LisaS, August 7, 2012 (view all comments by LisaS)
Travis has returned home for a leave from his tour in Afghanistan. While being at home for four weeks should be a happy affair, things aren't exactly as he expected them to be. His brother is now dating his girlfriend and his relationship with his parents is strained. Even worse, he's haunted by events that happened in Afghanistan.
There are so many emotions we experience through Travis - guilt, anger, sadness, and more. Trish Doller does an excellent job putting us inside the head of a soldier in today's world, and we feel everything Travis feels. It's one of the best YA contemporary novels I've read this year. All of the relationships and the feelings Travis feels in regards to those relationships are so authentic. A fantastic read. I highly recommend.
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (June 19, 2012
Cover Art: I like it, I really like how you can see the dog tags.
Author: Trish Doller
Overall rating: **** out of 5 stars
Obtained: ARC copy from the publisher via Netgalley. Thank you.
Something like normal byTrish Doller
Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews.
When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero. (Synopsis provided by goodreads)
I think the thing I liked most about this book was how raw it was. We get to see Travis going through the different stages of grief while he is trying to deal with the death of Charlie, his best friend who was killed in Afghanistan.
The book is told from Travis' perspective. Which was awesome, I really books told from a male P.O.V. especially in YA as I haven't found many and even fewer that I enjoyed. The war in Afghanistan is a really interesting topic for a YA book. I read one earlier this year and loved it. I'm really enjoying this topic in YA and am so glad that we are getting more of it.
There was a lot in this book that I didn't see coming, but there was also a lot that I did see coming, I figured it would end the way it did although, it got there in a different way. For me, the only thing that kept this book from a 5 star rating was the middle, there were a few chapters there that moved slow for me and I had a hard time moving through them.
The story it's self felt very real and I felt that Travis was a character that the reader could relate to. I really felt for him and his struggles and wanted the best for him, he was the type of character that you'll route for from page one. The dialog of this book is incredible it's poignant and strong.
This book is a must read for anyone who enjoys male P.O.V or wants to read a book based on the war.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"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)." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Trish Doller's stunning debut about a young Marine who returns home from Afghanistan, where he finds a new life and love.
When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother's stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he's haunted by nightmares of his best friend's death. It's not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he's had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis's dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.
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