by Trish Doller
published by Bloomsbury
When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother has stolen his girlfriend and car, and he has nightmares. But when he runs into Harper, life actually starts looking up. The plot contains profanity, adult situations and violence.
I know that I originally said I would only do books that my girls can read for middle and YA reviews. However occasionally you read a book in the YA genre that you feel you really have to share. Something Like Normal is one of these books. Would I let my 7th grader read it since she is reading YA? NO I wouldn’t at least not yet. Would I let her read it when she is a senior sure. Something Like Normal was a great book with likable characters. I really liked Harper and Travis, they have such hard life stories to tell. You find yourself routing for Travis and Harper.
Travis is back suffering for PTSD just like so many of our soldiers. He is having a hard time coming to grips with what happened while he was fighting, he has guilt that he just can’t quite let go of just yet. But to live a life that is some what normal and let go of the nightmares that plague him he most let go. Harper is a girl that has grown up in town with a reputation that has plagued her all through the school years. She earned this reputation through a untrue rumor just like many have experienced. It’s just her and her dad. She is trying to live life on her terms and not let what others say about her stop her from fulfilling her dreams. In walks Travis a boy she hasn’t seen in quite a while. He has grown up a lot in those years he was away, but has he grown up enough.
Harper doesn’t pass judgements. She is caring and willing to be there for Travis and might just be the answer to his prayers. With Harper on his side he is able to come to terms with the demons he brought back with him. Can their friendship and budding relationship survive? Can they help each other realize and fulfill their dreams!
Something Like Normal is a great book for adults and older YA high school aged readers. It does contain war violence, language and a handful of adult situations. That being said it is a good book for older readers, and adults which is who she wrote this book for in the first place. Add this to your summer reading list or your teen’s summer reading list (if they are older that is!). Even boys would like Something Like Normal!
This was a library book find, upon doing a google search to see if it had won any awards or was up for any I found out it is up for the Gateway award for 2014-2015