Something like Normal by Trish Doller
Published June 19, 2012
Honestly, I really did enjoy this book – I found that it kept me at my seat mainly because I was curious to see how the whole thing played out between Travis and Harper. Deep down, I love a good heart tugging romance novel and while this wasn’t terribly heart wrenching, it was enough for me to flip quickly through the pages.
For some reason, I had the impression that Travis and Harper were a lot older probably because Travis was in the army and I thought he was back after he had done his service which was about 3 years. Therefore I had him pegged at like 21 or 22 since he enlisted at 18 – it wasn’t towards the second half that I realized that he had only done one year so he was only 19 and that changed my entire perspective on him, his relationship with Harper, and his PTSD.
First of all, his PTSD – it was obvious he was suffering from it yet no one – not even his family or Harper suggested that he see someone to get it checked out. He eventually got himself checked out but that was his own decision and suggestion. Also, I’m not an expert in regards to the army and serving; however, how is it possible that he was enlisted for a year, got the training and spent months in Afghanistan? I thought the training usually takes a long time – possibly even a year yet somehow that was not the case? Again, I actually have no clue about the army but I thought that training in general usually takes quite some time which is another reason why I thought he was older than he actually was. It seemed as if he had already served in the army for years rather than a single year.
Another thing – his relationship with Harper. While I thought the two made a cute couple, at the same time, they were so different from one another. Harper is much more serious and innocent whereas Travis clearly wasn’t. Plus the history and animosity between the two was more one-sided (from Harper) and it didn’t really seem like such a big deal but Harper held it against him for years and years. Yet when Travis slept with his ex (before he started anything with Harper), she was able to let it go just like that. Granted, it took her a day but compared to what he did to her years ago, I would take more of an offense with the sleeping with ex as opposed to starting a rumor when they were 14. However, towards the end, you can tell that the two cared for each other and it seemed like a solid relationship as opposed to Travis and his ex.
At first, because I thought Travis was 21-22, I thought he was quite immature especially with the whole ex thing and especially with the fact that his ex is now with his brother yet they fooled around still. And he didn’t even know why he did it. I was like, wow, really? I guess guys really do think with their little head even though she was clearly bad news and she was dating your brother. Then when I found out that he was actually 19, his immaturity made a little more sense to me. Yet at the same time, don’t people usually mature much faster when they’ve seen war so why does he still act as if he was still a youngster?
Anyways, despite my criticisms of this book, I still overall really enjoyed it. I really did like reading about Travis and his experience with the army and his relationship with Harper. The one relationship I didn’t enjoy so much was between him and his dad. His dad is such a dick and kudos to Travis for telling his mom that she needs to stand up to him and kudos to her for actually doing so. The mother-son relationship is adorable and I’m glad he was there to make sure his father didn’t treat his mom like crap anymore.
Overall, if you’re into a book that has both war and romance aspects, I would suggest this. It doesn’t focus too much on either components so it’s a good mix.