This book was straight up Sarah Dessen (Queen of teenage girly books that all have the same plot but are somehow still good), but I was disapointed by the choice of main character.
I've heard all about the bad boy boyfriend, the pregnant best friend, the writer mom, but I wanted to hear the story from the point of Cameron! How out of the blue would it be to read a story about a boy who moves into a new town and befriends a pregnant girl whose baby's father is dead?...(and perhaps is in love with her, but DOESN'T push a relationship on her???) I would rather have that story!
But, Dessen would not write that story, because she sticks to her own "personality-less main character girl who's secondary characters are much more 3-D" book genre. Oh well, we don't read the books for the main characters anyway...we read them for the lead romance, right? The lead boys are always great characters, right?
wrong. Macon was a shallow, stupid, stereotype. Too bad.
by the way, WHAT SORT OF NAME IS MACON?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!? It was so distracting...every time I read his name, I had to stop and think, "How weird is that name? Macon, Macon, Macon. Oh look, Macons makin' bacon! Bacon, thank Macon for makin' you. Thankon, Macon!"
You can see how that would be distracting. Other than those two things, It was a nice story...Michael and Scarlett were great characters. I loved the medieval boyfriend...he added more to the story (for me) than Macon.
This book hit so close to home for me. I'm sitting here filled up with so much emotion over this book. Scarlett's story is close to my own with her unexpected pregnancy as a teenager and her struggles. I even had my own 'Halley' to help me (my bf Sara) along the way to take care of me, tell me everything was ok, and just to be there. Everyone should have that best friend like the book says. I loved this story, although I wish there was a better ending. Something to really solidify it so you had a sense of completeness. I've decided I'm going to get this book for my Sara because I'm sure it will mean just as much to her as it does to me. It was even interesting that Scarlett's baby has the same initials as my baby! :)
“I watched my mother do what she did best, and realized there would never be a way to cut myself from her entirely. No matter how strong or weak I was, she was a part of me, as crucial as my own heart. I would never be strong enough, in all my life, to do without her.” *Sniffs*
I have read enough books by Ms.Sarah Dessen to prove that she has never failed to give me exactly what I want from a contemporary YA read. Reading her books to me feels like going to that one true friend you could always trust and rely on to tell you the right words at the right time, could even make you effortlessly laugh.
”…he was one of those short, skinny kids with pasty white skin; he always wore black, which made him look half dead, or half alive, depending on how optimistic you were…
Sarah Dessen gets me. She really does.
Someone Like You once again achieved the author’s signature contemporary plot- simple but dynamic. The story is basically about a 16 year old girl named Halley as she discovers herself and grows as a girl and as a person alongside her best friend, Scarlett, in the most unexpected and unusual ways while trying so hard to detach from her mom as she attempts to prove that she’s no longer mommy’s little girl.
From the storyline alone, we could already glimpse several complex relationships like friendship, mother-daughter relationship and of course, since it’s YA, we also get to see how a teenage girl starts to develop a romantic connection with a boy. These characters feel very genuine and it’s not hard to empathize with each one of them no matter how unlikable they seem and as always, the author leaves her readers sighing at the satisfying conclusion giving justice and closure to the story.
So I'm doing this project that you're probably tired of hearing about at this point, but in case you haven't heard me yapping about it yet, it's called the Literary Sad Girl Canon, and it's basically me rereading some of my old faves (or not-so-faves) and seeing how the books I read when I was younger hold up now.
Sarah Dessen was one of the staple authors of my teen years. I can guarantee that she was on the shelves of probably most of the girls in my middle school and high school classes. There just weren't that many authors like her who wrote about what she did, and if there were authors like her, they weren't really being widely publicized and most of us didn't have internet to tell us about it. We had what we had.
SOMEONE LIKE YOU, like most of her books, is hard-hitting and jam-packed with emotional content. It's about two girls, Halley and Scarlett, who are best friends. Scarlett finds out that her boyfriend, Michael, died in a car accident and is utterly devastated; her tragedy only peaks when she finds out that she's carrying his baby.
