Review Blog

Feb 01 2010

Someone like you by Sarah Dessen

cover image

Hodder Children's Books, 2009.
ISBN 9780340997482.
(Age 14+)Recommended. When Halley gets a phone call at summer camp from Scarlett telling her that Michael, Scarlett's boyfriend, has been killed in an accident, it is the beginning of a change in their relationship. They had been best friends for years, with quiet Halley in the shadow of popular Scarlett. When Scarlett finds that she is pregnant with Michael's child she really needs Halley. Can their friendship survive through the trouble that Scarlett faces and the boyfriend issues that plague Halley?
Dessen has written a book that immediately strikes a chord with the reader. Told from Halley's point of view, I became engrossed in her life, her battles with her mother as she tries to become independent and her growing involvement with bad boy Macon. At the same time she is the main support for Scarlett, who has decided to keep her baby.
Friendship is the central theme of the book. With a trusted friend to support them and to talk things over with, it is clear that both Scarlett and Halley will get through their struggles. Dessen also cleverly explores the relationships between mothers and daughters and the roles that they play in each other's lives.
All the characters are so richly developed that their stories seemed totally believable and it was hard to leave them at the end of the book. Although first published in 1998, this beautifully written coming of age story has a timeless quality that will keep readers enthralled.
Pat Pledger

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