If you haven’t heard of Trish Doller’s SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL, you need to go buy and read it. RIGHT NOW.
Seriously. I’m no good at reviews so I’ll just say a blurb:
SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL is the story of Travis, a 19yr old kid who served a tour in Afghanistan and he’s home on leave. But after you lose your best friend, and spend your year sleeping on the floor and getting shot at, Florida’s tame, and strange, and uncomfortable, and uncertain. Travis has to navigate the changing dynamics of his home, his brother “stealing” his ex-girlfriend (who, holy crap, has issues and needs some serious therapy), and running into a girl he knew back in middle school and he may or may not have screwed up her life with a few lies about her sex life when she was 13. Except, that girl begins to be the only thing that makes sense and the only one who lets Travis navigate without pitying him or babying him.
I LOVE THIS BOOK.
Travis’s voice was incredibly strong. We don’t get to hear voices like Travis’s in YA lit too often.
I had this text conversation with my friend:
Me: It’s surprisingly good. I actually wasn’t expecting it to be. Written by a mom w/ no military experience I think?
B: Huh. Maybe that helps? No experience = no preoccupations with the stuff that’d knock it out of YA
Me: I’m on page 76 and I think Travis has said “fucking” 6x, had 2 boners, and sex with his ex who is now dating his brother and a lot of nightmare. YA rocks
B: …sometimes I forget that YA has changed since I was young
(For the record, he’s 24. So he was young like…yesterday?)
My favorite lines of SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL
1. “I’m not an especially romantic person, but when a beautiful girl invites a guy to the beach at night, sea turtles are not usually involved.”
2. “She beams at me and it’s almost enough to make up for the fact that I’m harder than trigonometry right now. Almost.” (this might be my favorite line written in YA. Ever.)
3. “It’s kind of a mind-fuck moment and I have to mentally field strip an M16 to keep from getting turned on–but I like it.”
It was after I texted him the third quote that B said, “Gotta pick this one up, eh?”