Someone Like You - by Sarah Dessen
Someone Like You

"strong characters girls can identify with"

    In the novel Someone Like You, Sarah Dessen illustrates the modern teenager’s struggle to deal with adult situations and make adult decisions while still facing common teen problems – problems like drinking, pregnancy, peer pressure, the ruining of reputations, rebellion against parents and authority figures, and the pressure to be in the “in group.”  While the main characters, Scarlett and Halley, face all these teen problems, they are each left making crucial, mature decisions which will affect them for the rest of their lives.  There are many stereotypes within the story line, but most teenagers can probably relate to the novel at some point in the stages of growing up.  I would recommend this book to any high school-aged student, especially female.

        From the very beginning of the novel, Dessen establishes the distinct nature of each character through dialogue and description.  When Halley first meets her, Scarlett has just moved into the house across the street from her.  Halley describes one of her first encounters with Scarlett , “The girl turned back and looked at me, kind of shaking her head.  I remember thinking for the first time how she seemed old for her age, older than me.”  After Halley and Scarlett become best friends, Halley describes herself, “But the colors, the zigzags and plaids, the bits and pieces that made up me, Halley, weren’t yet in place.  Scarlett’s vibrant reds and gold helped me some, but I was still waiting.”  At this point, Halley doesn’t know exactly who she really is.

         Dessen illustrates the character of a sixteen-year-old girl well because she is true to the fact that not every teenage girl knows exactly where she wants to go with her life.  Halley admits her lack of self identity and her wish to be different than who she is when she speaks of Scarlett again, “She was beautiful in all the unconscious, accidental ways that I wasn’t, and I was jealous more than I’d ever admitted.”  But, after Scarlett realizes she is pregnant, both of the girls face constant hardship from the decision of whether Scarlett will have the baby, and after she does so, whether she will keep it.  Scarlett’s knows she will be excluded from some social groups and cause gossip at the school, not to mention tension between herself and her mother, Marion.  “It’s not like she’s being that supportive.  This is all me, you know?  I’m on my own, and it’s scary.”  Halley has to step up and help support Scarlett.  Dessen shows that a strong girl, no matter how confident and able, can’t do anything completely by herself.  The need for a good friend in the hard realities of the world is made clear.

        Dessen also details the important relationship of Halley and her mother.  Some, but not all, girls can relate.  I can because I have a close relationship with my mother, but there are many times that we disagree and become extremely annoyed with each other, just like Halley and her mother.  At the beginning of the novel, Halley and her mother are completely happy.  Both mother and daughter get along great on the family Grand Canyon trip.  Halley’s first description of her mother, “My mother had made me French toast, after spending most of the early morning gossiping over the back fence,” is a stereotypical account of a mother, yet I think many girls will admit that their mothers do spend a lot of time talking on the phone with friends.  Halley says, “My mother and I had always been close.  She knew everything about me, from the boys I liked to the girls I envied.”  But, after Halley begins dating her crush, a wild boy who is quite different from herself, things change drastically between her and her mother.  Halley becomes dishonest and closed off from her mother.  Halley’s mother recognizes and confronts Halley about the changes in her behavior when she says, “Honestly, I don’t even recognize you any more.” Through her dialogue and descriptions, Dessen creates realistic images of common people.  Many girls will identity with these strong characters.

   - Ashlyn H.

"an extreme example of how tragedy can draw friends together"

    If you are looking for a book worthy of your time, then Someone Like You, by Sarah Dessen is the book for you. This book follows Scarlett and her friend Halley through their junior year of high school. Scarlett and Halley are best friends, although they share different personalities. Scarlett, the daughter of a single mom, is outgoing, and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about her. Halley, the daughter of a psychiatrist and a radio talk show host, is more reserved, and is used to being referred as “Scarlett’s friend, Halley.” Unfortunately, during the summer Scarlett’s boyfriend, Michael, is killed in a motorcycle accident. Then, to everyone’s surprise, she finds out that is pregnant with his baby.  Halley, taking on the role of the father, helps her with everything from reading the pregnancy books, to taking her to Lamaze classes.

       During the course of the book, Halley becomes involved with Mason, Michael's best friend. Halley’s mom doesn’t approve of Mason with his loud car and bad boy looks and bans her form seeing him after she sneaks out and misses curfew. Halley keeps seeing him secretly and soon becomes someone she doesn’t like.  Throughout the book, Halley and Scarlett have fights about the things going on in their lives, proving that they only want the best for each other. It is full of captivating twists and turns, that will leave you wanting more

       While it is a quick read, the stories of Halley and Scarlett will stick with you. Sarah Dessen’s writing style is easy to follow and will leave you wanting more. Throughout the book Dessen portrays all characters in a way that anyone, girls and boys, can relate to. It may seem that these girls go through too much drama in their lives, but in reality it is just a period of great change in their girls lives. While most people (hopefully very few) have never been through this type of situation, they will find it easy to relate to Scarlett’s persistence, or Halley’s family issues. I enjoyed this book, and I believe that this book provides an extreme example of how a tragedy or fight can make friends stick together through thick and thin.

   - Madeleine H.

"Life is an ugly, awful place without a best friend."

Want a book that you can’t put down? Well, Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen will keep you yearning for more with every word you read.
     Sarah Dessen uses some of her own high school experiences to write the stories in her books. Someone Like You is dedicated to her best friend Bianca, who was there for her while trying to survive high school. She shows the true meaning of friendship and the bond that develops when your best friend really needs you in a crisis or break down.
     Halley and Scarlett have been best friends for years and have gone through a lot together, from pig out sessions to crushes on boys. Scarlett has always been the outgoing, wild one and Halley the quiet, nervous one. Halley has always relied on Scarlett to make things better when she is upset, but when the unthinkable happens, Halley is now having to be relied on for the first time. It is the beginning of their junior year in high school and a tragedy occurs that can draw them together or split them apart.

