Something Like Normal Review/Cover Reveal for Reinventing Claire by Darian Wilk

Date published:  June 19, 2012

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Number of Pages:  224

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

First Thoughts:

This was an interesting and eye-opening story, I didn’t really know anything about post-traumatic stress and it was really interesting to see how a person really feels and thinks when they’re experiencing it. This was definitely a book dedicated to reaching out to people who don’t understand how war can affect a person’s thoughts and actions…definitely bone chilling at times. I will definitely be thinking about this book for some time; God bless our troops.


The plot was pretty good, I really enjoyed being able to see the story of the characters past and present…it really allowed me to better understand what he was going through.  There were some sub-plots that helped move the story along and allow the reader to better understand some of the minor characters. Parts of the story were more complicated than others and there were moments where the character made some really stupid decisions and others where he knew just what to say…I liked that the story wasn’t perfect, there wasn’t a perfect environment. This was a more reality based story, it really allowed you to see what some of our men are coming home to after their tour of war…it is never a pleasant experience over there and to imagine that some of these things could happen to our dedicated soldiers is heart-wrenching and wrong. Though this story was completely fictional I believe that it can really open our eyes to what’s really happening this very day. This story definitely opened my eyes up to the emotional aspect of our soldiers…I have a more in-depth appreciation for our soldiers; every single one of them. As for this story I didn’t really have any issues with the plot, I felt that all the repercussions and outcomes were true to the story.


There was definitely some romance in this story and it was part of the main conflict, it was raw and soft at the same time. I had a few issues with it….it just didn’t add a lot of impact like some of the other conflicts in the story…I wanted the story more focused on the characters “mental” problem. But overall the romance was average and interesting but it didn’t add much to the overall impact the story had on me.


I really enjoyed Travis, he was perfectly created, I loved that he didn’t always make the right decision’s or say the right things; he was flawed. As for the other characters they each had their own personality; each one fit perfectly into this story. All of the characters were really easy to connect with, some even touched my heart. So overall there wasn’t much to say about the characters other than they were well placed and added a depth to the story that really allowed me to connect with the story itself.

Transformation of the Character:

There were a couple of transformations, I really enjoyed them, each one was unique and gradual, and they were definitely necessary and much appreciated in the end. I also felt that there were some unveilings of characters; meaning the characters discovered something about themselves that altered their perception to life and allowed them to be changed. This aspect was overall good and added a certain flavor to the book.


I really enjoyed the description of this book. I liked how the author described the inner thoughts of Travis; I was really able to grasp what he was going through and see how he adjusted to his surroundings. The comparison from his home to Afghanistan was really eye-opening; it allowed me to really understand and perceive the difference of accommodations that were available to him. The differences were definitely described well and I felt that the author did a great job describing each scene. One of my favorite descriptions was when the author was describing Travis’s dreams…I liked how she was morphing them with reality, it really added more realism to his disorder…it allowed us to see how his mind was working and morphing his reality with a bad past. There were some really powerful scenes that the description really help boost…as far as dialogue goes there was a lot of it and I found that cussing wasn’t held back in this book but I believe that it added character to the story and it didn’t bother me like it normally would in any other book. But overall I really enjoyed the description.


The author’s style was in one POV and in first person. I enjoyed that we were able to stay in Travis’s POV and we were really able to see into his mind (that being very important) but I had a problem with transitions in this book. I found myself a bit disoriented when the author chose to go from one scene to the next…like we would be reading on one day and all of a sudden it was the next day…there just wasn’t that smooth transition I’m used to. As for the writing itself I found it easy to read and very beautiful.

Quote of the book:

“Above me is an Afghan boy. One I’ve seen before in the streets, begging for whatever we have to offer. He smiles at me as I die.”

Goodreads Summary:

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, makes him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

Last Thoughts:

I would recommend this to supporters of our troops and to anyone who’s looking for a reality based book. A caution I would give you is that if you don’t enjoy cussing in your readings this book may not be for you but in all reality I didn’t have a problem with it. I really enjoyed this book and definitely support it 100 percent. I loved the authors writing and will be looking for any future books by her. This was one of those books that really opened my eyes to the world.


Cover Reveal – Reinventing Claire by Darian Wilk


People get divorced, but that’s what happens to other people. That’s what Claire thought anyway, until her husband, Charlie, tells her he wants a divorce.

Claire has no choice but to take on the title of Divorced Woman, and face the question she has no idea how to answer. Who is Claire without Charlie? Her family believes her newly divorced woes can be cured by jumping back into the dating scene – and landing herself a boyfriend. With her dating dunce cap in hand, Claire stumbles her way through the foreign territory of online dating.

A teacher from hell, a stalker, and a softball coach later, Claire proclaims herself the dating idiot she thought she was, and fears she’s doomed to be a lonely, crazy cat lady. But an accidental run-in with an old acquaintance might change everything. What starts by comparing dating battle wounds over a cup of coffee, quickly turns into something Claire thought she had given up on.

As Claire discovers maybe there is love after Charlie after all, Charlie realizes his mistake. He wants her back, and he’ll do anything to prove it to her. Now Claire must choose who deserves her heart, and if she’s really willing to give it away again.

I love this cover and I want to thank Ms. Wilk for giving me the opportunity to unveil the cover of her new book!  Are you ready?

I will be scheduling a book review soon so stay tuned!

Lisa D.

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