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How to Deal

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  5,879 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Rule #1: There are no rulesJust when you think you've got everything figured out for yourself, things get turned upside down. Families change. Lives end. New lives begin. And love sneaks up on you when you least expect it. The trick is finding that one person you can always count on, that one person who will throw out the rules and help you figure out how to deal with it a ...more
Mass Market Paperback , Movie Tie-In Edition, 486 pages
Published June 2nd 2003 by Puffin Books
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Apr 17, 2015 Marsha rated it it was amazing
"How to Deal" is actually a package of two novels from Sarah Dessen, which were used as a basis for a movie starting Mandy Moore. The first novel "Someone Like You" I absolutely loved. It is a young adult novel. I thought it was so well written that it reminded me of why I came to like reading so much. The descriptions were not overdone. There was just enough description to feel involved and the dialogue feels real and not forced. The story revolves around two female friends. One of the friends ...more
Dec 01, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
I love the movie How to Deal, so I decided to read the books. I personally liked Someone Like You more than That Summer. I think it's because Macon is such an intriguing character, and I personally thought that in the movie, he was made out to be a better guy.
Oct 21, 2010 Terr added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 05, 2009 Carla rated it liked it
Carla Money
Pre-AP English 10
6 March 2009
How to Deal by Sarah Dessen
How to Deal by Sarah Dessen is about a teenage girl, Halley, whose life is changing. She has always let her mother tell her what to do and she did it. After she meets Macon, she begins to rebel against her mother’s strict rules. She begins to hang out with the wrong people and try drugs. Her mother notices her changing behavior and confronts her. She says, “Now, since you’ve been hanging around Macon you’ve been caught ski
Read both books before AND saw the movie and never really made the connection. Of course Trent Ford was NOT the guy I would have pictured in any of the roles in the books but he is eminently watchable.

It was interesting to see the two plot-lines melded into a single movie but it kinda begs the question as to whether these books are a bit low on content. I mean one slim volume by C.S. Forester has been made into a six hour mini series.

Also, it may just be the masculine perspective but this may
Apr 12, 2010 Shawna rated it really liked it
I, like a lot of other readers, saw the movie first. I didn't realize when I started reading Dessen that she was the other of Someone Like You. LOVED the book. . . way better than than the movie and for obvious reasons. The book fleshed out a lot of the story for me. And I liked Macon a lot more in the pages than on the screen. It seemed an honest and optimistic approach about issues that seem to get swept under the rug in more conservative families. I appreciated the choices that Halley made ...more
Apr 24, 2008 Katy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Chick-lit lovers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna Amirov
Jun 10, 2016 Anna Amirov rated it did not like it
Recommended to Anna by: It was a horribly, horribly chosen gift.
After reading Just Listen, I should have expected this. But once again, a disappointment. Didn't like this. Again.

Overall Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
I wrote these reviews at separate times, but here are both the individual reviews:

Someone Like You
Individual Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

I feel like this really tried to be realistic. And while so many judge Desssen's work as being painfully realistic, I judge it as being painfully one-dimensional. I've always h
Carrie Stewart
Nov 25, 2016 Carrie Stewart rated it liked it
Someone Like You is much stronger than That Summer. The latter didn't seem to have much plot to speak of and the resolution happened too quickly. Haven has a meltdown, yells at her sister and then all is fine cos she learns the sister's ex boyfriend wasn't as cool as she thought? Even though her sister has been horrible and selfish with few redeeming qualities throughout? The modelling aspect and Gwendolyn character also didn't add much.

But Someone Like You was a nice read.
Jul 18, 2015 Meganm922 rated it really liked it
Review originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason

After reading my first Sarah Dessen book recently, I realized I’ve had this sitting on my shelf for a few years. I remember watching the movie when I was younger and liking it. I don’t know what took me so long to finally pick this up or read a Sarah Dessen book!

