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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Review: Something Like Normal - Trish Doller (also, Happy Birthday to Travis!)

Author: Trish Doller
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: June 19th 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 224
Source: For review

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.
So, I wasn't going to post this review until it's release date, but since it's someone's birthday today, well I thought why not, right? Just want to warn you that this is just me rambling on and on about how much I love Trish's debut book, and how much I've fallen in love with Travis. Yes, he's MINE.

Late last year, I came across this cover, and was intrigue by it. I was even more intrigue when I read the book's summary and I learned that it's about a Marine, from a 19 year old guy's perspective. I was hooked. I NEEDED this book right now. So I was ecstatic when I found out I got approved on Netgalley, and I literally dropped everything so I could read this. I read this in one sitting, and I couldn't get enough. I was crying at some parts, laughing at others. Whatever the scene was, it was emotionally powerful, and I didn't want to say goodbye to this book. I was that invested with the characters.  I didn't want to read so fast, because I didn't want it to end, but I just couldn't help it!

Travis is my latest YA crush right now. He was just so real and his emotions were so raw! Oh, not to mention he's so hot!! He is by far the most realistic male protagonist in YA ever (that I've read about).  His voice was just so compelling and addicting. He was a dickhead and an asshole at some parts, and I would be lying if I said I wouldn't punch him at one point just to get some sense into his head. But you know, you gotta give the poor guy a break, he's young, he genuinely wants to improve his life, his nightmares are horrible (I can't even imagine being in his position - I would have gone crazy!!). That's not to say he's a moody shit. He's not. He's hilarious, charming, and can be so sweet. I want a guy like him!

Harper is definitely a girl that I admire. My God she is just so forgiving and friendly and nice. Definitely Travis' perfect match. She was feisty, strong and yes girl she can punch! She also remained positive and sweet, even with all the negative rumors surrounding her in the past. Which is all of Travis' fault lol. There was this scene with the baby turtles, and that was when I knew I love this girl to pieces.

I love the romance aspect of SLN because it's realistic, they started out as childhood enemies to friends and then to lovers. They learn and forgive along the way, their relationship is bumpy, real and slow. Exactly the kind that makes me fan myself. There's this scene near the end, when Travis had a breakdown, and Harper was just there holding him, and never letting him go. IT MADE MY HEART MELT. This is how you write a love story people!! (Though I wouldn't really call this a full on love story - it's more about Travis' figuring out his life after Afghanistan).

I really love how with just 224 pages, Trish managed to make us fall in love and root for our characters - Travis, Harper, Travis' hilarious Marine friends, and somehow makes me hate his parents (the family problems are so realistic!), his idiot brother Ryan, and his ex-girlfriend, Paige. OMG I hated Paige so much! Though I do feel sorry at her at the end (haha not really), if I was Harper I would have had a fight with her for doing the things she did in this book. LOL I'm so violent. She reminds me of one of those hoe-bags at my school (yeah, there's that and some uumpa lumpas aswell) that most boys fancy them and fantasizes about them, and you just can't figure out why. Must be the fake boobs. 

You know, I wouldn't be able to do this book justice on my review and I'm probably not even making sense, but that's because Trish Doller has written such a breathtaking and impressive novel. After I devoured this book, I was like WHAT?? THIS WAS WRITTEN BY A DEBUT AUTHOR? Holy hell. If this is Trish's debut, how amazing would her next stories would be?? I'm in love with Trish's writing! It's very direct, and straight to the point, and hooks you from the very first sentence. I can NOT wait for Trish' next book. Her plot and character developments are astounding and impressive, especially Travis' development. Did I mention I love him??

I never cried so much than I did in the epilogue/last chapter. The most beautiful chapter. I re-read it again and again and so much emotions and so much sincerity. It sums up the whole book perfectly. Definitely my favourite part of the book.

I really hope that boys pick up and read this one, too, and won't be put off by the kissy kissy cover. I LOVE this cover, by the way. Anyway, it's one of those books that stay in your head. It's that powerful, and meaningful! This is by far my favourite and best contemporary I've read in a long, long time.

I'm always interested about Marines and the military, and I think this will be the next hot thing in YA. I sure hope it does great! Is it just me, or are military guys really HOT? Like seriously, I just read Try Me (Diane Alberts), Her Forbidden Hero (Laura Kaye) and NOW this. I think I need to get myself a Marine! Anyone with me? ;)

Also, because June 10th is officially Travis' birthday, well since I'm his biggest fan, I think we should wish him a very 



  1. Amazing review, I love the sound of this! Happy birthday Travis, hope he has a good day. :p I love when characters are so well developed that you can love them!

  2. Gahh, I loved this book! And Happy Birthday Travis!!
    Amazing review! :)


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