Halley, on the other hand, starts dating Michael's friend, Macon, and they have an intense and maybe not so healthy relationship. Sarah Dessen seems to specialize in writing bad boys. Macon wants to take things to the next level but with her BFF living out the IRL equivalent of a cautionary tale, Halley isn't so sure. Meanwhile, Halley's parents are suspicious of her new boyfriend and taking away her freedoms in an attempt to stifle her relationship, and pretty soon Halley is feeling as trapped as Scarlett.
I can totally see why this book is so unpopular among my friends. I liked the friendship between the two girls, but there is a definite dearth of likable female characters in this book. All the girls are boy-crazy and in it for themselves, and slut-shamed by the protagonist. The mothers are both kind of awful. Scarlett's mother seems to be impulsive and possibly manic-depressive and it's implied that Scarlett takes care of her more than the other way around. Meanwhile, Halley' mom is a self-help parenting guru who uses her relationship with her daughter for guts and glory, and seems to be in it for herself.
I did ultimately end up liking this book but it isn't as strong as JUST LISTEN or DREAMLAND, which were my favorites of this author's growing up. SOMEONE LIKE YOU isn't terrible, but it doesn't stand out, either, and I'm already kind of forgetting the story even though I just finished it a few hours ago.
In Someone Like You Scarlett's boyfriend, Micheal dies in a car accident and finds out that she is pregnant while her best friend, Halley is away at summer camp. Halley and Scarlett have been best friend since they were little, so Halley knows she has to come home to see Scarlett. Halley helps Scarlett along with her pregnancy, putting up with her mood changes and food cravings. Scarlett has always been the more outgoing, independent one out of the pair, but now that Scarlett is going to have a baby, Halley has so be the stronger one. In the meantime, Halley falls for Macon Faulkner, Micheal'sbest friend. Macon is a little bit of a rebel, and Halley starts rebelling along with him. Halley and Macon's relationship starts to get sticky later in the book after Macon pressures Halley to do things she doesn't want to do. After a car accident and Macon not even coming to the hospital to see her, Halley learns she deserves better than that.
Dessen is a great writer because she doesn't make Scarlett's pregnancy picture perfect, she shows Scarlett's struggle throughout the nine months. The reader will learn that being pregnant is not always a bad thing, but you should never get pressured to do something that you don't want to do. I enjoyed this book besides the ending where it seemed unresolved.
Life is an ugly, awful place to not have a best friend.
This is my 2nd Sarah Dessen novel. The novel opens up with our MC, Halley being dragged out of bed in the night while away at camp for a phone call. On the phone is her best friend, Scarlett. Scarlett tells Halley that their friend Michael has been in an accident and he died...he was also Scarlett's boyfriend, they had been dating since the summer started. She asks Halley to come home. Halley calls her mom to pick her up early (and her mom is NOT happy about this). Scarlett has always been the stronger, braver and more outgoing one, with Halley kind of just along for the ride, still trying to figure out who she is.
When I pictured myself, it was always like just an outline in a coloring book, with the inside not yet completed. All the standard features were there. But the colors, the zigzags and plaids, the bits and pieces that made me up, Halley, weren't yet in place. Scarlett's vibrant reds and golds helped some but I was still waiting.
A few days later, right before the funeral, Halley meets Macon, who was Michael's best friend. He seems like your typical teenage bad boy. Shortly after the funeral, summer ends and they return to high school for their junior year. Halley and Scarlett also have their part time jobs at Milton's Market as cashier's. Things are slowly returning to normal.
Then Macon starts showing some attention to Halley. They have third period gym together and Halley starts to really look forward to that bit of her day when she can see Macon and is disappointed on the days that he doesn't manage to make it to class. About that same time, Scarlett finds out that she is pregnant with Michael's baby. Her mom, Marion, is hugely disappointed (though it's worth saying that Marion isn't exactly a great maternal example for most of this book) and demands that Scarlett have an abortion. She sets up the appointment and drives Scarlett to the clinic. But Scarlett can't go through with it and she makes the tough decision to keep the baby.
The novel takes us through Scarlett's pregnancy, and I liked that Dessen gave a realistic view of it, how hard it can be, especially as a teenager. Now it's Halleys turn to be the stronger of the two as Scarlett depends on her more and more. Halley essentially fills the roles of both the best friend and the absent baby daddy, dealing with Scarlett's epic mood swings, accompanying her to doctor appointments and making runs for food cravings.
