Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review: Something like Normal by Trish Doller

title: Something Like Normal
author: Trish Doller
book birthday: June 19, 2012
stars: 4

I was so excited to read this book. A guy goes to the army, he gets jaded by his girlfriend who left him for his brother and his family is falling apart when a long comes this girl and stuff happens. I wanted to know what stuff happened XD But in the end, this book left me wanting more in a bad way. I do think the book is successful as a debut novel. It reminded me of the books I had to study in creative writing. It followed the classic story arc:
I did love the story. Travis is a memorable flawed character. Harper down to earth and has a lot of spunk that makes you cheer her on. My problem is with the ending. I won't give away too many spoilers but if you don't want to know anything then stop reading now.

I think everything was resolved wayyyyyyyy too quickly and easily. Travis decided to get help, yes that is all fine and dandy. HOWEVER, everything ends like "they all lived happily ever after" even though people still have their flaws, everyone is happy. Again, it reminds me of a classic story arc or the basic 101 of writing a story. A flawed character, a dysfunctional family, an apprehensive love interest. The character grows a little but makes some mistakes along the way. He lives, he learns and then gets a clue. He wants to change but his mistake gets in the way of what he wants. Things start to unravel and fall apart. When things seem like it can't get any lower, the someone gives sound advice and he takes the step to make the change and is content for the time being. Everyone is happy, but you know things won't always stay that way because they are human and that is the beauty of it.

That was the issue I have with this book. The characters are human, however at the end of the book the suspension of disbelief is broken and somehow things don't seem plausible anymore. I want to see Travis get help and to see how hard it is for him. Or maybe see the fear that Harper and Travis have when he goes back to the war. What will happen then? Oh, and does Travis' mom really take back her husband that easily? Seriously??? Doller doesn't ask these questions and I was left asking these questions.

Don't get me wrong, I did like this book. When/if I become an English teacher I will probably use this to teach about story arc or how it's ok to make a family ugly and dysfunctional. My thing is I don't like being left wanting more this way. It's a love/hate relationship with this book. Kind of like when I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I HATE the ending, but I love the book. I'm so glad she wrote a sequel ^_^.

Anyway, go read Something Like Normal for yourself and let me know if you agree or disagree.

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