How to Deal was a great combination of two Sarah Dessen novels: Someone Like You and That Summer. Someone Like You was the longest and first of the two books and involved char
Monica Fastenau
Nov 16, 2015 Monica Fastenau rated it liked it
Read the full review here:

The two books contained in this package are Someone Like You and That Summer. Neither of them really struck me, and I think part of the reason is that they’re dated. For example (slight spoilers ahead!), in Someone Like You, the main character’s best friend gets pregnant. With her boyfriend out of the picture, she must decide if she wants to keep the baby, all while continuing to navigate the dangers of high school. Meanwhile, th
Mar 03, 2012 Margaret rated it really liked it
This is an odd movie version package of two Dessen books, Someone Like You and That Summer, of which I like Someone Like You quite a bit more. I really like how Dessen delineates Halley and Scarlett's close but not always perfect friendship and her sympathetic portrayal of teen pregnancy. That Summer pushes fewer buttons, I guess; I didn't like Haven, the protagonist, as much as I did Halley and Scarlett, and I wasn't as interested in her issues with her family. Still, it does have the insight a ...more
Apr 30, 2016 Kaycee rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Facts about the movie:
1) It's based on a book
2) Written by Sarah Dessen
3) Based on 2 books
4) Both books are included in this edition

I learned when I opened the very first page of this book that the movie was actually based on two books written by Sarah Dessen. She provides an introduction on the combination of the books in this edition and how the movie was written cohesively into one. She mentions that there are similarities between the two characters from both books - sadly, I never found it.
Jul 26, 2013 Valerie rated it liked it
A little over the top. These two stories were a little too dramatic for me. There are issues, and then there are way too many issues for one story. It seemed like the author wanted to cram every possible teenage issue into these books. Drugs, sex, pregnancy, loved my mom, now hate my mom, adoption, abandonment, school, popularity, alcohol, job, money, fall for an older guy, sister steals the spotlight, forgotten/invisible... you get the picture. She's a pretty good writer, but the content was a ...more
Apr 28, 2014 Kirsten rated it it was ok
I've read this book before but I didn't fully remember it. This time I got through the first book, "Someone Like You", and scanned the second, "That Summer." I'm sure people adore this book but I am not one of them. I've read other books by Sarah Dessen and they usually have the same real and fairly sad aspect to them, but this one for me falls flat at the end of each book. I don't need it to end with happily ever after, but these books honestly leave me feeling depressed instead of stunned by ...more
Sep 21, 2011 Ashley rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this book. I feel like I can relate so much to the main characters, their relationships, and their situations. These books are really great for every single teenager out there, as long as they're okay with swearing, especially in the second book.

It helped give me more of a perspective to why my mom and I don't get along most of the time anymore and that my situations that I felt like nobody could understand? Other people CAN relate.

The characters are also so unique and funny
Nov 30, 2009 Laura rated it liked it
So I read this book because I thought it'd help me understand the movie better, but it did not! I don't understand how both books in this volume relate or how they both inspired the movie.

Reading this book made me feel like I was back in high school all over again, reading books that were long and not great.

I am interested to watch the movie again (saw it new in 2003) and see if the plot lines that were not finished in the movie are finished in the novel. But I have a feeling they are not, as th
Jan 27, 2011 Sara rated it liked it
How to Deal, covering two of Dessen's novels, was actually a bit of a disappointment. Both were good, but not as good as I was expecting from Dessen. She's written better, though this was still worth my time.

