Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: May 1, 1998
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "The world is a terrible place not to have a best friend. Scarlett was always the strong one. Halley was always content to follow in her wake. Then Scarlett's boyfriend died, and Scarlett learned that she was pregnant. Now Halley has to find the strength to take the lead and help Scarlett get through it. Because true friendship is a promise you keep forever."
Halley has always been a "good girl." You know the kind. The kind of girl that who doesn't do anything rebellious, the kind that hangs out with her mother and tells her everything. Well, as she gets older, this is changing. Halley is starting to hangout more with her best friend, Scarlett, and popular cheerleader Ginny. She even dumps her nerdy boyfriend, which has become awkward since it's the son of her mom's best friend. Her mother starts to worry about her, especially when she starts hanging around Macon, a well-known bad boy. To complicate matters further, Scarlett's boyfriend Michael is killed in a motorcycle accident, which really sends everyone for a loop, especially when Scarlett finds out something else. She is pregnant. With Michael's baby. Scarlett is going to need Halley more than ever now. Sarah Dessen's Someone Like You is a coming of age tale that fans of Dessen will enjoy and is a great addition to your beach bag this summer.
I really loved Halley in Someone Like You. Dessen has a knack for creating characters that seem so real. She has always followed the rules and done the right things, but she is starting to sow her wild oats a bit. I think this is only natural for a teenager and instead of her mother understanding this, she tries to hold onto her tighter, which only backfires. I thought the relationship between Halley and her mother was a very, very realistic glimpse into the mother-daughter struggle most of us have experienced in high school. Halley needs to learn things for herself without her mother hovering over her every move.
Scarlett and Halley are best friends in Someone Like You and they truly turn to each other for support during this challenging year. I loved their true friendship and the portrayal of what it's like to grow up....to be sort of in between adolescence and adulthood. Since Scarlett is pregnant, this pushes her to grow up even more than before and both girls examine the consequences of unprotected sex.
I read Someone Like You many, many years ago, so I was excited to dive back into it for The Summer of Sarah Dessen. What is so interesting about re-reading this novel are the different things I noticed from last time. For example, Halley's relationship and her mother's relationship with their aging Grandmother really struck me this time. I could personally connect to this at this point in my life and Dessen really did a fantastic job depicting how an aging family member can impact a family.
Although Someone Like You isn't my favorite of Dessen's novels, I still thoroughly enjoyed it; in fact, I think I liked it more the second time around. Dessen truly captures family dynamics and what it's like to be a teenage girl on the cusp of adulthood.