But Halley is also going through some changes of her own, mainly due to her growing relationship with Macon. He continues to skip school and party a lot and slowly Halley begins rebeling like him and withdrawing from her parents (especially her mother) more. She and her mother were always very close, so this new distance puts a lot of tension in the household.
I really disliked Macon but what I did like was that Dessen showed how a relationship can be the problem, not the answer. After a few months of being a couple, Macon starts to put pressure on Halley to do things that she's not yet comfortable with and as she keeps declining him, he starts to withdraw from the relationship, which scares Halley, because she doesn't want to lose him.
I did like that in the end, Halley makes the right decisions. She's resentful that her mother has been telling her all along that Macon's bad news and I think that this kind of maybe pushed Halley closer to Macon for a bit. She just had to come to the realization on her own through her own experiences.
One of my main complaints about this novel is probably that Michael's death is a bit glossed over, which just didn't seem realistic when compared to the rest of the book. It was said in the beginning that he was popular and his accident really was a tragedy, he was only 16. But there was really no grieving done, by anyone really. Everyone seemed pretty unaffected by it aside from Scarlett occasionally making remarks that she missed him or wondering how things would have been different had he been there for the pregnancy.
I actually would've loved for this book to be written in dual POVs so that I could've been in Scarlett's head for this too. She was my favorite character by far.
Book 5/100 of 2015 and "A book on the bottom of your TBR" for the 2015 reading challenge. I wasn't really feeling this book. It was semi-similar to Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson in the sense that there is a introverted and shy main character who has always been outshined by her outgoing best friend and finds her confidence throughout. I LOVED Since You've Been Gone (my second to last read before this one) and I continually was thinking "Wow, I liked that book better. I wish I was re-reading that book." (even though they are pretty different books). I love many of Sarah Dessen's books and bought this one five years ago because of that (back in the days when BookTube wasn't a thing and I had limited knowledge of other authors), but I never really felt the urge to pick this one up (hence the reason it was last on my TBR list). As for the book, I didn't really like or connect to any of the characters and Macon was my absolute least favorite. I also felt like this book dragged even though it was less than 300 pages long. Maybe I would have liked it more if I hadn't just read three great books in a row (especially SYBG) but who knows?
3.5 This book surprised me. Initially it was a solid 2 stars, eventually reaching 4 and settling on 3.5. I was surprised by it because initially it seemed so incredibly dumb. The novel opens with Halley getting a phone call that her bff's boyfriend has been killed in an accident. Now, this is high drama. But does anyone seem fazed? Mmm, not really. Scarlett, the bff in question, is washing dishes while she relays the news to Halley, and Halley's mom seems pretty chilled about it, not even wanting to pick up Halley from camp for, hello, the funeral?? Let alone comforting the bff. Halley does get back from camp, with the mom NOT being happy about it, and you have Halley's mom cooking up French toast and Scarlett's mom Marion happy and smiling. The fact that a sixteen year old child has died certainly didn't impact the community the way one would think. There is no memorial at school, no statue, no nothing. That was the first oddity, leading me to assume this bizaare almost Camus-like work could not end well. Another thing was Halley's relationship with her mom. The mom seems cast as this evil villain because she resents her daughter's growing distance and experimenting with alchohol and boys. Dessen loves showing how her pretty yet introverted teens can find themselves (always with the help of a boy - thanks, Dessen) and here seemed to be another case where the teen must know best and the parent must be a loser. However, the book took a turn almost immediately when it became clear that Dessen's formula was changing. The male protagonist/automatic love interest, Macon, was introduced early on, and rather than have the book involve the dance of intimacy as the two try to navigate their feelings, the affair begins almost immediately, leading me to wonder if, in fact, the relationship would - for once - be the problem, and not the solution (something I wish more teen books would deal with). It was. Macon, while being charming and dizzying and unpredictable, cuts class, parties, and shows himself to be pretty inconsiderate. He drives recklessly, laughs off Halley's curfew, and soon begins to pressure her to go further than she would like. I really appreciated this refreshing twist, as Halley's interest in Macon was played out nicely - he wasn't a total scumbag that had the reader scratching her head, nor was he inconsistent. In addition, Dessen does a nice job showing how relationships shift and change as the physical end becomes more and more of an issue, and the pressure a girl can feel to comply. In the meantime, Halley's bff discovers she is pregnant with her dead boyfriend's baby, and while I did not feel this was handled realistically at all, it did paint a nice backdrop to the pressure Halley was under. Halley's mom is ultimately seen as more complex, because her warnings ring true even if she does show herself to be overly controlling. I appreciated the distancing of their relationship as I feel that is a true to life portrayal of how teens shy away from parents mistaking them as withholders of independence rather than sources of guidance. There were some inconsistencies that bothered me - like, everyone has a cell phone yet no one seems able to use it when it counts. Macon has to call the landline at 10:30 at night and upset Halley's parents? Halley can't ever communicate effectively with anyone because there is no phone nearby? And when Scarlett has her baby, do you REALLY think her mom would be off with some dude and have no way to be reached? It's not like they didn't know this was coming. Anyway, all things considered while there was much room for improvement, I was just so happy to see a book where the white knight does not come save the princess, in fact he gets her in serious trouble several times and she still finds herself wanting him, which sounds a whole lot more like life to me.
