planted roots inside you and it's growing, growing, grow...more
Maggie
"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers."
- José Narosky

Something Like Normal is about a 19-year-old Marine who returns home after serving in Afghanistan for a year. Travis Stephenson is physically intact, but after spending a year on active duty and seeing his best friend get killed, his emotional scars manifest in a form of PTSD. Travis doesn't even feel like he's home because home to him is with his fellow Marines, not his parents' house in Florida where he never lived up to his father's expe...more
Janina
When I first finished Something Like Normal, I clicked the four star button with fervour and conviction. Yet, upon thinking back now – a little over a month later – I can't deny that the story left little impact on me. And that makes me sad. Trish Doller's debut is exactly my kind of awesome – contemporary YA focusing on grief and guilt – but still, it was not nearly as earth-shattering and meaningful as I had expected it to be. Now, I think that partly, my extremely high expectations are to bla...more
Flannery
Sep 22, 2012 Flannery rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of authentic male narrators, Marines, reading about PTSD
Recommended to Flannery by: Tons of Goodreaders/Bloggers
In this male-narrated upper YA/new adult book, Travis has just come home after a deployment with the Marines. In many ways, he is returning to exactly what he purposely left behind--his overbearing and disapproving father, his pushover mother, and his resentful brother, but he himself is coming back to that situation a somewhat changed young man. Doller treats her characters realistically; no one suddenly sees the light or does a complete 180 in this book. Travis was emotionally traumatized by t...more
Jo
I feel like saying anything negative about this book is the equivalent of kicking a puppy. Well, I guess I’m going to be the puppy-kicker of the blogging world*.
Wait, let me clarify. It’s not as if I didn’t like this book, because I did but I just wanted to like it a lot more.

Do you want to good news or the bad news?
I don’t see why anyone would ever say good news first because you’re all happy and joyful and then BAM, bad news. And then you’re sad.
And no one wants to be sad.

So the bad news- I do...more
Kelly
This book got so many things right, I don't even know where to start. Maybe with Travis, who is one of the most realistic male voices I've read in a long time. More than simply having a great voice though is the fact he's authentic. He's not perfect and he makes mistakes. This isn't a book where the Marine is an automatic hero just because he's a Marine. Yeah, that experience makes Travis tough but it also makes him more vulnerable, too.

The family dynamics with Travis and his father, as well as...more
Mitch Cave
GAAAAH!!!! I soooo want to read this! Sounds like my kind of book, with the Marine aspects and the Afghan war. And plus, FINALLY a YA romance book from the GUY'S prospective!!!!!!

One thing I must say, negatively, is this cover...

I still can't wait to get my hands on this, though.
Soon, my pretty. Soon you will be mine.
Chachic
Originally posted here.

Trish Doller's debut novel, Something Like Normal, is one of my most anticipated releases this year. I read the excerpt and immediately wanted to read the book, I probably would have if it was already available at that time. I've also chatted with Trish on Twitter and I keep liking and reblogging her Tumblr posts. I was really excited when I finally got my hands on a copy of her book and I read it as soon as I could.

I love reading older YA or new adult novels and I believe...more
Mo
3.5 stars

Liked this one…..

Reviews are sort of short at the moment as I have been out of the loop and catching up. Will be back to normalcy on Wednesday, hopefully!


I suddenly realise you need so much time to review books....

Nyrae Dawn
You all know I'm a huge contemporary fan. That male POV is my absolute favorite so I had a feeling I would love it, but I'm also very picky on my male POV books....

That being said... I LOVED THIS BOOK. Trish Doller nailed the male voice. I felt Travis's pain. My heart broke for him and what he was going through. I loved Harper. Loved his mom. Loved his relationship with his Marine brothers. I loved everything about it.

Absolutely one of my favorite reads of the year.
Christy
 photo 4ce07f18-1081-43e5-85f4-6136ed0b5c05_zps1a68ba3c.jpg

Travis is a marine back home for a month after being in Afghanistan. He is distant from his parents, his brother started dating his ex-girlfriend Paige, who ‘dear john’ lettered him, and he is still trying to cope with his best friend Charlie’s death. He’s got a lot going on. After being in town a few nights, he runs into her.

Her green eyes meet mine in the Guinness mirror behind the bar and it feels like all the air has been sucked out of the room. I’ve never slept with this girl, but she wa...more
~Tina~
"But what has been done can't be undone. My best friend is dead and I'm never going to be the same Travis Stephenson."

On a month-leave from the Marines, Travis Stephenson is finally home after a year in Afghanistan, only he doesn't really feel like it's his home anymore. He enlisted fresh out of high school to escape his father, whom Travis will never be good enough in his eyes and a year away still hasn't made their relationship magically perfect, in fact, it's probably worse. His (ex)-girlfrie...more
Hallie
Feb 24, 2013 Hallie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Okay, this is tough, because some of my reading friends have liked this one a lot, and I can see the story in there that was liked so much, but.

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 se...more
Sarah
{This review originally appeared on Clear Eyes, Full Shelves.}
But what has been done can’t be undone. My best friend is dead and I’m never going to be the same Travis Stephenson.

Trish Doller's remarkable debut, Something Like Normal, is one of those rare books that I recommend to nearly everyone. It's an important, timely novel--one that's lingered with me in the months since I read it.

Well before SLN was published (it's out on June 19), I found myself on seemingly every social media site insis...more
Miranda Kenneally
I loved this book. I had a hard time putting it down. I was walking down the street reading it, in fact, and I wasn't paying any attention to where I was going. I nearly walked into a light pole. This lady from work saw me and yelled, "Miranda - stop reading that young adult literature!"

