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Something Like Normal
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Something Like Normal
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When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother's stolen his girlfriend and car, and the nightmares of his best friend getting killed keep him completely spooked....
When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother's stolen his girlfriend and car, and the nightmares of his best friend getting killed keep him completely spooked....
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Description-

  • When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother's stolen his girlfriend and car, and the nightmares of his best friend getting killed keep him completely spooked. But when he runs into Harper, a girl who despises him for rumors Travis started back in middle school, life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he falls deeper in love with her and begins to find his way through the family meltdown, the post-traumatic stress and the possibility of a interesting future. His sense of humor, sense of his own strength and incredible sense of honor make Travis an irresistible and eminently loveable hero in this fantastic and timely debut novel.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Trish Doller has worked as a newspaper reporter and radio personality and is now a bookseller. She lives in Ft Myers, Florida with her husband, two dogs and two mostly grown children. Also, Trish has about a dozen Marines she'd like to adopt.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 9, 2012
    Doller debuts with a timely novel that carves new ground out of the saturated teen romance and post-war trauma genres. Travis is home in southwest Florida, on leave from Afghanistan and dealing with the death of his best friend and fellow soldier Charlie, the breakup of his parents' marriage, and his girlfriend having left him for his brother. While processing all of this, he meets Harper, a girl whose reputation he destroyed years ago, and the two slowly start to connect. Travis's attempt to overcome his guilt and grief over losing his friend lends dimension to what is an otherwise simple love story. External roadblocks (notably Travis's ex, Paige, who is as intent on infidelity now as she was when they were dating) threaten Travis's and Harper's romance, but Travis's struggle to understand the ways in which the war has transformed him and how to ask for help offers the most tension. Doller avoids politicization of the war, and she addresses post-traumatic stress disorder with honesty and a light touch, making Travis's experience both personal and relatable. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kate Schafer Testerman, kt literary. (June).

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2012
    An affecting look at the experience of one teen soldier's experience on leave from Afghanistan. Travis is trying hard to pretend everything is normal, but there's nothing normal about this little chunk of life at his former home in Florida. His girlfriend is now sleeping with his little brother, a smug, self-interested bastard. His friends don't understand why he can't just slide back into his stupid pre-Afghanistan life. His mother worries nonstop. The only thing that's normal is that his father, an ex-football player who bullied Travis mercilessly into playing the game, still seems to hate his guts. At least when he was with his unit, they all understood how their shared hellish experience has affected them. An unlikely encounter with Harper, a girl he humiliated in middle school, gives him a sense that, maybe, a normal life might be something he can shoot for. Travis' present-tense narration puts readers directly into his uneasy psyche; he only gradually reveals to himself as well as readers the extent of the damage he has taken in the desert. If the growing relationship between Travis and Harper seems too good to last and the sudden stiffening of his mother's spine unlikely, readers will be so invested in Travis' poor, shattered soul they will forgive narrative convenience. At its heart, this too-timely novel is purely honest. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2012

    Gr 9 Up-Travis Stephenson is back home in Florida, on leave from Afghanistan where he has been serving on active duty as a U.S. Marine. The war has changed him, and upon his return, he is overwhelmed by his hometown, his friends, and his family. His ex-girlfriend is now dating his brother, his parents are splitting up because his dad is having an affair, and he's haunted by nightmares and hallucinations. When he reconnects with Harper Gray, a girl he spread a rumor about in middle school, he finds relief from his anxieties. During his leave, Travis must come to terms with his best friend's death during combat and realize that his flashbacks and visions are not part of the standard post-combat experience and that he needs professional help. By the end of the novel, he finds the strength to speak at Charlie's memorial. The romance and tight narrative make this a dynamo of a soldier's story.-Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
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