     On top of Scarlett’s crisis, Halley is struggling with her relationship with her mother. Like every teenager your parents are the last people you want to talk to or share anything with. She ends up falling for a new guy and starts lying, sneaking around, and breaking curfew. Will this get in her into trouble, and is he really who he seems to be? All of these things are beginning to overwhelm her.
     Someone Like You is a book that you should really read. It’s a story about love, friendship, and the hardest decisions to be made. I really related to this book in so many ways because of similar situations I've been in. This book talks about morals and doing what you think is right, which you can really learn a lot from. Friendship is the most important thing and this book really proves that. Can friendship really pull through in the worst times? Find out what happens to a friendship that is tested.

   - Brooke T.

"Sarah Dessen write books that reach out and tug teenage girls' hearts."

     Someone Like You is one of those books you can’t put down. Sarah Dessen has written many books that reach out and tug on teenage girls' hearts including this one about the tribulations of friendship, family, and romance. It also deals with crucial teenage ailments such as teen pregnancy and sexual pressures. I recommend it to any girl who struggles to fit in or just knows what it feels like to not be so accepted.

     The basic plot of the story is deals with a death and a pregnancy. A novel about two friends who have to hold on and stick together to help each other through it all, it's a great read if someone close to has died. Dessen has a soothing sense of writing that can somehow help you step over your grief. There are other parts of the story that are fun to read about if that part of the novel doesn’t apply with you. Sarah Dessen is good at writing the feelings and emotions of their relationship. Overall Someone Like You appealed to me. It was a fun, meaningful read!

   - Elise S.

"This story taught me to treasure the little things in life."

Friends will have your back. But only best friends will be with you through everything, when you are at your lowest and at your highest, and especially when you need them the most. In the book, Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen, a friendship is put to the test. Scarlett and Halley have been best friends for years and know everything there is to know about each other. Scarlett is known by most people as the outgoing, popular one, and Halley as the quiet one and as being "Scarlett's best friend". During the summer before their junior year in high school, Scarlett's boyfriend is killed in a motorcycle accident. It is hard enough for her until her she finds out that she is carrying his baby. For the first time, Scarlett really needs Halley to be there for her. They both know that they will be able to get through the next difficult year to come because a true friendship is a promise that you can keep forever.

I thought that this book was incredibly moving. I have a best friend who I have been through thick and thin with so I can definitely relate to the story. Aside from the pregnant part, most of the things that happen to Scarlett and Halley have happened to me and my best friend. I think that Sarah Dessen did a really good job of portraying the way that teenage girls think about school, boys, and family. Her writing style is one of my favorites out of all the authors that I have read because she knows exactly when to be serious and when to crack a joke. She tells her stories in a very realistic way and it is my favorite thing about her books.

The one thing that I wish would have been different is the summary on the back of the book. I know I would have enjoyed the book much more if I wouldn't have known that Scarlett was pregnant. It would have been more surprising if you didn't find out until you read the book, but instead I knew it was going to happen. Sarah Dessen writes all of her books very well because she creates the events in a perfect order to fully make the story as best as it can be.

I noticed that she used a lot of repetition in Someone Like You. In many different situations, Halley shows that she is there for Scarlett by saying "I know". By saying this, it reassures Scarlett that Halley is her best friend and will be no matter. A few times Scarlett says it to Halley when she is in need of her best friend, and mirrors their support for each other throughout the entire story. I really liked how there are many different relationships in the story other than just the two girls. Sarah Dessen shows similarities in the relationship of a mother and daughter, girlfriend and boyfriend, father and daughter, along with a true friendship.

I really really liked this book and definitely recommend it to anyone to read! It is mostly meant to be for teenage girls but anyone can read it. I don't really know why a guy would want to read a book about boyfriends and girly stuff, but I'm not stopping anyone. It really made me think about the important people in my life including all my friends and family. This story made me want to have a stronger relationship with my mom, it taught me to treasure the little things in life, and made me miss summertime away from school even more than I already do.

   - Kendall S.

"The book moves at a fast pace and there is never a dull moment."

Do you need to find a new book to read? I highly suggest you read the book, Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen. This book tells a great story about two best friends and teaches the moral lesson of finding yourself as a person. You are going to go through many phases in high school, and they can all be emotional. The book hits home with most teens. It is very relatable to many young adults because of the feelings that main character, Halley, has. All the events that take place are very realistic, making the book easy to get into. The author, Sarah Dessen, is one of the most popular authors for young adults. Five of her books have been chosen as ALA Best Books for Young Adults.

I liked this book tremendously because the characters are all in high school, so I can understand all the emotions and feelings they have. It showed me what having a true best friend feels like. High school is a very emotional time of a teenager's life, and you need a best friend to help you through the times. I praise Sarah Dessen for writing this book because it shows how a great friendship can get you through anything in life.

Dessen also adds humor into the book. For example, Halley's parents are embarrassing. This is definitely relatable to all teens and all the embarrassing moments brightens the mood in the book. Overall, I think this book is very well written. The book moves at a fast pace and there is never a dull moment. All of the characters were very well developed. Each of them are interesting and set the perfect high school setting. The climax of the story is well done. There is some foreshadowing to it, but not too much to give it away. This is a great book for all teenagers and I recommend reading it. Someone Like You is a very good book that you can lose yourself in.

   - Kerry D.

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