By reading this book I can clearly see how much Sarah Dessen has improved as an author after several novels. While Someone Like You is a likable, heart-warming story, it lacks the strong emotions and pitch-perfect writing of Dessen's later books.
One thing I would have loved was if this book was written in the perspective of a different character, namely Cameron or Scarlet. The story seems to revolve around Scarlet as opposed to Halley, so seeing her thoughts at certain points of the novel would have been interesting. Cameron's character is also splendid - the outcast arriving at a new school who strikes up a somewhat relationship with a girl who is pregnant and carrying the baby of her deceased boyfriend. Whew.
Halley, however, seemed a bit flat. I liked how she learned about life through her rocky relationships with her mother and Macon, but in the end I still hadn't fully connected with her. It might be that Dessen tried to tackle too many sensitive subjects at once - the mother and daughter bond, the selfish boyfriend, and the pregnant best friend - and simply did not manage to make it all tie back together like she usually does.
Overall, this was a refreshing, touching book by Sarah Dessen. I expected a bit more due to her splendid stories such as The Truth About Forever and Just Listen, but it's unfair to hold her accountable for books she published after this one. Read this if you don't have anything else you're dying to read.
Is it just me, or do Sarah Dessen’s earlier books feel... grittier than the later releases? Well, “gritty” isn’t the right word, I know. Sarah Dessen’s work is realistic, painfully so at times, but not particularly “edgy” or dark, for want of better words.
My point is that having read Dessen’s later work first, then backtracking, I was struck by rawness of ‘Someone Like You’ in comparison with say, ‘What Happened To Goodbye”.
While I didn’t find the teen pregnancy storyline particularly compelling, or even that invested in the friendship between Scarlett and Halley (which was skilfully handled in typical Dessen style), the Halley/Macon storyline was genuinely unsettling.
Not because it pushes any particular boundaries and contains any shocking revelations, but just because it was so realistically rendered that I was squirming in my seat – something I haven’t done while reading a Dessen book. All the while, you’re aware that this is not some sugar-coated, fairytale high school romance, but something much closer to reality for a lot of teenagers. The dynamic here was occasionally disquieting and yet kind of familiar.
Although this is not my favourite of her books, bravo to Dessen for choosing to portray a teen relationship so honestly and openly.
Someone Like You was a pretty enjoyable book. It did seem to feel like it was dragging throughout some parts of it.. but overall, I did end up enjoying it.
The story is about Halley, who is a 16 year old girl, currently discovering herself. Then there's Scarlett, her best friend, who just found out she is pregnant.. and to top it off the baby daddy is dead. The beginning was like a slap in the face. Halley leaves the summer camp she is at so that she can be at Scarlett's side while she is dealing with everything being thrown at her. Then to top it all of, there's a new guy in town, Macon, who was such a drag. God, I hated his character so much.
Something drastic happens because Macon pressures Halley to do things throughout the book and then there's a car accident and Macon doesn't come to see her or anything. Yeah, he annoyed me. Halley was annoying me throughout the book too.
EVEYRONE WAS ANNOYING ME AT ONE POINT.
Overall, it was an okay book. Enjoyable. I will never reread it again.
I found this book really hard to rate. Although I only rated it a two and a half stars, there were parts that proceeded this rating while other times, it flopped.
