** 4 out of 5 Stars **
**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**
When Travis returns home form 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.
I have had this book for awhile...probably close to a year and just haven't gotten around to reading it. I'm glad I finally made the time. I love books based on soldiers coming home and trying to do normal things when they are used to anything but. Travis has issues. He's having serious problems with the death of his best friend and he's not dealing with it. Our heroine, Harper, is amazing. She has been labeled the town slut since middle school thanks to Travis and she's not quite happy to see him when he gets home. I loved the story line and where their adventure took us. I was invested in the characters and I wanted Travis to get his HEA. He was the kind of character you just wanted to reach into your kindle and hold. I loved him the minute I met him. I wish this book would have been written in dual POV, I would have loved to get Harper's opinion on things. The only thing I didn't like about this book was the ending. I felt cheated. I would have loved an epilogue 5 years later. I wasn't sold on their relationship at the end. After how invested I became I was actually mad at the abrupt ending. I need so much more. All in all, Something Like Normal is a great book!
Travis gets off the plane to be greeted by his mother who is over the moon to see him. He has been gone for over a year, he's a Marine home on leave. The first thing we're told is that his dad couldn't make the time to meet his soon and neither could his brother. His family is messed up. When Travis gave up his dad's dream of playing football, his dad pretty much disowned him and now he can't do anything right. While he was overseas, his brother Ryan stole his girlfriend Paige and his truck. Welcome home...I guess. It's obvious the last place he wants to be is home again but he wasn't really given a choice. He's been having some serious issues with the death of his best friend but is unwilling to ask for help. He suffers from serious nightmares and hallucinations of his friend.
He and Harper run into each other at a bar. It's anything but a happy reunion. He is the reason for her bad reputation and she can't stand him. When he tries to talk to her she tells him to leave her alone. When he doesn't she punches him in the face.
Later that evening, his ex-girlfriend (his brother's girlfriend) sneaks into his bedroom and they have sex. He doesn't want anything to do with her but couldn't stop himself either. As the week passes he and Harper run into each other everywhere. He's into her and she's into him but he continues to sleep with his ex.
He finally asks her on a date and even though there is a slight freak out during the movie it goes well. The following morning his buddies from the Marines show up. He and Harper hang out with them and go fishing and clubbing. Things are going great and he and Harper are starting something even though neither of them are putting a name to it.
His ex sneaks into his room again and this time he turns her down. He's decided to see where this thing with Harper is headed and he doesn't won't to ruin it with her before they are even started good.
As Paige is leaving his room his brother sees them and there is a fight. His dad blames him and kicks him out. His mother stands up for him but his brother tells him he will tell Harper if Travis doesn't.
The following weekend they go to the Memorial service for his best friend. Harper takes off work so she can go with him. Once he has her in the car he finally tells her about Paige. She's mad. She won't speak to him and wants nothing to do with him. They continue on the journey and he speaks at the service. He rushes out after he is finished talking and Harper follows him. When she asks him if he's ok, he finally admits he's not and then finally breaks down. They talk and make up. Later in the hotel he takes her virginity and they are officially together.
The final part of the book is a letter Travis has written to his best friend. He tells him that Harper is in college and he is visiting her. He's about to go on his second tour.
We don't know if they made it. We never even really got to see them as a couple. Like I said I wanted more. I felt the book ended abruptly...I mean it ended the day after they became an item.
Where's the rest of the book??
I am giving this book 4 stars. It was a great read and fairly short. It had enough of a plot to keep me interested. I took a star away because of the ending. If you like Marines and the things they must overcome after coming home then this book is for you.
My Travis / Harper
Not sure why I'm telling her this, but it's as if I can't help myself. I swear, if anyone wants to torture secrets out of me, apparently all they have to do is put me in a room with her.