Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
Pages: 281
Release Date: August 15th, 1998
Date Read:  2011, November 9th - 11th
Received:  Own
Rating:  4/5 stars
Recommended to:  16+

The summer Halley turned sixteen, everything changed.  When her best friend Scarlett calls her at camp, Halley knows something is wrong.  Michael Sherwood, Scarlett's boyfriend, was hit in a motorcycle accident.  He died instantly.  And there is more to it - Scarlett is pregnant.  Scarlett, the one who has always been strong enough for the both of them, now needs strength from Halley.  And with her mother controlling everything and strange Macon Faulkner (Michael's best friend) pursuing her, how can she help her best friend the way she needs to?

This being only my second Sarah Dessen book, I was unsure of how I'd like it.  I mean, sure, it was going to be good in the sense of well-written, good characters, etc.  That much can be expected.  But on a personal level, how would I enjoy it?

Well, it turns out that, on a personal level, I adore this book.  It struck me because, not only is it redemptive, but the pregnancy part was so...sweet.  The sweet that only exists in a mother toward her unborn child.  It was truly beautiful!

I love it when characters do stupid things and you see them walking right into a trap - they get hit hard - and you still love them through it all.  Halley, Scarlett, Marion, Julie - they are (almost) all like that.  At one point or another, they all drove me to wishing I could rip my hair out, but even still I wanted to stick by them.

Halley did some pretty dumb things, lemme tell you.  But you have to learn somehow - and a lot of the time it's the hard way.  The reason I respect Halley is because (A. Everyone makes mistakes; and (B. Her choices/attitude in the end were good and right and, might I add, just perfect for the story.  She learned, and that's what matters.  That's what I love.

As much as Halley was a great MC and POV, Scarlett proved to be my favorite.  She rocked this story with her personality and emotional draw.  But especially, she made the incredibly wonderful decision to keep the baby, despite all odds and all opinions. (Not a spoiler, I promise.)  The way she brightened people's days...the way she held true to speaking truth to Halley when her friend was struggling, made her a heroine in her own right.

Oh, and Vlad the Impaler, sorry, Warrior was the BEST!

Well, who knew contemporary fiction could be soooo freaking intense?  Sheesh!!  The whole time, it seems, I held my breath in anticipation, shock, awe, or happiness.  So many emotions, so much going on.

This story ranges from romance to passion to mistakes to anger to love to being young.  It has a little something for everyone to take away from it.  It will break your heart - make you cry - mend it again - still make you cry.

And everything is as you would want in the end.  Far from perfect, but beautiful in the imperfections.  All my questions were answered, even things that I thought for sure there wasn't enough time to pull off.  But there was, and it was beautiful.

Real.  Like the hard-core real that is life.  I will most assuredly read more of Dessen's work - I look forward to it!

For the parents -
A few references to sex, and also condoms.  Scarlett is sixteen and pregnant.  Abortion is touched up on, but Scarlett does the amazing hard thing and keeps the baby.  Quite a bit of kissing.  Halley and Macon get very close to having sex one night, after he pressures her over the course of time.  She starts to feel sick and breaks it off.  The details in this 2-paged scene are more emotional, rather than physical, and how she shouldn't be here.  Recommended 16+


  1. Oh, wow! I think this might be the only Sarah Dessen book I haven't read! Glad to hear something about it. :) I agree, contemporary fiction can be super intense (sometimes even more than fantasy because it's actually probable!). Thanks for the review!

  2. Great review! I linked to it in my blog today:

  3. Totally true, what you said about fantasy vs contemporary. ;)  Thanks for commenting! :D

  4. Oh. My. Word. This is too exciting! I am flipping out of my chair with joy. Yay, yay, yay, yay, yippity freaking YAY! "Well, it turns out that, on a personal level, I adore this book." All I can think to say is: dancing, yeaaaaaaaah! "I love it when characters do stupid things and you see them walking right into a trap - they get hit hard - and you still love them through it all." Yes, yes, YES! "...I will most assuredly read more of Dessen's work - I look forward to it!" My life is complete. Love, love, LOVE this review! Thank you so much, dear.

  5. Awwww thanks a million, Lauz!!  So glad you love the review!! :D  I'm so excited to share more Dessen moments with you!! ;) hahaha  Your comment, as always, is much much much appreciated. :DDDD

  6.  I love the way Dessen writes! She is so into it and I hope that one day I can write amazing books like her....but some of it was too far/inappropriate. Besides that it was great! Don't give up Sarah!

  7. I really enjoyed reading this book. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors. I love every one of her books<3 
    Great review