Book Review: Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

Someone Like You (1998) is narrated by Halley, a sixteen-year-old girl just trying to find herself under the stifling confines of her overprotective mother. When Halley’s best friend, Scarlett, discovers she’s pregnant – and the baby’s father has died in a motorcycle accident – Halley is beside Scarlett every step of the way. While Scarlett navigates her choices from abortion to adoption, Halley is secretly facing a decision crisis of her own. Should she sleep with her scumbag new boyfriend before he leaves her for someone that will? Or should she keep her virginity intact, taking a tip from her best friend, Scarlett?

Halley’s new boyfriend, Macon, is despicable. He treats her like dirt, keeps secrets from her, drinks and does drugs, obviously fools around behind her back, and completely disregards Halley’s safety. Meanwhile, Halley ignores the warnings of her family and friends. But Halley’s mother isn’t doing her any favors. Although Mrs. Cooke is right in telling her daughter that Macon is no good, she suffocates Halley, trying to control her  every move, to the point where Halley almost has to see Macon, just to escape her overbearing parent. One of Dessen’s more sobering works, and overall, a tale of friendship rather than romance.

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