Y’all, I am thrilled that I got to read Something Like Normal by Trish Doller early because I think it’s about to become my next PUSH ON PEOPLE book. I want to get loud about Something Like Normal. I want Trish Doller’s debut to get the sort of attention that paranormal debuts normally get, because you guys? It is a DAMN good read.
Something Like Normal is about Travis, a marine home in Florida on leave from Afghanistan. He is dealing with PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder which manifests in these hallucinations of his dead friend Charlie. Told in Travis’s first person perspective, I fell in love despite his numerous flaws. Travis is definitely not perfect, but he’s real ya know? He cusses, has meaningless sex and can’t seem to live up to his ex-Green Bay Packer father’s expectations.
I loved the voice that Trish Doller gave Travis. He feels authentic and raw. Never once did I think to myself: this feels contrived or this guy feels like wish fulfillment on the author’s part. Instead, I rooted for Travis and wanted him to get with the right girl and also to get some desperately needed mental health counseling.
Travis’s love interest, Harper, was a character I really liked. She and Travis have a past and she kind of really dislikes him. BUT OMG YOU GUYS he has it sooo bad for her. She’s also not perfect and feels real. I love that there is more reality to the characters of Something Like Normal’s 224 pages than for some characters of 300 page or more books. I love that Harper and Travis feel like people I could have a beer and shoot the breeze with.
If you are looking for a contemporary book to knock your socks off, a book that could fall under the new adult category, you NEED to read Something Like Normal. It’s real, has some very steamy scenes and is absolutely full of heart. I applaud Trish Doller for something that some of our young people in the military don’t always come back whole, emotionally. It’s not always easy reading Travis’s memories of his friend Charlie and his PTSD episodes, but it is worth it. I wholeheartedly recommend Something Like Normal and actually have a few people in mind who will be receiving it as a birthday gift.
Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley.
Other reviews of Something Like Normal by Trish Doller:
Chick Loves Lit – “extraordinarily realistic”
See Michelle Read – “strikes an incredible balance”
The Crooked Shelf – “It’s in your head and it’s in your heart and it’s under your skin.”
Reclusive Bibliophile – “packed with love, loss, and redemption”