I definitely agree with many others that the first novel was far better than the second one. Like I said, of my past Dessen experiences, this one was not what I was expecting. If it had been my first read, I'm not positive I'd read her other works. However, everything else I've read before t
Sep 22, 2007 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-fiction
I hate movie tie-ins as much as the next book snob but desperate times call for desperate measures. I was bored out of my mind at work and picked up this book (actually two books in one- That Summer and Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen) because it was nearest to the register. I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it a great deal! I don't remember much about the story except that it has to do with a girl whose parent's get divorced (or something like that)and of course she meets a ...more
Chrissy Pennada
Jun 14, 2009 Chrissy Pennada rated it liked it
Shelves: favorites
This book was two books combined. It was about a girl whose parents are divorced and she deals with that and the chaos going on with her father getting married to a blonde "bimbo" and her sister is also getting married. And she finds out that her best friend is pregnant and she father of her baby dies in a motorcycle accident. She tries to balance out her life and deal with everything but she's just a mess. And she meets this boy and they fall for eachother and spend the summer together. But ...more
Lindsey Biondo
Oct 19, 2010 Lindsey Biondo rated it really liked it
I thought that this book was very well written. The order of events was intrigueing and made me want to read more. I didn't ever at one point in time get bored with this book. Halley is an ordinary girl, with a very cool bestfriend who gets pregnant, and the boy that is the father died in a motorcycle accident. Halley and her best friend learn "how to deal" with all of the problems they are facing. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a long intrigueing book.
Oct 13, 2013 Katelyn rated it really liked it
Second time reading this book. Last time I read this book I was in school about the same ages as the characters in the book. Someone like you is definably better. I felt the story in That summer. Haven was wandering around aimlessly. Just going from place to place. Love the movie what both books are based off of. I can see why they combined both books. That summer just on its own it okay. But someone like you really made this book for me.
sabrina caho

this is a movie with the family from That Summer mixed with the best friend and bad boyfriend from Someone Like You

those were not my favorite books from Sarah Dessen
Oct 26, 2009 Mandy rated it really liked it
I read this book before, This is a combination of three books, I like the first two books because they are talking about the same characters and the same problems, and how they solved it at last. But the third book wasn't related to the first two books, and the text was a lot bigger and more squeezed together, it is a lot harder to change text when I have been reading that book for few weeks, so I didn't continue the third book.
Aug 31, 2015 Kyra rated it it was ok
So this book is really confusing because it reads as if it is going to show you the book form of the movie. But nope, its just the same original two stories put back to back in one book. Someone Like You is a good book but as for the second novel. It doesn't really have a huge plot. It literally revolves around a girl you feels overlooked and then she talks to her sister. After that the book just ends. Its stupid, don't waste your money.
Oct 13, 2010 Katrina rated it did not like it
The books "That Summer" and "Someone Like You" deserve WAY much more credit than what this movie gave them. I didn't like it one bit. Total Waste of time. I love Sarah Dessen's books so much that they don't need a movie about them that totally ruins your viewpoint and intake of it. If you don't like books being made into movies,then definitely DON'T watch "How To Deal."
Mar 11, 2013 Kaitlin rated it really liked it
I love this book almost as much as I love the movie (which I don't often feel). "Someone like you" is much better than "That Summer", in my opinion. Macon is a character I wish truly existed; a rebel, but a sweetheart. I think the movie melds the best of both books into a truly touching, coming-of-age story about the boy and the girl no one saw together.
May 01, 2011 Paige rated it it was ok
Shelves: made-into-movies
The first book "Someone Like You" really wasn't that bad. It wasn't that hard to get thru. It definitely beat "That Summer" by a million. I can't express how happy I am to be done with ready this book. I think I definitely would have liked the book better if it wasn't two-in-one. I saw the "How To Deal" movie and absolutely loved it, so I had high expectations for this book.
Sep 15, 2011 Valerie rated it it was amazing
After reading these books back to back, I can definitely see there were many simiarities between them. I can understand why they were combined into one movie.

I really love Sarah Dessen's book. She writes a lot about romance, but it's all real and not something totally unrealistic. Also, she finds the truth in everyday things.
Apr 16, 2013 Heather rated it liked it
This is 2 books in 1, Someone Like You & That Summer. These are 2 completely different stand alone stories. Someone like you was ok & That Summer made me wish there was a follow up book to find out what the heck happens.
How they made these 2 books into 1 movie is beyond me. The stories & characters are completely different in each one.
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Two books melded into one movie? 1 7 Mar 10, 2014 01:44AM  
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