Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick

Title: Nothing Like You
Author: Lauren Strasnick
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 224
Release date: October 20th 2009
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought
Find out more: Amazon ; Goodreads

Goodreads description:
When Holly loses her virginity to Paul, a guy she barely knows, she assumes their encounter is a one-night stand. After all, Paul is too popular to even be speaking to Holly...and he happens to have a long-term girlfriend, Saskia. But ever since Holly's mom died six months ago, Holly has been numb to the world, and she's getting desperate to feel something, anything—so when Paul keeps pursuing her, Holly relents. Paul's kisses are a welcome diversion...and it's nice to feel like the kind of girl that a guy like Paul would choose.
But things aren't so simple with Saskia around. Paul's real girlfriend is willowy and perfect... and nothing like Holly. To make matters worse, she and Holly are becoming friends. Suddenly the consequences of Holly's choices are all too real, and Holly stands to lose more than she ever realized she had.

First sentence:
We were parked at Point Dune, Paul and I, the two of us tangled together, half dressed, half not.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

First off, I love this cover - it´s so beautiful! I could stare at it for ages. However, the actual book is only okay, in my opinion. I like the main idea, but some storylines just didn´t work for me.

The writing is, well, okay. At times it´s good and insightful, but at others it´s too choppy, in my opinion. Lots of chapters started with sentences like "School." "Lunchtime." or "Mid-November." - maybe it´s not that big of a deal, but to me that made it seem too much like the scene in theather or of a movie and not enough like a novel. Some parts I liked, but others I thought should have been more fleshed-out, like Holly´s feelings, and it just went back and forth between liking the writing and disliking it.

The entire book was like that for me - some storylines I really enjoyed reading about while others I just couldn´t get into. I´ll start with the positive. One thing I loved is the friendship between Holly and Nils. I loved reading about their shared history, and their bickering and the way they treat each other is so cute. I wanted to shake them to make them see they´re perfect for one another.

The characters are great and fully-developed. Holly is easy to relate to (with one exception - I´ll get to that later), and I felt her grief. Nils is a great and dynamic character. Saskia is interesting, too, and she has her own problems. Holly´s dad´s situation is heartbreaking but realistic. All characters are multi-dimensional and complex... except for Paul.

Holly and Paul´s relationship is one of the storylines I couldn´t get into. I know I´m supposed to feel Holly´s conflict of wanting to be with him but knowing it´s wrong, but honestly, I just thought Paul was an ass - I couldn´t get why Holly put up with him. I grew more and more frustrated with him as a character and Holly´s not standing up to him as the book progressed.

I´m split on what to make of Holly´s friendship with Saskia. The way it develops doesn´t seem realistic to me - Saskia´s supposed to be popular and Holly has exactly one friend, but Saskia just comes up to her and suddenly wants them to be friends. Later on, though,  I loved the scenes they had together, and thought their friendship was sweet.

I loved reading about Holly´s family situation and her dad. The way he interacts with Holly is both sweet and heartbreaking, and that aspect really let me feel both of their grief for Holly´s mother. I also loved how Holly found out more about her mother thorugh her drama teacher and that whole storyline.

I didn´t get the ending - it almost seemed non-existent to me. I thought it was just the end of a chapter and turned the page, but then saw the book was over. I re-read the ending, but still - nothing really happens. I can´t explain it - of course I don´t want a solution to all of Holly´s problems, but it just felt like something was missing at the end.

I had some problems with a few of the storylines, but overall Nothing Like You is still a sweet and worthwhile read. I don´t know whether or not to recommed this book - there are some things I really liked and others I couldn´t get into at all. Maybe that´s just me, though - I think a lot of my dislike for some of the storylines came from me not being able to sympathize with Paul or his relationship with Holly, so that might be different for you.


  1. It's a funny odd feeling when I finish a book and I'm on the fence. I don't know whether to recommend or say bypass. Maybe if I come across at the library, I'll give it a go.


Please leave a comment - I love to hear what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...