Although not the most sophisticated of novels, Sarah Dessen’s Someone Like You is an adorable, light read. I mean really light — the font is, like, size 14 and double spaced. (Remember doing that to your papers in high school/college to make them look longer?)
Set in an unspecified small suburban town in an unspecified era, although it sounds very midwestern and very 90s-early 00s because none of the teenagers have cell phones, Someone Like You is the story of best friends Scarlett and Halley. Scarlett is a red-headed force of nature, the wild, pretty not-really-popular-yet-still-well-liked friend, while Halley (pronounced hay-lee, like the comet) is the boring, unremarkable-looking friend who no one really pays attention to except her mother. Scarlett’s summer fling, Michael, has just been killed in a car (or maybe motorcycle?) accident, and she has just discovered she is pregnant with his baby.
Ok let’s stop right there — I distinctly remember picking this up in a bookstore and reading the back-cover description, and as soon as I got to the word “pregnant” I put it down and decided to get a different Dessen. Yes, I judged a book by its (back) cover. But, seeing as how it was free this time around, I gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised. It sounds like Teen Mom (which I LOATHE) in a novel, but it’s actually a really cute story about two girls who are 100% bona fide best friends and genuinely care about and help one another. They have the type of best friendship I envy.
Aside from the Scarlett-Halley relationship, two other dynamics in the story are quite interesting: Halley and her mom, and Halley and her new love interest Macon. Halley’s mom is a teen psychologist/author who has written books on how great her relationship is with her teenage daughter, little does she know said teenage daughter is starting to sort of hate her. Their relationship is changing drastically, and while Mommy wants to blame it on bad boy Macon it’s really just a matter of Halley becoming a new type of daughter, a new person, who can no longer share every possible thing with her mommy. Who can’t relate to that?
Halley and Macon remind me an awful lot of Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano. In fact, I’m kind of hoping that Sarah Dessen watched that episode where Jordan teaches Angela how to drive and it’s a metaphor for him wanting to have sex with her but she’s not ready so they break up because he can’t handle that, and was then inspired to write this book. Or at least one part of it. I won’t give any more away on that front, though…
So if you’re looking for something cute, quick and way below your reading level, I’d pick up Someone Like You. Especially if it’s free. Next on my list: Bravo and Andy Cohen continue to completely brainwash me, so I’m reading Let Me Tell You Something by Caroline Manzo. Deal with it.