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Something like Normal

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  16,425 ratings  ·  1,624 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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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  16,425 ratings  ·  1,624 reviews

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Stacia (the 2010 club)
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Stacia (the 2010 club) 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 s
Trish Doller
Oct 23, 2010 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
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
“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
Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.


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
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
"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
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
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jo by: Nomes
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
NiCoLeTa E. {Addicted To Books}
Whoa! That was very good!!! I wasn't expect it!!!!
This story was quite... emotional!!!

I think this is a book about courage, bravery, honor, friendship and love...

Travis returns home after several months in Afganistan for thirty days, but everything had change around him and inside him...
First of all, he is suffering from the loss of his best friend, Charlie and the guilt inside him is boiling... He can't sleep at night because the nightmares are always there in the corner of his mind waiting fo
Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Miranda Kenneally
Dec 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Nyrae Dawn
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 30, 2013 rated it liked it
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....

Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
 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 s
Sep 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"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
{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
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Ash Wednesday

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.
“Go away.” She gives me a shove. “I have a shark to catch.”
Kevlar cracks up. “Ooh, Solo. Denied.”
“Hey, Ken
Kim  *Mo Chridhe*
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 th
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Contemporary Romance Fans, Boy POV Fans, Older YA Fans
I picked this up while at Hooray for Books, and the voice grabbed me right away. It's a quick read, and as you'd expect, I'm really enjoying the male POV and the family relationships so far. Reminds me a lot of The Things a Brother Knows. Yay for a fellow Apocalypsie!!

ETA: I gave this book to a coworker and she read the whole thing that night. See? GOOD.
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing

"I don’t know if my life will ever be completely normal again, but something like normal is a good start.”

Something Like Normal has been sitting on the corner of my desk for years. Toppling piles of books suround me at all times is my life, but man—do I kick myself when I realize a gem like THIS has been in my sights for years. Travis Stephenson has been staring at me, in reach, right there! For years! GAH!

Travis, a 19 year old active Marine, is home for 30 days on leave, but all he wants to do
Ginger at GReadsBooks
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 5-star-reads
Originally posted at GReads:

Stop. Take a minute to breath. Process. Allow it all to sink in. Now go back & re-read it all over again. That is my initial reaction to this book. Contemporaries hold a special place in my heart when it comes to literature because they make you feel such strong emotions. I know any book can have that effect on a person, but contemporary pieces like this one have the ability to grab my heart, twist it, hug it, break it in to a
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
Bookaholic (reads every mortal thing)
Okay, I'm in the minority here. Lotsa people loved this book. I am not one of them.

Let me get this off my chest: Its far, faaar from a bad book. Not great, but not bad by any means.

I was pretty tempted to give this a three stars, but went with my overall feelings of this book than anything else.

Here is where it gets complicated, though; the best and worst things about this book is Travis.

On one hand, I love that he realises how shitty he has been to his mom and helps her with her problems. On th
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Huntley Fitzpatrick
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book--stayed up wayyyyyy too late (with no regrets) because I could not put it down. I loved Travis' voice--he felt so so very real to me. I really enjoyed how you could see his struggle to change, not only to deal with the effects of the war, but to be a better son, a good boyfriend, a decent man. His flaws enhanced the realism and truth of the struggle. The romance with Harper was sweet and moving and so well paced that their growing feelings felt genuine despite the relative bre ...more
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Book about guy who's comes home from Iraq YA [s] 4 59 Jan 23, 2014 02:16PM  
page count in pdf version 3 67 Jun 28, 2013 04:40AM  
More NA contemporary romance with soldiers as characters 13 99 Jun 18, 2013 03:56AM  

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Hi, I'm Trish! I don't really visit goodreads too often, but you can find me on both Instagram and Twitter as @trishdoller. Instagram is my favorite, so look there first. I don't bite, so come say hello!

(Note: I'm sorry that don't have any review copies for my books. You'll have to contact the publisher.)

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