Someone Like You (still have not figured out the connection between the title and the story - help a girl out) is about the life of Halley and her best friend Scarlett. While away at summer camp, Halley receives a phonecall from her childhood best friend Scarlett telling her that her boyfriend, Michael, was killed in a motorcycle accident. Halley rushed home right away to console Scarlett and later finds out that she is pregnant with his child. This book follows the girls as they face love and loss, growth and courage, friendship and family.
Sarah Dessen is probably one of the most iconic contemporary authors out there, but I feel like her books are more catered towards a ‘middle school’ audience. Yes, this book had more mature themes, like teenage pregnancy but I feel that her characters are too juvenile. I found the characters flat. Halley seemed to have a bitter distaste for every girl besides Scarlett - you know how hard it is to get along with the whole nasally-voiced-cheerleading-bimbo personality.
I will say, however, that I liked the strong ties of friendship between the main characters. We get to see their friendship mature as they face new challenges and grow together.
I’m just gonna put it out there, Macon was dull. I felt no appeal to his ‘bad-boy-ness’ he just seemed like a lost cause to me. To me, the most development we got from the plot was between Halley and her mother.
Overall, a decent summer read. Not memorable in many ways but I’m not quick to write off Sarah Dessen as a contemporary author. Obviously this book was written ages ago and from my recent experience, she has greatly improved on her characters and plots.
“This world is an awful/ugly place not to have a best friend.”
I went in this book thinking of the story to be completely different. I was also very confused as to what the plot was actually about. First I thought it was about Scarlett and Micheal, then it was Halley and Scarlett, then Macon and Halley? Then it was about their relationship? Then maybe the mother and Halley's relationship?? I really couldn't figure that out, I just let that be and went with whatever way the story was structured and read it as a slice of life giving me a lot of lessons while at it. You know how they say- learn from other's mistakes...
So there is that. Anywho.. I didn't really like the way Macon's character was developed, I really liked him in the beginning and I wanted Halley to get closure and also a relationship she deserves. Anyway.
I wish the book focused on one thing and the other things were rather in the background to add layers to the story.
This book was so good! This is my first Sarah Dessen book, and I can tell I'll be reading more of her.
I read this in one day, it was that interesting! I loved almost all the characters, even though sometime they made really -_- choices, I could understand where they coming from. And the friendship between Halley and Scarlett? GOALS.
Seriously, "the world is a terrible place not to have a best friend".
I'm so glad I read this one! It's a story about love and being true to yourself. It was unexpected and full of hard decisions that were handled well in mu opinion. I seriously liked the thought process and how in the end, both girls stand up for themselves and let their voices be heard. Great read.
I would recommend this book to any teen age girl. This book is an amazing book, about how strong friendship can go through anything and get stronger. Two best friends that have been friends since they were young, go through an experience that not many people can go through. Scarlett who has always been the strong one is now depending on Halley who has always been the weaker not always not knowing what to do one. Scarlett finds out she is pregnant a few weeks after her boyfriend was killed in a motorcycle accident. Halley finds herself in a sticky situation, she has to be there for Scarlett and doesn’t know how. They begin their junior years completely changed. Everything about their friendship is different now, Scarlett’s pregnant and the fathers dead, Halley is changing, shes dating a guy whom she never thought she would end up with. My favorite character is Scarlett, she has always been so forward always know what to do, but now she is the vulnerable one and needs to be taken care of. My least favorite character is Marion, Scarlett’s mother, she isnt there for Scarlett in the beginning, she doesn’t act like a mom torwards her. When Scarlett needs her the most, shes not there, shes on dates with different guys. The very beginning of this book just captivated my attention. It automatically kept me asking what was going to happen next. The intense and normality kept me reading. Just the fact that everything that happens in this book happens in real life. My favorite line from the book is, “Because a true friend is a promise you keep forever.” This line says everything about a good friendship. This author wrote this book to tell anyone who reads it that a friendship can last through anything.
In the end, I gave this book 2 stars because I hated so many stuff that happened. I finished this book hoping there will be a conclusion to everything, but the ending left me hung up.
1) Scarlet. She was a very balanced character, and I liked how she dealt with her pregnancy, and how she was different. If this book was written in Scarlet's POV then I think I would've liked it better because her story was much more important than Halley.
