Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Something Like Freaking Awesome


When I read a contemporary novel, I want more than anything to believe in the characters. I want them to be authentic.

With Something Like Normal, Trish Doller nailed it like Paige on spring break.

I didn't care much for the cover (but I must admit, the girl has nice eyelashes).

There are two blurbs on the back of the book. One starts with "Unflinching," and one starts with "Unflinchingly." Is it just me, or is that weird?

I LOVED this book. I loved the characters, the setting, the plot, the humor, the style, the words, the letters, the punctuation, the font, the page size, the everything.

I laughed at Travis's friend Kevlar every time he was mentioned. I could see and hear the all the characters. I was disappointed the book was so short.

I have no idea how Trish Doller wrote from a 19-year-old male Marine's POV so accurately. I honestly stopped reading a few times and re-checked the part of the cover that says, "She lives in Fort Myers, Florida, with her two mostly grown children, two dogs, and a pirate."

I was like, "Damn. So it is a she." It's amazing how well she pulls it off!

The main character, Travis, is home from Afghanistan. He's suffering from the effects of war. His welcome home gift is finding out his asshole brother is banging his super hot ex-girlfriend, and his dad is still the biggest jerk-ass in town.

There are more layers of drama in this book than there are at an 8th grade dance.

Harper. She's the love interest. The introduction of Harper to the reader is probably the best introduction of any character ever. She's so awesome. I loved how every time Harper did something that made me think she was cool, Travis would say something about how cool she was.

The relationship between Travis and Harper developed rather predictably, but I never felt like that took away from my interest in it.

Travis. He's tough. He's very honest about getting erections (which is like every other second). He's respectful to his Mama. And my favorite, when the drama in the story reaches new heights, he ADMITS he made a mistake, CONFESSES to Harper, and takes RESPONSIBILITY for his actions. RealMen.

I'm from Wisconsin, so I was disappointed that Travis's jerk dad was a former Green Bay Packer. Trish Doller loses a point for that.

I give Something Like Normal 5 out of 5 Green Bay Packers (Clay Matthews, Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson, Greg Jennings, and Jordy Nelson).

I strongly recommend this book.

Also, Trish, I'm sorry, but every time I say your last name I think "dollar." I picture you as like...a rapper.

$T-Dolla'$ or Holla' Dolla'

So, I thought it might be a good idea to challenge you to a rap battle. I'll rap my case for Harper. You rap your case for Travis.

We'll throw down in the comments section of this blog post. We'll drop a couple rhymes, then anybody and everybody jump in and declare your allegiance for either Harper or Travis by dropping a rhyme.

I'll start.
Yo, Harper is a queen
She's smooth 'n' clean
She's ahead of the pace
And when Travy come-a-callin' she be SMACKIN' his face!


  1. If there was an apocalypse of zombies
I’d want him by me
Lethal with an M-16 so he can
Fire one off into the brain pan

    And we’ll be drinking at the Shamrock

    While Harper’s being turned into ham hock

    1. Travis ain't no hunk
      he smells like a skunk
      you think he's laid back
      but he's probably just drunk!

    2. Or maybe he's a punk!

  2. I can't pimp for Harper or Trav, yo
    "Cause the mail it's coming, but sort o' slow
    Won this giveaway where I got to pick
    And Sumpin Like Normal got pointed to quick
    So if you're still rappin' when I finish the book
    I'll stop back in and give you my hook
    So in the meantime, keep blogging it real
    Cause Real Men Read Ya has got a fine mad feel!

  3. Yo, Trish, that all you got
    cuz right now it's just a bag full-a-snot!

    1. Don't be hatin' on the Doller
      She's about to make you holler!

  4. Kevlar and Moss call him Solo

    Cause from the get go

    He’s got the skills to make the girls say Oh! Oh! Oh!
    Six-foot two
    The finest you’ve ever seen
    He ain’t just a regular guy
    He’s a United States Marine

    1. All this needed at the end was a *drops mic*



    2. Oh, I have a mic dropper waiting in the wings because once I lay it down, it's DONE.

  5. Travis is a fool
    Harper makes him drool
    He follows her around
    just to see her tattoo!

  6. Okay,I can't make up my own raps, but I can change one around. So here goes:

    Now Harper want a photo, you already know, though
    Only one can be the best: that's the lotto, baby, SOLO
    He be bout it every day, every day, every day
    Like we sittin on the beach, baby, savin' turtles from they prey
    Every day, every day, forget what anybody say
    Can't see Trav cause Harper in the way, he's a real man, what's up?



    1. This might be the coolest thing I've ever seen. And I'm not just saying that because she's my heterolifepartner.

  7. The thing about Travis is that he nabs us,
On page one he straight up grabs us

    Coming home from war

    Not knowing who he is anymore
    And even though sometimes he acts the dumb guy
He makes the girls cry

    With the pains that fly

    Out of his broken
    On down to the 239
where the weather’s so fine 

    but his mind’s on fire
Walking a wire
    Afraid he might


    his fingers and disappear
away from a future that isn’t clear
one where
Charlie’s not dead

    Dad’s not making him see red

    Brother’s girlfriend not in his bed

    And he can take back the things he said

    About Harper

    *drops mic*

  8. Yo, Harper helps turtles
    what's better than that?
    She serves breakfast at the Waffle House
    in no time flat!

    1. I served for 3 years at a waffle house!! #teamharper err... #teamwafflehouse?

  9. I’m a little late to this game
    My rapping skills are pretty lame
    I have mad love for Travis
    but Harper’s always on her game
    she put Travis in his place
    when she slapped him in the face
    I like a chick with spunk
    Getting with her was never a slam dunk
    So when push comes to shove,
    I’m showing both Real Men YA AND Trish Doller some love

  10. A rap battle about SLN? This is the best thing I've read all week!

  11. Yes!!! This was awesome! Team Something Like Normal!!!

  12. I just... I can't even comprehend what just happened because I've been hit by the AWESOMENESS truck that is Aaron and Trish!

    1. Awesomeness truck hahahaha Best compliment ever

    2. Ooh, next we can fight over who gets to drive the awesomeness truck. DIBS.

    3. I don't care who drives it cause I call shotgun!

  13. My rapping skills are really bad
    So hope this doesn't make you sad
    But last week, Trish, I spoke to Michelle
    Told her my love for Travis went to hell
    Like Orpheus and Eurydice I'd walk the long way
    He probably wouldn't even turn around to say "hey"
    but I'd still love him the same
    Lucky for me I've got bad aim
    Instead of me
    He got Harper
    She's a real sharp-er
    Even though they're fictional
    They still felt real to me
    Wish you'd write a sequel
    But guess you'll just let them be.

  14. Uhmagawd, so funny! We are so, so sold. Getting our hands on this book asap!

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