By reading this book I can clearly see how much Sarah Dessen has improved as an author after several novels. While Someone Like You is a likable, heart-warming story, it lacks the strong emotions and pitch-perfect writing of Dessen’s later books.
One thing I would have loved was if this book was written in the perspective of a different character, namely Cameron or Scarlet. The story seems to revolve around Scarlet as opposed to Halley, so seeing her thoughts at certain points of the novel would have been interesting. Cameron’s character is also splendid – the outcast arriving at a new school who strikes up a somewhat relationship with a girl who is pregnant and carrying the baby of her deceased boyfriend. Whew.
Halley, however, seemed a bit flat. I liked how she learned about life through her rocky relationships with her mother and Macon, but in the end I still hadn’t fully connected with her. It might be that Dessen tried to tackle too many sensitive subjects at once – the mother and daughter bond, the selfish boyfriend, and the pregnant best friend – and simply did not manage to make it all tie back together like she usually does.
Overall, this was a refreshing, touching book by Sarah Dessen. I expected a bit more due to her splendid stories such as The Truth About Forever and Just Listen, but it’s unfair to hold her accountable for books she published after this one. Read this if you don’t have anything else you’re dying to read.