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Something Like Normal by [James, Monica]
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Something Like Normal Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 440 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

Mia Lee has a secret…

A secret she’s kept hidden since she was eight years old, however, Mia will no longer allow that secret to define her.

An irrevocable decision has left Mia Lee a fugitive and on the run—a circumstance that should leave her weak and scared, yet Mia has never felt so alive.

Under the pseudonym of Paige Cassidy, Mia is ready to live the life she’s never had, and she’s determined not to allow her tainted past dictate her promising future.

Paige is on a Greyhound bus heading from L.A. to South Boston, Virginia, to start a new life.

A life that includes finding her mother, who abandoned her at age three. But what she finds, is four people, who will change her life forever.

Yet no one can outrun their past…

Especially one filled with bitter memories, which refuse to remain hidden.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3070 KB
  • Print Length: 440 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC (May 8 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K8EV3MM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,978 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
4.5 stars

SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL is the first instalment in Monica James’s contemporary, new adult series of the same name. The focus of the series is on nineteen year old Mia Lee (aka Paige Cassidy) and the horror that has been her life.

Told from first person (Mia/Paige) POV, the storyline premise follows Paige as she runs from her past. Landing in South Boston, Virginia with only a few dollars and a backpack with a little more, Paige will discover that sometimes family has nothing to do with the blood in your veins but the people you meet along the way. Much of the back story is told through flashbacks and nightmares.

Monica James pulls the reader into an emotional storyline where a young woman had to make a choice –a choice that haunts her sleep but a choice that had to be made. Meeting Quinn and Tristan Berkeley, Hank the motel operator and Tabitha (her new BFF), Paige learns what it means to be family-a family of misfits who are there when the world begins to spiral out of control.

There is a slight love triangle formula developing between Paige and the Berkeley brothers which amped up my anxiety with an already emotional and heartbreaking storyline. Tristan and Quinn’s family history is just a step up from Mia’s horrific past and Paige (Mia) will find a kindred soul mate in Quinn.

The secondary characters (Tabitha, Quinn, Tristan, Hank) play a major role throughout the story and become one another’s sole source of comfort and support. The world building brings the abhorrent face of abuse, betrayal, neglect and addiction –front and center-in a storyline that will tug at your heart and your soul.

Monica James writes a seductive story about one woman finding solace and support from the unlikeliest of people and places.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Review of Something Like Normal

5 out of 5 stars

Something like Normal by Monica James is a story about a woman who grew up with a drug addicted father. By the time she was 8 years old, she was delivering drugs for her father and his drug dealer. She had a horrific upbringing and never had any normal relationships or new what love was.

When she was 19, her father was going to force her into prostitution to make even more money, but she refused. They got into a fight and she shot her father to save herself and ran away.

She took a bus across the country and ended up in South Boston, Virginia. There she changes her identity and finds a job and a place to stay.

Here with her new start, she makes some friends and falls in love. Unfortunately her past finds her and all hell breaks loose.

At first I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book, but after the first couple of chapters I was intrigued. I could not put the book down.

The end of the book totally gutted me. My heart completely broke for this poor girl. This story showed how a girl who grew up not having any love in her life, was taught by total strangers how to love.

This book unfortunately has a cliffhanger which is going to slowly kill me as I have to wait, hopefully not too long, to see how it all ends.

