Hello! This is my first ever bookish review and I’m overly giddy about it! Today I’m reviewing Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen. Please remember to check the review guidelines tab before continuing.
Chapter length: ✭✭✭✭
Cliche count: ✭✭✭
While browsing the teen romance section in Barnes & Noble, I stumbled across Sarah’s books (most of which have super cute covers.) If the cover is attractive, I immediately flip the book around to read the description:
“THE WORLD IS A TERRIBLE PLACE TO NOT HAVE A BEST FRIEND.”
Scarlett was always the strong one. Halley was always content to follow in her wake. Then Scarlett’s boyfriend dies, and Scarlett learns that she was pregnant. Now Halley has to find the strength to take the lead and help Scarlett get through it. Because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever.
Cover: I rated the cover at 3 stars because although it’s cute & simple, it didn’t develop any meaning to the book. I first thought to myself, maybe the butterflies become symbols of happiness or freedom? Or maybe the glass jar symbolizes the feeling of confinement when you’re a teen? I haven’t decided whether it’s the cover or my habit of over-analyzing things, but either way, I think the cover rating is appropriate.
Pacing: The book opens with the key dilemma of the novel: Scarlett’s boyfriend dying in a motorcycle accident. This initially excited me since I enjoy when books open on problems. (It gets my heart racing and I’m like “ooh! ooh! what’s happening?!) But as I read into it, I wasn’t pleased with the way the problem was introduced. The scene: it’s midnight & Halley’s at a summer camp her mom made her go-to when she gets a call from Scarlett. Here’s how it went:
Scarlett: *calls best friend while washing dishes & quietly sobbing* “Michael died in a motorcycle crash.” Me:
Was it a shock? No. We obviously already knew it was coming from the book description, but the situation basically lacked the level of urgency it needed to be a hook. I ended up deciding to look past this and keep reading. The rest of the book is paced appropriately, but the beginning scenes are just no Bueno, earning it a 3 star.
Chapter length: This book does contain lengthy chapters (at least IMO.) Some chapters would take me a few sittings to get through. (which may be the fault of my overanalyzing again, but we’ll ignore that for now.)
However, despite the length of chapters, it was occasionally necessary to fill in all details of scenes and Halley’s thoughts of Macon, or her mom’s opinions, or Scarlett mentoring Halley with her actions with Macon, which properly earned it 4 stars.
Cliche Count: The novel passes through with 3 stars for cliche count because of the general high school boy wants sex, not love cliche, and the over protective mom cliche and the one routy/outgoing/well-known best friend with the shy/unknown/sidekick bestfriend cliche.
I believe that despite the flaws the novel contains, it also displays the importance of having what they call “a good head on your shoulders” as a teen. It could also be used as a how not to parent guide, regarding Halley and Scarlett’s mom’s personalities, and a from the outside looking in perspective for parents. Scarlett’s accidental pregnancy becomes a symbol for abstinence until emotionally, physically, & financially able, since she assumed using a condom was “safe sex” but still ended up pregnant.
Someone Like You’s overall rating totals to…
Thanks for reading! Have a gif of otters playing the keyboard for the smiles 🙂