Hi! Today we’re celebrating the release of Trish Doller’s awesome debut, SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL, which is one of my favorite reads of 2012!
The synopsis: 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.
My take: Travis, a Marine struggling with PTSD after his best friend’s death, comes home from Afghanistan to find his parents’ marriage crumbling, his ex dating his brother, and a girl he once wronged willing to give him a second chance. But that summary doesn’t do it justice because…TRAVIS, you guys. He is hot and sweet and funny and really struggling, and he does some colossally dumb things and some very gallant things too. He is a guy, and he sounds genuinely male in a way that many male YA narrators do not, in my experience. I also kind of want to make out with him, especially during the sea turtle scene (bonus: sea turtles! I love turtles!). Also, I appreciate that while the book ends on a hopeful note, it’s not all, “HEA, he’s all better now!” It feels more honest and complicated and respectful than that. I haven’t read anything else like this in YA and I loved it.
Now, for Trish’s interview:
Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.
Travis is a young, honest, broken Marine.
Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.
SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL is an honest, (sometimes) uncomfortable, realistic depiction. (I used honest twice, but I think it applies.) (Jess’s note: me too!)
Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.
Trish Doller an old, tired, (slightly?) weird writer.
If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?
Ecuador, Germany (I have family I haven’t seen in a long time), and the Czech Republic.
If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?
History, English Lit, Geography
If you could have 3 alternate careers, what would they be?
Food critic, Travel writer, Brewmaster (even better if I could be all three at once) (Jess’s note: awesome choices!)
What are 3 of your favorite flowers?
Daisy, Sweet Pea, Peony (Jess’s note: I *love* peonies!)
What are 3 of your favorite foods?
Sushi, Pizza, any kind of crab
What are 3 of your favorite books?
RAW BLUE (Kirsty Eagar), JELLICOE ROAD (Melina Marchetta), and BROOKLYN, BURNING (Steve Brezenoff)
Thanks so much, Trish!
Because I loved this book so much, I’d like to give away a copy. The contest is open internationally until Friday at noon EST. All you have to do is leave a comment below — but it’d be extra-nice if you’d wish Trish a happy book birthday.
An easy RT: Happy book birthday to @trishdoller & her amazing debut, SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL! Win a copy from @jessica_shea: http://bit.ly/NMOBAh