Monday, February 25, 2013

PTSD Meets Contemporary NA Romance! robgirlbooks' Review of Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Something Like Normal
by Trish Doller
224 pages
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens 6/19/2012
Borrowed from the library

Told from the POV of Travis Stephenson, Something Like Normal takes you through the irreverent, comical, terrifying, and honest homecoming of a kid who enlisted in the military, got sent to war, lost people he loved, then had to return to his old life. Nightmares and ghosts plague both his sleeping and waking worlds. His dad is the biggest SOB on the planet. His brother is the second biggest. His mom is lonely. His ex-girlfriend has fake boobs that make him completely stupid! And then he runs into Harper Gray. In no way, shape, or form does a punk like Travis deserve a girl like Harper, but she's the only one he wants to be around, the only one he feels alive with. He's also the only one she'd never date because he ruined her life.

I love this book. Travis' voice is so authentically male I had to recheck the name of the author to see if the book was written by man. Nope, Trish Doller is that good. I love the rough-start relationship between Travis and Harper. I love how he interacts with his mom. The book tugged at my heartstrings one moment and made me growl the next. Sometimes I cheered Harper and Travis on, others I wished I could clobber the boy for being such an idiot. The only reason Something Like Normal didn't get 5 stars is because I wanted more romance details. Doller did the slow build superbly, but then what? I like more at the end. Just one more chapter, hell one more page. Give me details, woman!

My vote is pick up your copy, dive in, and enjoy.

(Note: If you're squeamish about swearing or casual-but safe-sex, check out the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon to see if this floats your boat or sinks it)

Bonus! I just read on Trish Doller's blog, her next book Where the Stars Still Shine is set to be released September 24, 2013!!! Yay. You can learn a little more about it on her blog,
Trish Writes Books.


  1. For real, I've got to take a look at this one. It sounds great, and I really love it when an author can write male POV believably.
    Ninja Girl

    1. Me too! I'd like to read more books along the same vein, but I'm so new to YA and NA contemporary romance, I don't know what to choose next.

    2. Ditto! This sounds like a good read to me. :)

  2. Great review, Robyn. I haven't read a romance novel in a long time. But this one sounds good. Just added it to my TBR list. I hope to enjoy it as much as you did.

    Happy Reading!

    1. I hope so too! Doller has been added to my authors to watch out for. She rocks.

  3. I really enjoyed this book and I definitely agree with how authentic Travis's voice was, I believed every word and definitely think that a 20 something year old guy acts just like he did. Awesome Review!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

    1. Thanks Kristin! Travis did act true to form, along with his friends, and I still wanted to hang out with them!

  4. Hi! You followed my blog from Goodreads and now I'm returning the favor. I love your blog! Thanks!