I’ve been having good luck with books lately, so I keep waiting for the book that’ll break the streak. Happily, “Something Like Normal” wasn’t it. It’s New Adult, and it’s short—I read it in three hours or so—but I didn’t feel like its brevity was because it was lacking anything. It felt quite complete, actually.
Travis, the main character, has it rough: he just got home from fighting in Afghanistan, he’s got post-traumatic stress disorder, his family life is coming apart, his brother has stolen his girlfriend while he was gone, he doesn’t fit in with his friends from home anymore, while his best friend died in combat, and the list could go on a little more. But I think he handles it pretty well—or, at least, he handles it the best he can, which is all I can really ask for. He makes some really stupid choices as well, but he knows they’re stupid and when the consequences come back to bite him, he’s mostly mature about it.
This book is from Travis’s point of view, and as a result I felt like Harper’s character wasn’t as fleshed out as I would’ve liked. The biggest thing I wish would’ve been better explained is why, when she’s disliked Travis her whole life, Harper likes him when he comes back this time. I mean, I’m glad she does, because she helps Travis feel more centered and less crazy, but I just couldn’t figure out the shift in her opinion of him. I do like Harper overall though—she’s not showy but she doesn’t let people walk all over her either.
Overall, I thought this book was really cute. Well, maybe cute is the wrong word, because the heavier issues that this book deals with gives it more depth than just “cute.” But hopefully you get what I’m trying to say here.
Rating: 4 / 5