Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

I am so totally on board with this whole New Adult genre. The protagonists are out of high school and are just looking to define themselves of individuals. I've always had issues with those YA books where teens are declaring their undying love for each other at 15 or 16 (frankly, at that age I didn't even know enough about myself to begin to know what I wanted in someone else). Something Like Normal had inadvertently flown under my TBR radar until a few reviews mentioned it's older characters and sharp sense of reality and just like that, I was all in.

Travis is just back from one life-altering year as a Marine in Afghanistan. No longer able to connect with his former friends back home, Travis knows it's not healthy to be seeing or having conversations with his best friend Charlie who died in the war. But who can a guy turn to if not his parents (whose less than stellar relationship is becoming rockier by the day) or his brother (who not only stole his car but his girlfriend Paige while gone)? However life seems to hand him one last chance the night he runs into Harper. Despite the fact that he ruined her life in high school, she's the one girl whose kindness yet uncanny ability to coax the unvarnished truth out of Travis draws him to her like nothing else could. And Harper doesn't even know if she has it in her to trust her heart to this different, damaged Travis. Again.

Despite what the cover suggests, Something Like Normal is not really a steamy read. Unforgivingly honest? Yes. Devastatingly sad and unexpectedly sweet? Most assuredly. Travis spends a large portion of the time in this book either making extremely stupid decisions or learning some really hard truths about himself. Either way you look at it, our man has not has an easy time. But what killed me most about Something Like Normal is the startlingly openness of it all. Told from the male perspective, Travis' confessions to Harper often left me sobbing my eyes out. This story is in-your-face heart breaking but still full of the hijinks any 19 year old guy gets up to. Throw in Harper's innocence and her big dreams for the future and, well, Trish Doller strikes an incredible balance. It wasn't a quiet or easy read by any means, but Travis' voice is just unforgettable.

Something Like Normal is due out June 19th.

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
A Good Addiction review
Angieville review
Between the Pages review
Bloggers [heart] Books review
Chachic's Book Nook review

book source: NetGalley


Holly said...

I loved Travis too, and it always makes my day when you post. :)

Chachic said...

Michelle! New Adult is awesome, isn't it? Would love to read more titles in that category. I'm thrilled you picked this up and enjoyed reading it. I loved how realistic a character Travis was.

Michelle said...

Holly - I didn't know you'd read this one yet too! So glad to hear you liked it as well. I'll keep an eye out for your review.

Chachic -- Yes. It's by far my new favorite genre. Thanks again for pointing me towards this book - I probably wouldn't have picked it without yours and Angie's recommendations :)