Title: Someone Like You
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Puffin Books – Penguin Group, Inc.
Release Date: May 11, 2004
Halley and Scarlett have been friends for years. People know Scarlett as the popular, flamboyant one; Halley’s just the quiet sidekick, but she doesn’t mind. The two fo them balance each other perfectly – until the beginning of their junior year. Then, Scarlett’s boyfriend Michael is killed in a motorcycle accident; soon afterward, she learns that she is carrying his baby. For the first time, 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.
I read this book a while ago, and am just now getting to the review, but it has stuck with me. I don’t know how Dessen takes these topics that seem so far away from me, like a teenage pregnancy, and makes it hit home, hard. Scarlett is nothing like me, and I’m not a “rebel” like Halley. But there are still parts of them that resonate with me. Like Scarlett’s fear, or Halley’s quieter tendencies, or the relationship she has with her mother. Or just simply their friendship. Whatever it is that she does, I will always be willing to pick up one of her books, of only for the feeling that there’s something in there that I need to read, whether to learn something or to be able to identify with someone, even if they’re fictional (yeah, I know that makes me sound really pathetic, but come on. Who doesn’t want to be/meet a fictional character?).
Needless to say, I loved Scarlett and Halley. Their friendship was just so real. No matter what, even if it seemed one sided at points, and that their communication skills needed drastic improvement, they were there for each other, and that is what counted. Yes, they fought, and hurt each other, but they were together in the end. It was touching, really, especially through the flashbacks of their childhood. And, even though I thought Halley had poor taste in guys, I’m glad that Macon came through for her in the end. Halley learned something from it, and it all ended up working out.
I liked how the mom was written, though. From Halley’s viewpoint, the mom was very stifling. I understood the gap between them and for the most part was on Halley’s side. However, even through that bias towards Halley, as the narrator, there were moments of clarity for the reader when I begging Halley to, just once, listen to her mother. That conflict was extremely well written, and I loved how it ended up being resolved by Scarlett. It just seemed fitting for her best friend to be the solution, even though she didn’t know it.
It was really a fantastic novel, and, like most of her books, held truths for any reader, of any age: how being true to yourself is essential; the importance of friendship; and that grief is okay. This book would be good for anyone looking for an emotional but fun book for the upcoming summer.
**Note: I recommend this book to ages 14 & up due to sexual references and scenes, as well as some profane language.