I'm kinda appalled that it took me so long to read one of Sarah Dessen's books. I mean, contemporary MG/YA is my thing, and Dessen is queen of that thing.
But I remedied that deficiency this past week, when I finally
There's much to love in Someone Like You, but what I love most is the ordinariness. The protagonist, Halley, is so utterly normal. She's an everygirl. Which is a great thing.
That is not to say that the story isn't compelling and doesn't suck you in--I don't want ordinariness to be confused with maybe some of the term's negative connotations. I mean that the characters and the events and the emotions are realistic and relateable.
As we read, we come to know everything that is special about Halley--her sensitivity, her sense of loyalty, her parental issues, her teenage desire and vulnerability. The title Someone Like You takes on an interesting double meaning: Halley is special, so "someone like you" could mean that she's singular. Unique. But Halley's personality and her emotions and the situations she is in--they are similar to those of a lot of teen girls. Halley's also someone like you, the reader.
I love sweeping plots and high stakes and fantasy and ghosts and magic and adventure. I love outsized villains and kickass heroines. But I also love stories about girls I could have been, and the everyday drama of life as a middle-class American teen. Those types of books don't always get the same attention, which is a little sad-making.
So if you, like me, have been remiss--read Sarah Dessen. She's fantastic. Especially because she writes about someone like you.