RE: Something Like Normal
Travis engaged with me as a reader. He wasn't a romanticised Romeo, or a wise-cracking Stifler (American Pie). He moved through the plot with the whole range of emotions and he felt them in a unique and characterising way. I appreciated his honesty, even when I was put off by it (sleeping with his ex-girlfriend, who is currently his brother's girlfriend, whilst in-like with his first crush).
His relationship with his mother was a highlight for me. It was really honest and one of the few books I've read where the complexity of mother-son relationships was focused on.
Something Like Normal is not a soldier's story or PTSD story, it is the story of Travis, who happens to be a soldier with PTSD My only complaint is that it ended too soon. I liked Travis and was sad to see him go. I was left feeling that momentary loss of friendship and understanding.