After I finished it, I left the book on my Kindle, and one day I found my husband reading SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL. He had just picked it up out of the blue and started reading and he couldn't put it down either. He...more
Heather
I will admit that I did not finish this book. Not because it wasn't really good - the 25% of it that I read was - but because it was so hard to read in a mental and emotional sense. I don't know how she did it, but Trish Doller really nailed what it means to come home after a tour in Afghanistan. The detachment. The anger. The way your brain interprets sounds, once normal, as a threat. The frustration. The sense of being an alien in your own skin. Though I couldn't finish this book because it ju...more
Melanie
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.
“Maybe it’s time to find a new normal.”

After reading Where The Stars Still Shine and hating it with all my might, I still ended up wanting to read Something Like Normal as it sounded like nothing I've read before. I am glad I gave Trish Doller's works another try because her debut in my opinion; was a huge success.

Ever since Travis Stephenson joi...more
Ash Wednesday
4 STARS

I do have to admit, I'm a sucker for a lot of the things this book had to offer, and I'm quite happy to finish this earlier than I'd have wanted with very few complaints. Although to be fair, Trish Doller could've padded this with 50 more pages of testosterone banter between Solo, Kevlar, CJ and yes, even Harper, I would STILL be complaining it's too short.
“Travis?”
“Yeah?”
“Go away.” She gives me a shove. “I have a shark to catch.”
Kevlar cracks up. “Ooh, Solo. Denied.”
“Hey, Kenneth, are
...more
Kim  *Mo Chridhe*
Sep 09, 2013 Kim *Mo Chridhe* rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Tom Mackee and Adam Wilde; readers of NA CR who want something more than graphic sex scenes
"She has big boobs and -"

"There is no comparison," I interrupt. "Everything about you is better."

"You didn't think so in middle school."

"I was fourteen," I say. "I was thinking with the wrong head back then. As opposed to, you know, now. When I only think with the wrong head sometimes."

Ladies and gents, meet Travis Stephenson, my latest favourite YA/NA male narrator. He is my male Francesca Spinelli, that character who isn't really all that special but managed to pinch my heart in the most ef...more
✽ Sharon is an emotional book junkie ✽
Travis is home on leave from a stint in Afghanistan where he was in the middle of some really horrible things so he's gotten extra time off. Unfortunately, things at home are not great either but Travis has to find a way to deal with it.

Let me just say that I do not like military stories or anything similar at all so I am really shocked that I wanted to read this. I think I was drawn to the male's POV and I really enjoyed it. So much so that I read it all in a few hours...I guess it helped that...more
Glass
Review posted on Ja čitam, a ti?

I picked up this book thinking: "I need something light for this first hot days of summer." Did I get what I wanted? No. Maja from The Nocturnal Library wrote in her review that cover is "misleading" and I have to agree with her. You would expect hot romance and not the story about young man who is trying to fit in after all the horible things he saw and death of his best friend. Actually, he is not even trying to fit in - Travis is just counting days until the da...more
Mands
Something Like Normal is Trish Doller’s debut novel. Nineteen year old Travis returns home to Fort Myers, Florida after serving in Afghanistan for one and a half years. He’s not looking forward to coming home and doesn’t even consider it home anymore. His dad gave up on him when he quit playing football, his younger brother, Ryan, always gets what he wants and now has Travis’ ex-girlfriend, Paige, as well as the car that he worked so hard on. His best friend recently died via an attack and Travi...more
Jess (Gone with the Words)
Read this review on my blog! --> Something Like Normal by Trish Dollert

What has stuck with me most about Something Like Normal has been how real these characters and story are. They feel like a part of me. Like I know Travis, or like I am Harper. And I think what it is is the fact that we probably all know someone like Travis. In most every generation there have been people from our lives who have fought in some war. It feels real because it is so real and relevant to today. It will strike a...more
Lisa O.
This wasn't bad but there's just something I can't put my finger on that didn't completely work for me.

Was it the whole US-marine-back-from-Afghanistan theme that grated on me? I definitely felt like I was "fed" some belief here, somehow.

I'm sure the "consider this as strike two" sentence from Harper bothered me a lot. I won't go into details here not to spoiler the story but her reaction, her solution to the issue made me think the characters lacked a bit of depth and were not as developed as...more
Suzanne Young
I've had a chance to SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller, and I have to admit that it is one of my favorite books. A hard contemporary with fresh characters so real they leap off the pages. It's unflinching, but relateable. And despite the character's mistakes, I found myself rooting for him.

And there is also a really tender love story that provides a softness to the edges.

HUGE FAN!
Yona
Another book about real life, maybe I must make a shelf about it.
I was crying by the time I finished reading it.
Travis returns home from Afghanistan, he lost his best friend and he is trying to deal with it, he has nightmares every night and his home life is totally messed up. His father is disappointed with him for not doing what he wanted him to - play football, go to college, to be what he is not. His brother had his girlfriend, his car, his friends and it seems that his mother is the only...more
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What's The Name o...: Book about guy who's comes home from Iraq YA [s] 4 44 Jan 23, 2014 02:16PM  
page count in pdf version 3 61 Jun 28, 2013 04:40AM  
More NA contemporary romance with soldiers as characters 13 78 Jun 18, 2013 03:56AM  
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“Maybe it’s time to find a new normal.” 71 likes
“He was the person all of us should be, but most of us aren't. And if I could have taken his place to buy him a little more time in the world, I'd have done it. I'm sorry I couldn't.” 57 likes
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