Something Like Normal by Monica James

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Something Like Normal (Something Like Normal, #1) 

★★★★ 4+ Stars!

It's LIVE on Amazon !!

"We both have a past, but let's not let it define out future."

Something Like Normal was an intense, powerful, romance and humor filled NA story that I really enjoyed reading. Once I started it, it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it. The story was filled with suspense, secrets and a quite a bit of angst but the blossoming friendships and romantic aspects of the story provided enough "lighter" scenes so that it didn't become a really dark read.

Mia Lee has a secret...

It's the kind of secret she's been holding onto since she was eight years old. But it's also the kind of secret that has made her a fugitive, on the run from the authorities and from old powerful enemies. But she won't let her past define her any longer. She's determined to start over with a new identity and that's how Paige Cassidy is born.

"Tell me your secrets and I'll tell you mine."

Mia just wants a normal life for once, with normal friends, a normal job and all the things a normal girl her age should occupy her time with. But with a secret as big as hers, she knows she'll never be just "normal", so she'll settle for something like normal and that's what she gets when she arrives in the small town of South Boston, Virginia. There she meets "grandpa" Hank, cheerful and welcoming Tabitha, cute "boy next door" Tristan and the alluring "bad boy" Quinn. All these characters play a huge part in the story and they will help Mia in becoming a new version of herself. A version she's never dreamed of becoming...

"Mia Lee was a victim.
Paige Cassidy is a survivor."

From the moment they meet, Quinn and Mia/Paige have a special connection but they both have their own reasons from keeping a distance from each other. Mia because she's afraid to spill her secrets and Quinn because he has a dark past of his own that makes him hesitant to trust people and make himself vulnerable to heartbreak. So, for a long time they skirt around the edge of becoming more than just friends and that leads to a lot of sexual tension before anything ever happens, but in a way I felt it necessary for them to slowly evolve from friends to lovers because it made their connection all the more powerful.

"From the moment I saw him, I knew he was going to create a splash, but I never thought he'd create a fucking tsunami."

Mia/Paige was such a strong heroine. She's been through some truly horrible events and she's had to grow up faster than a normal young girl ever should. Throughout the story I kept rooting for her to finally get the peaceful live she so deserves, with a group a supportive friends, a steady income and the boy she's in love with by her side. Hank, Tabitha, Tristan and Quinn all tried to make that happen for her, but sometimes the past comes back to haunt you no matter how hard you try to run from it... The last 10% of the story was full of twists and turns and I was pretty close to biting my nails from all the tension and action that was going on. Then, it ended with a cliffhanger; so now I'm *really* curious to find out what will happen next...

All in all, this was a very well written, thrilling, suspenseful NA read with hints of romance, humor and a bit of drama. Like I said, the ending ends in a cliffy but I wouldn't let it stop you from giving this unique story a try! From now on, I'll be patiently awaiting the release of the sequel though ;)

**ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**

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