Dislikes: 1) Halley. I felt like she was very immature, and didn't know what was best for her. I hated her personality and how she did all that just for a boy who didn't even seem like he cared enough. I didn't like the way she treated her mom as if she was her enemy, and never saw the good in her moms actions. I just disliked her completely.
2) I felt like Michael was a good guy, and that's why Scarlet might've liked him, but I didn't get why Haley liked Malcom. He wasn't sweet, he used her, and then left her alone so many times after she refused to have sex with him. The relationship was so bad I wanted Them to break up. The sad part is that it took a very big part of the book until Hal grew up enough to wake up and see how she's just ignored, and used.
I have read this book, and I admit I enjoyed some parts but I was frustrated most of the time.
"Life is an awful, ugly place not to have a best friend."
(whoooo I finally read the book where this famous Dessen quote came from lol I'm such a nerd)
Part 1: The Grand Canyon First of all, great name for the section. It really represents how Halley's relationships are changing; as a teenager, she's feeling disconnected from her family and old friendships, and moving down a different path she thinks is right. Scarlett + Halley have a great relationship; they're there for each other and don't leave each other behind (which, I think, is a contrast to Sloane and Emily's friendship in SYBG). They lean on each other for support and never feel the need to justify their relationship to themselves or each other. Macon Faulkner. In this first section, I really enjoyed reading about him; he was so adorable and undeniably sweet. Their relationship obviously went a bit downhill, but Dessen wrote it in a way that felt natural, like any other high school relationship. It actually felt refreshing to read about a stereotypical high school romance for once, with no added elements to make it more "exciting." The whole plot was moving a bit fast; there's no time for the characters to mourn. I definitely can see how Dessen has matured in her writing and plot development over the years; now, she'd take the time (and number of pages) to really delve deeply into the plot points. I feel like this book could have been longer. Also- the amount of stereotypical high school drama made me cringe so much...
Part 2: Someone Like You This middle section was the longest part of the book and filled with a lot, mostly concerning Macon (gods, I keep wanting to say Mason). It was really a darker period in Halley's life, and the book, with rebellion and change being overarching themes. There were multiple references to time and beginnings and endings, which I thought were very appropriate considering the plot of the book. There were times in this section where I got very frustrated with Halley and Macon and their decisions, but I knew it was just a part of their overall growth. This section also had a few plot twists I definitely didn't see coming, which made the book all the more exciting. Side note: As a teenager currently learning to drive, I had to say this- YOU CAN'T GET YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE UNTIL 16 1/2, NOT 16! ARGHH DESSEN YOU ANNOYED ME SO MUCH WITH THAT TINY OVERSIGHT!
Part 3: Grace The ending is what gave this book the last .5 stars. Halley finally realized her mistakes and tried to atone for them. The ending was so eccentric and beautiful, I just kept smiling and smiling.
Overall Thoughts: I loved the overarching messages and themes throughout this book. Unfortunately, it just felt a bit too, I don't know, stereotypical for my taste. I must say, though, the character growth was fantastic in this book. Sarah Dessen as an author has changed so much over the years. As an avid fan, I can see the difference in her writing and plot lines. Her earlier work had heavier story lines and were less predictable (with the exception of one of her latest novels, The Moon and More, which I was actually disappointed in), which I definitely appreciate, but her plot moves a bit faster and her casts of characters aren't as completely fleshed out as they are now. In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and its messages, despite its flaws. If you haven't already, I highly recommend Dessen's novels for quick, not-so-light reads! This one was perfect for me at this time, and I'm so glad I decided, at 11:00 on a school night, to pick it up. :)
I don’t have a best friend. Sure I have friends. Friendly acquaintances, plenty. But not a best friend like the way Halley has Scarlett, or Scarlett has Halley in Sarah Dessen’s Someone Like You. So I spent the 24-hours it took me to down this novel (seriously need to find something to do this summer) being just slightly envious of fictional characters.
Even if they are going through a tumultuous period wherein Halley, like the comet, is experiencing all the pleasure and punishment of first love and a new, growing riff with her mother, while Scarlett is dealing with the death of her first, brief love and the unexpected pregnancy that results, they have each other to hold on to and be there for, no matter what. It’s like Juno, an episode of 16 and Pregnant, and Judy Blume’s Forever all rolled into one big tossed salad of teen drama.