I most definitely recommend this book to everyone!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book. I really liked the story. Can not wait for the rest of this story. Small cliffhanger.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9ef83b10) out of 5 stars 72 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ef2ac6c) out of 5 stars Honest review given May 20 2014
By Mrs Rymer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a different kind of book. If you are looking for a hot erotic romance filled with lots of sweaty bodies, then you need to look elsewhere. This is not that kind of book. If, on the other hand, you want a suspenseful book about a girl running from horror and discovering a reason to live again, then this book may be right up your alley.
It features Mia, a 19 year old girl who is on the run for shooting her father. You see her father was a scumbag who deserved to be shot. Her mother abandoned them when Mia was only 5 years old. Her father soon spiraled down into the world of addiction, eventually forcing his own daughter to become a drug courier for his drug dealer in exchange for free drugs for himself. After all, who would suspect an 8 year old girl of carrying around drugs in her pink backpack?
Mia continued to do this for her father, always holding out hope that he might eventually clean himself up. But it turns out good old dad had other plans. When he told Mia that delivering drugs was no longer enough, and that he and his dealer had other ways for her to earn them money, ways that involved being on her back, Mia finally had had enough and snapped. She left him bleeding to death on the floor.
When Mia left town she had no real plan, except to get away and somehow find her mother. She got as far as a little town called South Boston. It is here she creates a new identity and slowly begins meeting new people, people who actually care for her and want nothing out of her in return. These people include Tabitha, Quinn, Tristan, and Hank.
Hank becomes the fatherly figure her own father never was. He gives Mia a job and a place to live, plus he gives her hope that there are still good people left in this world. Mia had never had a best friend before, but Tabitha's bubbly and friendly personality was just the thing to open Mia up to the idea of friendship. I simply loved Tabitha, and I'm sure you will too.
Tristan is the good looking hunk who runs the local diner and gives Mia her first real job waiting tables. She really likes him and is attracted to him in ways she doesn't quite understand, but it isn't until she meets Quinn that these feelings go into hyperdrive. Quinn is a hot sexy guy who knows immediately there is something different about this new girl in town. He can tell she has secrets, but Quinn has a few secrets of his own.
The two of them are attracted to each other, but Mia knows nothing can come of it. She knows her past will catch up with her eventually and she really cannot afford to get that close to anyone.
I have to say that the writing is stellar in this book. The characters are incredibly well drawn. I found myself loving Tabitha, Hank and Tristan like they were real people and real friends of mine. I felt everything Mia felt like it was myself. I wanted her to be able to leave her past behind and start off fresh with these new people, but of course our past always has a way of finding us.
I have to admit that the book ends on an unfortunate cliffhanger. I really look forward to the continuation of this story. I want Mia and Quinn to have their happy ending. Pickup this book if you want to lose yourself in a good story about personal survival and rediscovering the good in humanity.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ef16888) out of 5 stars I can not wait for the continuation of this series. I hope it comes soon! May 24 2014
By Rachel559 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This is my first story by Monica James and I am hooked. She has such depth to each character and you really get to know them in this story. If you want just a sweaty sex story then this is not for you. This is such a great story about overcoming the past.

Mia is running from her childhood nightmares and under a new identity, Paige, ends up with a group of people that care for her and have nightmares of their own. She is finally able to feel like a normal person with this group of friends. Even though she doesn't plan to stay long, leaving is looking harder and harder to do.

Love can hit you when you're not even looking for it and even though she doesn't really start out knowing what love is, this group has brought out feelings that Paige (Mia) had never felt before. Hank is like the father she never had, or grandfather in her case. His help and gentle nature has let Paige open up her heart to what could be and find this group of emotional misfits, but he is not without his own pain and past. Tabitha is a cheerful, bouncy redhead and welcomes Paige with open arms but she has her own nightmares. Paige finds an unexpected feeling of friendship with her and not because of her past but in spite of it. Quinn is all hard body and mystery while his brother Tristan, also hard bodied, is valiant and honest and both know Paige is special. An attraction like what Paige feels with Quinn is hard to resist but necessary to survive. Or is it?

Together they develop a family that is rocked by incidents of their past. But will their love for each other forgive the sins of the past?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ef11cc0) out of 5 stars Intense and Amazingly beautiful May 24 2014
By Stephanie-The Boyfriend Bookmark - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
No matter how hard we try, any secrets we hold deep within will always come to the surface. No matter what Mia does, someday someone will discover the truth. But with her plan in action, she will never look back. She will never go back to the life she was raised in. She will never spend another day doing the things that she did to earn her keep. She will never again try to fix someone so incredibly broken. She will never open her heart again. She will never stay long enough to get comfortable.

This book was highly intense and emotionally charge and quickly found it’s way into my heart. It was unexpected. I had heard so many good things about this book before I started it. Now that I have read it, I can add my positive thoughts to this books reviews.

When Mia left LA, she knew she had no choice. Taking the first buss out of town going anywhere. A new identity and a chance to start over. But she never has plans of making anything permanent. She just needs to get as far away from her life. She just needs to learn how to fit in, make some money and then she will be gone. Using a new identity that she has created for herself, this is her chance.

But what Mia, now Paige, never expects is that fitting in and feeling normal can feel freeing all on it’s own. She finds a hotel to stay in, but the caretaker sees something in her. Something he knows he can help. So he offers her a small job, a little pay and a place to rest her weary eyes. She finds a second job in town and what seems insignificant turns into one of the best things she could have. The closest to normal she may ever feel.

But faced with real friends, a real life, how can she possibly flee this little town that has grown on her? With two guys wanting her attention she knows one of them is going to change everything she knows about her life. But of course, life can’t be normal for her. She can never fall for him. She is not normal. She can never tell them who she is. If they find out, she will lose their love and friendship as well.

But Paige has bigger problems when her past catches up with her in this small town. Secrets can only stay burried for so long. What happens when the people she has grown to care for find out? Will they find out? What happens to her new budding relationship?

