Something Like Normal
by Trish Doller
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 other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.
Call me predictable, but given that this book has a Military Man in it, it pretty much rocked my face off. Not just for that reason, but for so many others. Being an Army Wife – it was easy to lose myself in Something Like Normal. Old feelings, new feelings and something things I wish that I could easily forget – all came crashing back to me at one point or another in this story. While it’s typical to say that Military life is never easy, Trish Doller wrote this one with epic precision and I loved every single minute of it.
And, Jesus, she’s a good kisser. So good I want to beat the hell out of whoever taught her.
Written from the POV of Travis (ah, Travis.. SWOON!), we go on his journey with him upon his return from war. The last thing you want to find when you come home from war, is another war. That seems to be exactly what Travis walked into. His entire life was suddenly different. Everything he knew, wasn’t && he did the one thing I have seen many, many men do. He set off to find himself, because really – there was nothing left to do. Think about it – no one who leaves for war comes back the same person. So you need the time to figure out just who it is you’ve become and to process where you’ve been and what you did, saw and wish you could forget.
Travis is an exceptional and complex character. I LOVE his honor streak. Seriously, there is nothing more amazing in a man than his honor. Okay, well there is – but you see where I am going with this lol. Between dealing with his PTSD, guilt, nightmares and life – it’s a wonder that this man has managed to stay even remotely SANE! Everyday is a constant battle just to feel… normal. (see what I did there!) Then comes Harper.. who Travis just can’t seem to get out of his head, despite the rocky past. She has such a kind heart and along their journey she helps Travis more than either of them realized she could. Harper sees Travis for him – not for the things that he feels make him less of a man.
She beams at me and it’s almost enough to make up for the fact that I’m harder than trigonometry right now. Almost.
Simply put, this story was breathtakingly amazing. It held such vivid and raw emotions. It told you the story of a very real struggle that many people, not just soldiers, face on a daily basis. Written with such power & conviction – you are sucked in and held captive to the very end. I know I have said this already, but I loved every single second I spend reading this book. I look forward to reading more from this author! If you haven’t checked out this book yet, I highly recommend that you do!
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