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Striving for Normal

(Striving #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Normal. It was a relative term, or so I thought.

After a relationship from hell that almost killed me, I didn’t want another man in my life. A job, a home, and great friends were all I needed.



Until two men interrupted the calm I was pretending to be.

One could take me to the future—a future I never dared to dream I could have. A man who gave me a chance
Kindle Edition, 307 pages
Published August 19th 2013 by Twisted Books LLC
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  119 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Four years ago, Drew escaped an unhealthy relationship. With the help of her therapist, Joseph, and her best friends, Terri and Mark, with whom she has been living, she is striving for normal. Drew's abusive relationship with ex-boyfriend, Craig, is revealed through therapy sessions and flashbacks. Her friends believe she should be moving on and encourage her to see Dennis. Dennis is an all-around nice guy. Reliable, funny, safe.
But when Drew meets Carl, who is a widower with a daughter Drew is
Carrie Richardson-horton
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved Striving For Normal! This book sucked me right in, and I didn't want to put it down until I was finished!

Lets start with Drew Clayborn- oh my! Drew I felt for immediately. Drew carries around a lot of guilt. She is trying to come to terms with things that she did in her past that she's not proud of. Through her therapy sessions we learn more, and more what those things are. Drew broke my heart! I just wanted to hug her! She felt she didn't deserve to be loved or be happy ever again. Com
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I reviewed this book at MustReadBooksOrDie with my friend Shelley.

Shel: As I was reading this I kept thinking that many women would've been so judgmental and scornful of Drew; they'd just have a hard time believing anyone could get caught up in something like she did. Unfortunately, many women do get manipulated and feel trapped, just like she did and some aren't lucky enough to have friends like she does to help survive it.

Court: Uh, are you forgetting about Deb in this book? Gah...I have lots
Wendy Jackson
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
by BL Mooney
Review by Wendy
Shhh, Mommy's in the Bathroom.,.Reading
5 Stars

Drew Clayborn has done things she can't forgive herself for. She's spent the last four years with Joseph, her very calm, understanding, and compassionate therapist. She doesn't feel she deserves to be happy after the tragic events and choices she has made.
Her best friends Terri and Mark have taken Drew under their wings and think its time for her to move forward. And they know the prefect guy
Jul 14, 2013 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this one. I really tried, but it just wasn't meant to be for me.

I don't usually like love triangles, I am the first to admit that, but when they are done correctly and there is an 'easy choice' for the heroine, I am prepared to go along for the ride. The reason I found this one so hard to get in to and enjoy is because both of the heroes, Drew's 'choices', were not likeable in the slightest.

Drew is struggling to come to terms with her past. After surviving through a horrific re
Shawn Verdin
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Let me start off by saying, this book was not what I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I had good expectations, but Ms. Mooney met and surpassed them! I went into the story thinking it was going to be a romantic love triangle with a villain thrown in the mix. While there is some truth to that, the story provided so much more. When we first meet our protagonist, Drew, she is in a session with her therapist Joseph. While her diagnosis is never stated, it is clear that Drew is being treated for Post-Tr ...more
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Drew is broken. Her ex really did a number on her. She is weak and depends entirely too much on her friends and therapist. I usually dislike weak characters, but Drew has endured such tragedy she couldn’t be anything but.

A good portion of this book is spent with Drew in Joseph’s office. Joseph is her therapist. He is the only therapist that has been able to help her and get her to open up. It was really interesting to follow their doctor-patient relationship. He helps her stop her self-destructi
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I had the pleasure of being a Beta for SFN. I truly enjoyed watching it all come together! I have so much love for Brandy!

This book is wonderful.....

This is a story of how Drew learns to take control of her life again. After years of bing in a bad, controlling realtionship, she breaks free. It's a long and painful road to recovery but she has an amazing support of her friends, therapist, and a couple new love interests! Carl is a little too much like her ex and she is very attracted to him and
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a very quick read and a good love story for young adults! The grass is not always greener on the other side
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Review of striving for normal by B.L. Mooney
3.75 stars

Drew is a broken woman. She is trying hard to pick up the pieces that an incredibly sick relationship left her in. She has a great therapist and great friends to help her along her way. Will two new men in her life prove too much for her already damaged soul?