General thoughts include my appreciation that it never got preachy about the teen pregnancy; my wish that the secondary characters, like that of Cameron, sweet, willing-to-help-the-pregnant-girl Cameron had been more fleshed out (Dessen has gotten better at this, to the point that the C2s are more interesting than the C1s); and the bravery—is that what it’s considered now?—to allow Halley to end up without a guy, stronger for not giving in when she wasn't ready, and developing into a better version of herself.
I’m finding that Dessen’s earlier work had riskier plots devices—drinking, smoking, drugs, teen pregnancy, bad boyfriends—though that isn’t saying much. These books aren’t meant to be high angst. I just think that the guys are becoming, with each successive book, more and more nonthreatening, and the girls less and less outward with their teenage rebellions, less uninhibited. It’s not a complaint so much as an observation.
Anyway, probably not going to read an entire novel in a day again. Even if it’s a good book like this one, it leaves you exhausted!
Okay, so this is the first book by Sarah Dessen that I've read, despite the fact that I've been reading young adult books for like 15 years now and the sheer amount of books that I've torn through in that time is probably enough to go to the moon and back like seventeen times.
But yes, this is my very first Sarah Dessen book, and I absolutely loved it. In fact, I loved it so much, I'm in the process of collecting and reading all of her books, because I think I may have found a new favorite author.
The first thing that I love about this book is the absolutely beautiful cover. I know some of Sarah Dessen's books have had several cover makeovers through the years, but I think this is probably my favorite for this book. The colors and the simplicity are great touches!
The story between the beautiful pages is one of loss, love, and friendship, and it is told in such a gorgeously emotional way that made me hold onto this book and read through until the end, and then I found myself desperately wanting to read it again right away.
Someone Like You is like that comfortable T-shirt that you want to wear when you're feeling down or a favorite movie that you watch when you want to feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy inside. For me, this book was the equivalent of wrapping myself up in a blanket on a cold and snowy day with a cup of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.
Halley, who was named after her grandmother, is currently at summer camp (that she hates and was forced there by her mother) when she gets an important phone call late one night. Her best friend, Scarlett, is calling to ask her to come home, because her boyfriend has died in a motorcycle accident, and she isn't sure she can handle it by herself. So Halley calls her mother, who is very displeased about making the trip to come and pick her up, and heads home to be there for the person she cares about most.
Almost the end of summer, Halley comforts Scarlett as much as she can before school starts back up, the two of them spending afternoons together and trying to make the most of things, despite the depressing situation. While Scarlett and her boyfriend, Michael, hadn't been together long (only for the summer), Scarlett had loved him, and nothing has been the same without him.
And then Scarlett finds out she's pregnant, and things get even more complicated for her.
While Scarlett fights with her mother about what she should do about the pregnancy, she struggles to hold onto the piece of Michael that she still has left. Halley informs Scarlett that she will be there for her no matter what, even if she does decide to keep the baby. So when Scarlett's mom makes her an appointment for an abortion and Halley gets the call that Scarlett needs to be picked up because she didn't go through with it, Halley and her new boyfriend, Macon, cut school and help her out.
While Scarlett goes through her pregnancy, missing Michael and trying to figure things out for herself and her child, Halley starts spending more and more time with Macon, joining him in his scene of going to parties, staying out late, and not caring about what anyone thinks. Except Halley's parents care - they dislike Macon from the beginning, and when Halley starts lying to them, sneaking out, and spending more and more time with someone who they believe to be dangerous to her, they try to put a stop to it.
As Halley drifts away from the things that were once the center of her life - such as Scarlett, and starts spending more time with Macon, whom she believes she is falling in love with, despite the feelings that don't seem to be returned, she has to figure out what is most important to her.
This book is such a beautiful story about friendship, love, and loss, and the writing is perfect - it flows nicely from one part of the story to the next (the book is told from Halley's point of view and in three parts), and it's so easy to love the characters, because they are so deep and have personalities that make them really come to life.
Someone Like You even deals with teen pregnancy in a realistic light, and the bond that Scarlett and Halley have (for instance, Halley goes to all of Scarlett's classes with her) is one of the most beautiful friendships that I've seen in a YA novel yet.
