Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review of 'Something Like Normal'

Travis comes home for a month on break from the Marines. He has just lost his best friend Charlie in Afghanistan. His girlfriend Paige is now dating his brother, yet still wants to screw him. His father is a retired professional football player who is pissed at him for not following in his footsteps. He has been gone for a year and feels lost and disassociated from his former world. And he keeps seeing his dead friend everywhere.

It's yet another case of PTSD and not a topic often found in YA literature. It's a heart-wrenching story that makes you feel sad as you're reading it. Travis tells his story in his own words and shares a lot of his feelings, but has a hard time being completely forthcoming with it all. He has to come to terms with a lot of emotions and decisions made in the heat of the moment, both in country and abroad. As he explores these, he reveals more and more. We're just along for the ride.

His silver lining comes in the form of Harper. She is the girl he kissed during a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven during middle school. Stupidly telling the other guys that he had gotten a little boob action while making out with her, Travis accidentally starts a rumor that quickly spirals out of control and ruins Harper's reputation for good in school. When they first meet up with each other, she gives him a deserved punch in the face, but then softens toward him. It's a plausible type of relationship.

Something Like Normal is a desire that many of us have in life, especially those who are thrust into situations that change their lives. It isn't going to leave with a sunny, happy feeling about life, but will make you think about your choices in life and those about whom you really care.

The publisher recommends this book for ages 14 and above. Sexual scenes are present and alluded to, but not detailed.

I received a complimentary set of galleys in exchange for my honest review.

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