Drew was in a relationship with a very sick man. He hurt her, used her, abused her and left her a shell of the woman she once was. She has spent the last four years in therapy trying no
Anny hernandez
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow what can i say i just finish reading this book and i love it? This story had me in an emotional roller-coaster, it had me thinking one thing at one time and then made me change my mind in other time, and i love the twist that it has.
I love the characters, even though their some of them that i couldn’t stand at the beginning. But half way through the book i end up loving them,
The story start with Drew Clayborn speaking to Joseph Hatcher, his being her therapist for the last four years. Drew i
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-2013
*ARC received in exchange for an honest review*

First, a disclaimer: domestic violence (both physical and emotional), the loss of a child, and a love triangle are all major elements of this story. If you have trouble with these types of themes, I would suggest passing on this one.

Drew is a survivor of abuse that is undergoing therapy. She is making great progress--her abuser is in jail, she has graduated with a degree, she has a great job that she loves and she’s almost ready to get back in the d
Wendy Jackson
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
by BL Mooney
Review by Wendy
Shhh, Mommy's in the Bathroom.,.Reading
5 Stars

Drew Clayborn has done things she can't forgive herself for. She's spent the last four years with Joseph, her very calm, understanding, and compassionate therapist. She doesn't feel she deserves to be happy after the tragic events and choices she has made.
Her best friends Terri and Mark have taken Drew under their wings and think its time for her to move forward. And they know the prefect guy
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Striving for Normal is the brilliant story of a young, driven woman, Drew, and the struggles she faces in trying to re-build her life, making herself whole and “normal” again after suffering a harrowing past at the hands of her abusive ex-boyfriend, Craig.

Drew struggles to find herself, and struggles to accept that she is complete enough, and worthy enough to be loved.

It is because of these insecurities that Drew feels herself too broken to experience a “normal”, loving relationship with the tru
Amy Casperson
Just on a side note, this book is not a typical kind of book I'd normally read. I do have to say I thought the book was very well written. I did not however like the main character. I personally an not a fan of weak women, but understand that was the point of the story. My rating in now way reflects my personal feelings.

Drew is seeing a therapist to help her strive to be normal after getting out of a very abusive relationship. She gets into a love triangle with two men. One she is set up with b
Monique Machuca-Austin
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
**JUST BOOKED received an ARC for an Honest Review**


Striving For Normal begins with Drew Clayborn speaking with her therapist of four years, Joseph Hatcher, in a session to discuss coming to terms with her past. Drew feels guilty about the things she has done and truly does not believe she should not be allowed any happiness, because she feels what she has done is unforgivable. Drew reveals the shocking secrets through her sessions with Therapist Joseph that will leav
Rachel BookJunky Author Services
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I give this a solid 4.5 Stars.

Striving for Normal is a wonderful read. The story line is so realistic. I mean how many of us can say we haven't dated or married a man that was ultimately our downfall? Here you have a normal college girl that gets caught up in a relationship with a charismatic ass. It's easier for someone to see from the outside looking in. Craig would have made a wonderful advertising exec. Putting a perfect s
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
From the synopsis you can tell that Drew is probably pretty screwed up and my first thought was she is going to be a whiny girl that is going to want everyone to baby her. Why I thought this I really don't know but that was just my first thought and I figured I would not like her. I was WRONG! I loved her and how strong she was. She was messed up and had every reason to be and not trust herself. Although she had great best friends that really were her family that wanted nothing more than to prot ...more
Winding Stairs Book Blog
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Everyone has it. That skeleton in your closet that you don't want to let out, even to yourself. No matter how big or small, it will haunt you. You can never move on until you let go of your past. This is easier said than done, especially if you have been through a traumatic event.

