Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she’s carrying his baby, she was devastated. For the first time ever, 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. – Goodreads
This is not a light and fluffy Sarah Dessen novel. Someone Like You is a book about death and more importantly than that, it is a book about friendship and those relationships that are part of friendship. I say it is a book about death, because from the very beginning of the novel, the lives of our characters are shaped by a death that occurs off screen. Halley’s best friends boyfriend dies, although they had only been dating a short period of time, Scarlett with never be the same, and this isn’t just because we find out that she is pregnant.
This book however is more than just a pregnantbff, and Dessen makes it clear that this is more than that. When Scarlett is depressed, because her boyfriend died, Scarlett is still supporting Halley. While Halley is questioning a new boy in her life, Macon, Scarlett is telling her how someone would be lucky, and honored to know someone like her because she is that special of a girl. Scarlett and Halley have that trusted friendship that so many girls to look forward to in her life. I know, I have my own Scarlett in many different forms, in many different states. It’s weird to me that in 2014, people still find it weird that you can have online friendships. I don’t. I embrace it and I love and adore it.
What I thought was amazing, and shocked me, is that Scarlett’s mother decided that she needed to have an abortion and Dessen handled the topic with class. Many YA books discuss teen pregnancy and ripple effects, but there was something fascinating to me about actually saying abortion and discussing what it means to a teen. My heart went out to not only Scarlett, but also to Halley who was trying to be the best friend she could while also being a good daughter. Her mother and her have been growing apart for months and finally it blows up.
It’s not just a teenage blow up, it’s painful. Her mother means well, Halley believes she means well and it ends up with both feeling that the other isn’t listening. Heck, most of my fights in present day, 26 year old Ashley come from the fact that I’m feeling ignored. Her mother is trying to understand her, Halley is convinced her mother is being the worst person ever. If Halley would talk to her mother a lot of her problems would dissolve. Of course she doesn’t tell her mother and she keeps it internal. Including dating Macon, the bad boy, that her parents have told her to stop dating. While I am a lover of the bad boys, I did not enjoy Macon. It was uncomfortable, because Macon is constantly a mystery. Do we trust him? I really never did and I wasn’t overly a fan of who Halley turned into for him. This is one of those few books I actually wish wouldn’t have had a romance aspect of it. I personally would have preferred this book to be just about friendship.
Another problem I had throughout the novel was Halley, I never bonded with her. I didn’t believe she fell for Macon as hard as she did, and she made little comments here and there that hurt me. They were comments that wouldn’t effect anyone else, but to me it was personal. Even typing this I know how silly I sound, but it effected my feelings on Halley and of course Someone Like You. While I’m glad I read this book, I am glad that it wasn’t my first Sarah Dessen as it wasn’t my favorite.