Let me make this clear immediately. Due to the squishy and obviously romantic covers of these books I have intentionally avoided reading any of Sarah Dessen's books. But after the train wreck that was reading The Summer I Turned Pretty I was looking for a quick chic-lit read to help heal my brain. I've heard that "all of Dessen's books are the same" but seeing that this was my first Dessen book I can't really judge that.
None the less, I stood before the Sarah Dessen display and chose Someone Like You. I read the book during a course of a busy day off. Cleaning out our shed, attacking a family of ants that had moved in, and an assortment of other things broke up the reading through out the day. A quick and effortless read which had a decent scene description and there was actual depth to the characters (yes, I'm still bitter over The Summer I Turned Pretty). But what surprised me is Someone Like You isn't a love story as I had assumed (by the title and cover photo). The novel displays the strength of friendship during some of the hardest moments of life. Dessen does a good job at displaying the ripple effect a death of a classmate can have on a High School. The emotion is there from the very beginning of the book and aptly described.
And Halley and Scarlett are in the middle of all of this. Scarlett had been in love with the boy who had died and to make matters worse, Scarlett discovers she's pregnant. Halley, displaying true loyalty to Scarlett, stays by her side while others could have very well turned their back on her. The realities of teen pregnancy and the choices that must be made are overwhelming but Dessen doesn't shy away from this.
Halley's home life is stressful as well. With health issues in her family, pressure to have sex, and her relationship with her mother deteriorating Dessen yet again hits the nail on the head. These care the more serious problems that teens face.
This book had depth yet had it's light and happy moments. Something great to read when you need a break from required summer reading... or to help heal your injured brain after a bad read.