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How to Deal

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  6,431 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 ...more
Mass Market Paperback , Movie Tie-In Edition, 486 pages
Published June 2nd 2003 by Puffin Books
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  6,431 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Jan 20, 2009 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 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 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 12, 2009 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 mothers 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 youve been hanging around Macon youve been caught
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 09, 2010 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 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Chick-lit lovers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bind up of Someone Like You and That Summer.

I very much enjoyed Someone Like You, its the story of Halley finding her footing beyond her mothers reach, helping her best friend through a huge change in her life, and falling in love.

I loved that Halley and Scarletts bond plays a big role in the book, the way Halley doesnt get preachy or pushy with Scarlett and instead gives her friend the space she needs followed by support, and the same for Scarlett, even after Halley in an emotional state,
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
As someone who grew up with YA books, apparently this wasnt a thing before the 90s, there are a lot of problems I have with some YA writers. Some authors think that teenagers are these hormonal, fight-with-my-friend-once-and-were-not-friends-anymore people, theyre only partly right.

I wont say there arent teenagers who fight with their friends once and theyre not friends anymore, there is something special about Halley (which I was pronouncing Hailey in my head for the longest time) and Scarlett
Someone Like You was a 5-Star book, and That Summer was a 3-Star one so the rating is a compromise. I still cant fathom how they turned the two into one movie. I think trying to smush the second into the first would ruin them both. ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I usually love the somewhat formulaic but entertaining YA romances by Sarah Dessen. Unlike her best efforts, however, How to Deal does not present gripping characters or plot. Along For the Ride and The Truth About Forever are far better written books.
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason

After reading my first Sarah Dessen book recently, I realized Ive had this sitting on my shelf for a few years. I remember watching the movie when I was younger and liking it. I dont 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
Monica Fastenau
Sep 17, 2015 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 theyre dated. For example (slight spoilers ahead!), in Someone Like You, the main characters 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, the
Sep 01, 2014 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.
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 ...more
Jul 26, 2013 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
Dec 03, 2013 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
Nov 25, 2009 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
Jan 12, 2011 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
Sep 22, 2007 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 12, 2009 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
Sep 15, 2011 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
Carrie Stewart
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
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.
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
Lindsey Biondo
Oct 19, 2010 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.
Jun 26, 2009 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.
Jul 07, 2013 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.
Mimi (klutz is still my middle name)
this book has two different books in it. the first one is one of my favorite books and it a complete page-turned i read the book in like two days because it was so good. the second one is just as good but in my opinion it starts a little bit slow but give it time. the book is a fantastic read and will leave you wanted more
Oct 01, 2010 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.
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is two books in one. It has "Someone Like You" and "That Summer". These were combined to make the screenplay for the movie How to Deal even though the stories didn't have any common characters and weren't related. They were both good stories but I was hoping the second one would continue with the characters of the first story. Guess I'll have to watch the movie...
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Two books melded into one movie? 1 7 Mar 10, 2014 01:44AM  

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