I simply can't believe that I haven't read this gem before now - it's become one of my favorite novels and I honestly loved everything about it.
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Penguin Teen!
(Source: I own a copy of this book.) 15-year-old Halley is shocked when her best friend Scarlett calls her at summer camp to tell her that her boyfriend Michael has died, and Halley heads straight home to comfort her.
When only a few weeks later Scarlett discovers that she is pregnant with Michael’s baby, Halley and Scarlett don’t know what to do, but Scarlett isn’t sure she can go through with an abortion.
Halley meanwhile has been flirting with a boy called Macon, who seems to want more from her than she is willing to give. What will Scarlett do about the baby? Will Halley lose her virginity to Macon? And will her mother ever allow her to make her own mistakes?
This was an okay YA contemporary romance/ coming of age story, but a couple of the characters annoyed me.
Halley was an interesting character, and a good best friend to Scarlett. I did seriously doubt her judgment when it came to Macon, and I didn’t like how she didn’t listen to Scarlett when she said that she shouldn’t sleep with him if he didn’t love her, but she was there for Scarlett when Scarlett needed her which was the important thing.
The storyline in this book was okay, although we didn’t get to find out what actually happened with Scarlett and the baby at the end of the story which was disappointing. I thought that Halley’s mother was really too-strict with her, and never allowed her to tell her side of the story which was really unfair, and I really wanted Halley to realise that Macon was not very nice to her, and really wasn’t trustworthy. The ending was okay, and I liked how things ended between Macon and Halley, but I would have liked to have known more about what happened with Scarlett and the baby, and whether Michaels family ever responded to Scarlett’s letter. Overall; an okay YA contemporary romance/ coming of age story. 6.75 out of 10.
I thought this book was okay, but not the best from Sarah Dessen. A bit dry and boring at parts, this is the story of two best friends, Haley and Scarlett, where Halley seems to lean unconditionally on Scarlett. It is not until Scarlett's life becomes a tragedy that Halley begins to learn what it takes to be someone as strong as Scarlett. Covering a romance with classmate, Macon Faulkner, and the struggles with the binds of family as Halley continually changes and evolves while her mother forces her back, this story was not as dynamic as I'd hoped. Nonetheless, still a good read for summer, it can really bring back the memories of a perfect summer.
Someone like you is one of my favorite books by Sarah Dessen, but I can’t help to wish Halley’s relationship with Macon would have been a bit clearer. I really loved Macon’s character and I feel that the ending didn’t do him much justice. I mean there’s the first half of the book where you can only see Macon as a selfish guy that constantly gets Halley in trouble. And the whole virginity thing is misinterpreted. I mean it’s understandable that he wants to sleep with her and she never really bothers to explain to him that she isn’t ready to take that step in general and not because of him. She wants to hear him say he loves her and when he finally says it (although in some unfortunate circumstances) she dumps him. I can’t help but feel that the way he is judged (compared to Michael at least) is too harsh. I mean is it so hard to understand that Macon did not have the best life ever: he doesn’t have the loving and understanding parents that Halley does, his best friend just died (and here I remember the funeral scene where the girls see him walking in the rain) and no one really expects anything good from him. And no one bothers to say that Michael might have not been such a good guy himself if you pay attention to the small hints throughout the book (first of all he was friends with Macon so he must have know him pretty well and agree with his actions, he never showed his true self like Halley mentions quite a few times, he did hide his relationship with Scarlet and then there’s the whole earrings thing that made me think Michael wasn’t so honest in his relationships) but since he is dead no one bothers to judge him. Macon on the other hand never bothered to hide his relationship with Halley and while he might not have told her everything about him, he was slowly beginning to open up and let her in. And also he was quite messed up so no one in his situation ever shows a girl he likes (especially someone like Halley who up till that summer the worst thing that ever happened to her was that her mother was snooping around too much) how his life is really like. So yes, I was quite upset that he was presented as the bad guy in the story. But just when I was saying goodbye to him and wishing him to find a better girl the bathroom scene comes up and the whole rushing to the hospital staring at each other part, making me believe that his and Halley’s story is not entirely over right? I mean why else devote so much of the ending to his interaction with Halley if there wasn’t a meaning to it
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.