This book was not hard to get lost in. Part of me wanted to stay in the pages and never let it go. The characters just grabbed me and made me want to find out so much more. It seems they all have scars of some sort, although none as deep or as big as Mia’s. I found myself struggling right along with Mia and her friends. I wanted everything to work out for grandpa and they boys. I wanted her new best friend to find comfort in her own home. I held out hope that Mia would never have to run again. I held out hope that not only had fate brought her to this town, but that it would surround her with those wanting to protect her.

Monica James takes a very emotional journey through a town and through the life of one girl struggling to overcome her unorthodox childhood and the struggle to try and feel like a normal girl for a change. It was both heartbreaking and healing all at once.

I cannot wait for more! This book was intense but amazingly beautiful in it’s own way. Not that I can say that Mia had the best of plans or that I agreed with them, but when she found herself in South Boston, I just had a feeling that it was where she was supposed to be. Monica James did a fabulous job with the characters and the feel of the story. Making it that much more clear in my mind and tugging at my heart just a little bit at a time.

I could not put this book down and I would venture to say that you won’t be able to either!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9eeb120c) out of 5 stars A Great Read May 14 2014
By bsmith - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
"Mia Lee was a victim. But Paige Cassidy is a survivor."

Mia has had rough life. Being pulled into the drug world as a child to help support her father's habit. For years she does whatever he ask. But when that is no longer enough, her father attempts to force her into a more lucrative business. Mia makes a choice that changes everything, and becomes Paige.

"It was either him or me. And for once, I chose me."

On the run, Mia/Paige ends up in a small Virgina town and finds more than she ever imagined. Mia is a tough girl, but vulnerable as well. Meeting Hank, Quinn, Tabitha and Tristan changes everything. She has a job, a home, and friends. As she builds relationships, she finally feels like she belongs, receiving the love and acceptance she has always yearned for. But will her past come back to haunt her?

"We both have secrets, things we wish we could take back, but can't. And that's okay, because when I'm with you, those secrets don't rule me, they don't define me."

Something Like Normal is an intense, suspenseful read - with just the right amount of romance, humor and sexual tension. It is well written and well paced story. I was on the edge of my seat of this last half of this one. That ending...gah. It killed me. I can't wait to see what happens next.

"I never really understood the saying, 'I'd rather die fighting, than die for nothing at all.' But, I get it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9efb2d80) out of 5 stars 5 "Hot Brother Love Triangle" Stars! Oct. 13 2014
By BJ's Reviews - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Wow, loved the romance, sexual tension and self-discovery motivated themes of this New Adult gem! This is my first experience with Monica James, and it will not be my last! Ms. James impressed me with this heart- wrenching journey to find normalcy in a world that has seriously dealt the heroine an unfair hand. Witnessing the heroine's quest to find love and acceptance for the first time at the ripe age of 19, a feat typically accomplished in normal situations as a child, unquestionably pulled at my heart strings, and was so well written that it had me sitting on the edge of my seat rooting for the heroine to finally fulfill her mission. Please note though that this book ends in a huge cliffhanger, so if you want to find out how it all ends, you will need to read Book 2, Something Like Redemption which was just released on October 14, 2014.

What would you do if your father asked you to do the unthinkable? Mia Lee thought she was already fulfilling that fate until her father sinks to the ultimate of all lows. Left with no choice, Mia escapes the only way possible under the dire circumstances.

On the run, and a fugitive, with little money to her name, Mia sets course for the sleepy town of South Boston, Virginia. Hoping to start anew, she assumes the alias of Paige Cassidy. There she is determined to finally lead a normal life.

Fortunately for her, fate introduces her to four strangers, including two brothers, a teenage girl around her age, and a "grandfather" figure, who make an indelible mark in her life. With their help Mia for the first time experiences happiness, friendship and love. Inevitably all of the hallmarks of the normal life she so desperately sought.

But Mia soon learns that "normal" can also bring angst. As can be evidenced by the fact that the two brothers both like her. Who will she choose? The safe and happy brother or the one that she believes keeps his own deep dark secrets hidden within? Can any choice end in anything but heartbreak given the brother's close connection and her prior goal, which will require her to keep moving? Moreover, no one can outrun the law for long. When Mia's past catches up with her, will she loose everything? Will she ever experience "normal" again?

Wow, what an emotional roller coaster! I will say that it takes a little while to set up this story, but once the interactions between Mia and the four inhabitants of South Boston takes over, it's nonstop action! Something Like Normal was so engaging that I read it in just two sittings. I can't wait to see how Mia's journey continues to evolve in Something Like Redemption!

Source: Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.