Something Like Normal Trish Doller Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Something Like Normal Trish Doller Book ReviewSomething Like Normal by Trish Doller
Also by this author: Where The Stars Still Shine, The Devil You Know, Float Plan, The Suite Spot
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on September 24th 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Family, Historical, Military & Wars, Social Issues, Depression & Mental Illness
Pages: 240
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

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.

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:

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Oh, trust me, no pushing will be needed! I’m habitually checking my library site every. single. day. for Something Like Normal and My Life Next Door. They are both absolutely at the top of my TBR-when-I-finally-get-my-hands-on-them pile.

  2. PUSH IT ON ME, APRIL! I’m so excited for this. I’m getting my copy this week!

  3. I LOVED this book so much! Travis was amazing and yes, he felt so real. I can’t wait to read more from Trish.

  4. Dude, right? Fantastical book with great characters. I loved this one hard.

  5. Oh! Lenore was telling me about that book and how awesome it is. I want to read it!!

  6. Sounds great! I’ll add it to my TBR list. As an author myself, I worry a lot about whether I write realistic male characters or whether, as u say, they end up being more wish fulfillment. 🙂 If u say this character is awesome in that arena, I’ll definitely check this one out!

  7. I crazy loved this book. I knew you’d love it!!! My review on Goodreads couldn’t praise her voice enough. I’m on the PUSH ON PEOPLE band wagon with this one!!!

  8. I’m not usually a fan of male POV, but I’m DYING to read this one. It seems like it’ll be real and raw and everything I want in a contemporary right now. I’m so excited! No joke.

  9. Yep. I’ve already preordered this one. I can’t wait. I CAN’T WAIT. And I just of like the fact that this two people have a past and he still has a thing for her. I don’t see that a lot? I also totally trust your taste when it comes to books with male POV. I’ve read so many this year! Glad to add this one to the pile… counting the days……

  10. Well I was already excited to read this but now I am even more excited-love a good contemporary and I hope it gets the attention as it certainly sounds deserving of it!

  11. Oh, this book. I have it from Netgalley and I’m SO ANXIOUS to read it. I’ve been trying to save it for my vacation, but I dunno. You’ve made me want to make it my next read. I just finished a book last night and haven’t picked out another one. Hmm. SO tempting…

  12. YES to this. All of it. I love their imperfections and Travis was pretty delish. I cannot wait for Trish Doller to write allllllll of the books that she needs to write. I feel like YA depends on her.

  13. contemporary’s are so awesome right now. I am having a hard time picking up paranormal stuff, because of my current contemp obsession. I have been looking at this one, and seeing all these great reviews for it. I think I’ll def. have to add this to my list.

    Yay for real seeming characters. Not so yay to the beer. I would have a mixed coctail with them. Beer tastes like pee smells.

  14. This book is so incredible. I made the mistake of thinking I would read it for a few minutes before bed and ended up falling asleep with my Kindle in the death-grip and waking up with it underneath me where I’d rolled over on top of it. So immediately the next morning I brushed my teeth, threw on some clothes, and finished the book.

    Yes to everything you said. I’m so glad to be reading contemps right now because of BOOKS LIKE THIS.

    And I’m thrilled that not only will this book be featured in my contemp month, but the awesome Trish Doller did a feature for me, because she is amazing. I want nothing but the best for her and the debut because she completely and utterly deserves it with this one. So excellent, this book.

  15. I feel like there’s no way I WON’T like this one. I’m thinking it’s a must read!

  16. {i’m following your blog}

    I am leaving this note to let you know that I am following you. If you aren’t already following me can you please return the favor and leave a comment on my most recent entry. Please and thank you! 🙂


  17. YAEVANGELISM for the win!! This was really great. Some flaws I didn’t see coming, but still. TRAVIS <3

  18. Yep, you should totally push people to read this! I agree with what you said, both Travis and Harper’s voices felt authentic and real. I really enjoyed reading this one and this one hasn’t even been released but I’m already anticipating Trish Doller’s next novel.

  19. You’re killing my TBR, April! I mean, my goodness, I’ve missed like a week of posts because of moving/no Internet and am just now getting caught up. And I’m already adding like three other books you’ve reviewed recently to my wish list. Gracious. But I guess it won’t hurt to put this one on there, too. Excited to read this – it sounds like a better military book than While He Was Away.

  20. I feel like I’ve been waiting a long time for this book! I can’t wait till I get the opportunity to read it 🙂

  21. New adult category? I really like the sound of that.


  1. […] at Good Books & Good Wine called it a “contemporary book to knock your socks […]

  2. […] Plan by Trish Doller Also by this author: Something Like Normal, Where The Stars Still Shine, The Devil You Know Published by St. Martin's Griffin on March 2, 2021 […]