This story is about Drew, who has had way more than her fair share of traumas in her life. She was completely controlled by her ex-boyfriend to the point that she was in danger. It doesn't start with that, it tells the
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-tours
Striving for normal is one most emotional books out there..

It's sweet and deep..It's about the glow that love can offer and about the disaster it may bring..

Drew is remarkably strong..She survived events other people wouldn't.She experienced events that people shouldn't..And she came out stronger..

Dennis seemed like a mild person..It seemed like he didn't have a strong character..But,that was a huge misconception..It wasn't that he weren't strong.It was that he knew what Drew needed and he was s
Cristin Boykin
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thus book was an intense read for me. Drew was a broken women just trying to survive. She believed she was a horrible person and did not deserve happiness then she meets Dennis oh and she meets Carl, which one will she choose? You will have to read to find out. I must say that I was torn between Carl and Dennis at first, manly because Dennis seemed to nice to me and I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Carl did not seem all that controlling to me in the beginning he seemed to be your typic ...more
H.K. Szczesiak
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was honored to be a beta reader for this book. It is a book that once you pick up you will have a hard time putting it down until it is finished. It is a stand alone novel with the possibilities of becoming a series. Which I really hope happens, I loved the characters in Striving for Normal.

Striving for Normal by B.L. Mooney is a book that will capture your mind, body and soul. Drew is rebuilding her life after a disastrous relationship, step by step and piece by piece. Drew has insecurity an
Sheila Ryals
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a very emotional book! So get the tissues ready! In a way the book is how it starts out a therapy session! As you follow Drew the main character around. You see how she tries to put her life back together. You meet two love interest. I would like to go into this but spoilers so read it yourself! This book also is a bit of a thriller as well! I really enjoyed it a lot. Just rember to have tissues!! Expect a lot of tears of sadness and happiness. I am going to get a print version for my m ...more
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BL Mooney is one of a kind. Her romance are real, and can be emotional to read. But they are SO worth it! Loved this one!

Drew and Dennis's story is a roller coaster; you will probably laugh, I know you will cry, and you might get mad, but this is a great romance. The storyline is very realistic, and parts of it may be hard to read; but it is worth every minute of angst.

Definitely would recommend this to someone looking to read an emotional romantic suspense novel.
Audiobook - Narration - Meghan Kelly
Meghan has a really nice narration voice and one or two ok character voices, but for the most part, her male characters are intolerable. She adds a 'tone of voice' to the characters that may even change the tone of the book. Because of that, It was all I could do to finish this book.
Sep 10, 2013 rated it liked it
I found this book so addicting.

Check out my review here:
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another great book from b l mooney! Read it!!!
Catrina Brown
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this in one sitting. An original story that kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. A story of amazing friendships self discovery healing acceptance and love. A great read.
Laura  Redmon
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 psychologically shocking stars!

This book is about Drew and her past with an abusive ex boyfriend named Craig. Drew attends weekly therapy sessions thanks to him and has the support of her friends she met through Craig, married with kids, Mark and Terri.

Drew was basically sexually abused by Craig, made to let him do things to her in very public places. She liked the thrill of it, but also knew it wasn't right and tried stopping it from happening in public on many occasions.

Skip 4 years ahead
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kindle Copy for Reviews

Drew is trying to find a normal life after her volatile relationship with her ex boyfriend who is spending time in jail for pushing her down stairs which killed their unborn baby. An abusive relationship where he made her have sex with another guy while he watched. He never wanted the baby and blames her since the pill did not work when she was on antibiotics.

With the help of her best friend Terri and her husband Mark, she tries to get her life back on track going back to
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B.L. Mooney started writing when the voices and storylines in her head ran out of room. They were getting too cramped and neither B.L. nor the characters could take it anymore, so she did the only thing she could do—she made room. She always knew she wanted to write, but vowed to make time for it later. Now that she’s made time for writing, most everything else falls to the wayside. That seems to ...more

Other books in the series

Striving (3 books)
  • Striving for Perfection (Striving #2)
  • Striving for Acceptance (Striving #3)

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