Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

Note: I already published this review on Thursday, but Blogger deleted it (along with the comments), so here it is again!

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she's carrying his baby, she's devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it'll never break--because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever.First sentence: Scarlett Thomas has been my best friend or as long as I can remember.

My rating: 4 out of 5

If you've read some of my other reviews, you probably know that I love Sarah Dessen. Her writing and characters are amazing. What I really enjoyed about this one, though, is how seamlessly she blends so many topics together. There's Halley's friendship with Scarlett, Michael's death, the pregnancy, Halley's romance with Macon, her relationship with her mother, .... Each one of these storylines is great on its own, but Sarah Dessen also managed to connect them so that they support each other and form a perfect whole.

Like I said, Sarah Dessen's writing is great - graceful, beautiful, vivid, and just enjoyable. It shows some flaws in Someone Like You that it doesn't have in some of her newer novels, but the writing is still better than most books I read. Her characters are what I like best about her novels, and those are great in Someone Like You as well. Halley is incredibly easy to relate to and feel for, and I loved the story behind her name. The supporting characters, like always, are complex and realistic, as well as their relationships. Halley's mother and her relationship with Halley is dynamic and understandable. I loved Halley's and Scarlett's friendship - of course it isn't perfect and of course they fight, but in a way, with those imperfections, it is perfect - the kind of friendship every girl wants.

Just like Halley, in the beginning I loved Macon - how he always snuck candy into her bag or pocket is just so cute. And just like Halley, later on I had the same doubts she had. Even the small characters are realistic and easy to imagine, like Marion and Steve/Vlad (I loved that whole storyline), and Michael, whom we didn't even get to "meet" as Someone Like You starts with his death (I loved the romance between Scarlett and Michael - the whole thing with the kiwis is just adorable). Even Cameron is a great character, and I would have loved to read more about him and his relationship with Scarlett. The new guy falling in love with a girl pregnant by her dead boyfriend would be really interesting to read about, and if Sarah Dessen ever did a follow-up novel (which I don't think she will, but still), that should be it.

One thing I don't quite get is the title. "Someone Like You" makes you think this is a love story, and I don't think that does this novel justice - it's so much more than that, and Halley's romance with Macon (in my opinion) isn't the most important part of the novel - her friendship with Scarlett is. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe the title refers to that friendship, and not the romance - then it'd be cute. It still makes you think of a sappy romance, though, which doesn't fit.

I don't really have that much more to say about Someone Like You - I don't want to keep repeating myself in every Sarah Dessen-review I write. She has a way of understanding and portraying teenage life perfectly and shows that again in Someone Like You, with great writing and characters. Definitely worth reading, and a must for every fan of Sarah Dessen. Still not as great as some of her newer novels, though, so if you haven't read anything by this author, you should probably start with some of her newer ones.


  1. Great review. I don't really care for the title much myself. But it does sound like a great book. Thanks for introducing me to Sarah Dessen's work.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this lovely review!!! I absolutely adore Sarah Dessen and her books. I will be reading this soon.

  3. Great review! Sarah Dessen is amazing. <3

  4. I love Sarah Dessen books, she´s such an amazing author!!


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