When I read a contemporary novel, I want more than anything to believe in the characters. I want them to be authentic.
With Something Like Normal, Trish Doller nailed it like Paige on spring break.
I didn't care much for the cover (but I must admit, the girl has nice eyelashes).
There are two blurbs on the back of the book. One starts with "Unflinching," and one starts with "Unflinchingly." Is it just me, or is that weird?
I LOVED this book. I loved the characters, the setting, the plot, the humor, the style, the words, the letters, the punctuation, the font, the page size, the everything.
I laughed at Travis's friend Kevlar every time he was mentioned. I could see and hear the all the characters. I was disappointed the book was so short.
I have no idea how Trish Doller wrote from a 19-year-old male Marine's POV so accurately. I honestly stopped reading a few times and re-checked the part of the cover that says, "She lives in Fort Myers, Florida, with her two mostly grown children, two dogs, and a pirate."
I was like, "Damn. So it is a she." It's amazing how well she pulls it off!
The main character, Travis, is home from Afghanistan. He's suffering from the effects of war. His welcome home gift is finding out his asshole brother is banging his super hot ex-girlfriend, and his dad is still the biggest jerk-ass in town.
There are more layers of drama in this book than there are at an 8th grade dance.
Harper. She's the love interest. The introduction of Harper to the reader is probably the best introduction of any character ever. She's so awesome. I loved how every time Harper did something that made me think she was cool, Travis would say something about how cool she was.
The relationship between Travis and Harper developed rather predictably, but I never felt like that took away from my interest in it.
Travis. He's tough. He's very honest about getting erections (which is like every other second). He's respectful to his Mama. And my favorite, when the drama in the story reaches new heights, he ADMITS he made a mistake, CONFESSES to Harper, and takes RESPONSIBILITY for his actions. RealMen.
I'm from Wisconsin, so I was disappointed that Travis's jerk dad was a former Green Bay Packer. Trish Doller loses a point for that.
I give Something Like Normal 5 out of 5 Green Bay Packers (Clay Matthews, Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson, Greg Jennings, and Jordy Nelson).
I strongly recommend this book.
Also, Trish, I'm sorry, but every time I say your last name I think "dollar." I picture you as like...a rapper.
$T-Dolla'$ or Holla' Dolla'
So, I thought it might be a good idea to challenge you to a rap battle. I'll rap my case for Harper. You rap your case for Travis.
We'll throw down in the comments section of this blog post. We'll drop a couple rhymes, then anybody and everybody jump in and declare your allegiance for either Harper or Travis by dropping a rhyme.
Yo, Harper is a queen
She's smooth 'n' clean
She's ahead of the pace
And when Travy come-a-callin' she be SMACKIN' his face!