Someone Like You is a young adult contemporary fiction novel; it is more a story about friendship than anything else. 15 year old high-schooler, Halley, is the main character and narrator of our story – she lives in a house with her parents and her best friend, Scarlett, lives across the street. Halley’s dad, Brian, is a radio vj (I think) and her mother is a published psychologist. Halley and Scarlett began their friendship the day Scarlett moved into the neighborhood. Halley describes herself as the opposite of Scarlett who is friendly and can talk to anyone. The two girls are almost inseparable, spending all of their free time and some of their vacations together. Scarlett lives with her mother, Marion, whom she has a weird though somewhat respectful and somehow functional relationship with. The reason I say “somewhat respectful” is because I was taught that calling my parents by their first names is disrespectful and would not be tolerated in their house. 

When Scarlett and Halley turn 15 they both apply for jobs at the same places close to their homes and since they decided that they were going to work at the same place, they had to accept positions at Milton’s, a local grocery store, since it was the only employer with two positions to fill. While working at Milton’s, a classmate of theirs, Michael Sherwood, gets a job in produce at the store; now Michael is described as incredibly handsome (by teenage girl standards by the way), a nice, down-to-earth guy who is admired and adored by all of his peers. He’s described as popular because most people know him and as the type of person that can fit in with any group easily. Due to his handsomeness, Michael is very popular with the girls in his class (and out of it too probably), and after dating his fair share of girls he begins to pseudo-subtly pursue Scarlett. 

During the days they worked at Milton’s together Michael would always buy fruits, veggies or both in Scarlett’s check out lane just to get a chance to talk to her. After a few days of buying kiwis, Scarlett comments to Michael how he must really enjoy kiwis since he eats them so often which gets them talking; since Halley has a long line of customers to checkout, she misses the end of their conversation, but notices that Scarlett is blushing while holding a kiwi. Over time, Scarlett and Michael begin dating, keeping it a secret from peers at first, but eventually letting their guard down at a school event so that their classmates figure it out. Halley is happy for Scarlett because she’s never seen her friend so happy, but also misses hanging out with her as often as they used to. 

A few weeks before school starts, Halley, while at camp (that she didn’t want to go to anyway), receives a phone call from Scarlett who informs her that Michael died in a motorcycle accident. Scarlett is devastated and asks Halley if she could come to her house, Halley begins to explain how the camp she’s at is not located close to their houses, but Scarlett interrupts her mid-sentence to tell her how much she really needs her help right now. So Halley calls her mom as soon as she hangs up with Scarlett to ask if she could leave camp early. At first Halley’s mom tries to convince Halley to wait until morning to make a decision, but Halley is adamant about leaving that night. 

When she arrives home she explains that she’s going over to Scarlett’s because she’s not handling the news of the death of their classmate well. Halley spends the next few weeks and months with Scarlett, trying to protect her feelings and heart. They go to Michael’s funeral together and it’s at Scarlett’s house that Halley meets (or re-meets) Michael’s friend, Macon Faulkner, who she seems to have a crush on. At the start of the school year, Macon and Halley develop this flirty friendship that quickly progresses into a full-blown relationship. The problem is that Macon has bad behaviors such as skipping class – homeroom to be specific – everyday, possibly using or selling drugs (maybe both), and going to parties with alcohol every weekend. He convinces Halley to skip class or classes one day, he calls her late at night, he’s gotten her to sneak out at night and is clear about wanting to sleep with her. 

As Halley and Macon’s relationship grows, Scarlett and Halley learn that Scarlett is pregnant with Michael’s baby and they have a small freak out. Scarlett’s scared and nervous to tell her mother knowing she’ll be disappointed in her, but Halley encourages her and is over at Scarlett’s house when she breaks the news to her mother. Marion is not pleased and schedules an abortion forcing Scarlett to miss school, but Scarlett doesn’t want to abort the baby (a wise and compassionate choice in my opinion) so she convinces her mom to leave her there so she could leave before going through with the procedure. 

She calls Halley to ask her to come pick her up from the facility even though Halley doesn’t have a car; since Halley always helps Scarlett when she needs it, she asks Macon if he’d take her and he agrees. They pick Scarlett up and head off towards her house. Later that night Halley’s psychologist mother asks her where she was that day and before Halley could answer her mother tells her that she would want to think carefully before lying about it. Halley knew she was caught, but was horrified when her mother informed Marion, Scarlett’s mom, too. Halley rushes upstairs to her room to call Scarlett to warn her that her mother already knows she didn’t have the abortion. Scarlett, Marion and Halley’s mom end up discussing their options and were working to find a suitable compromise for the both of them. Marion decides that adoption is the next best option, but Scarlett is non-committal. 

Eventually, Halley gets caught in some of her misbehavior and her parents demand that she stop seeing Macon which she doesn’t want to do in the beginning. One night changes everything for Halley; she is out with Macon on New Year’s Eve and has made up her mind about sleeping with Macon. Although she had hinted at it, it was not directly stated out loud or agreed upon. Halley ends up drinking too much at the party Macon took her to and she was unable to fulfill this wish of his. She realizes that maybe she’s not ready to take such a big step. On the way home, Macon is so frustrated and upset about how nothing actually happened that he’s driving, but not really paying attention and taking unnecessary risks. 

As they drive down the street toward a traffic light, they’ve been having a small argument about the evening which is Halley apologizing and Macon complaining about how she didn’t keep her promise. The light is changing from green to yellow to red as they approach it, but Macon shows no signs of slowing down and coming to a stop so Halley speaks up hoping he’d stop. As he runs the light they are struck by another vehicle and Halley is badly banged up afterwards. Halley is rushed to the hospital with broken ribs, a banged up eye and a few other injuries. Scarlett is the first to show up at the hospital for Halley followed by her parents as soon as they find out. While Scarlett and Halley are alone, she asks Scarlett about Macon; Scarlett explains that Macon was not at the hospital. This hurt Halley feelings a lot, but this also helped her to realize that maybe he doesn’t love her and that maybe she doesn’t feel the same for him. 

After a few days, Halley is discharged from the hospital with some medications. That night Macon comes by to see her – Halley heads out to see him, explains why she’s not happy about the way he handled things and ends their relationship which shocks Macon. Macon reluctantly leaves and Halley heads back inside where her mother is waiting for her in the living room. They get into a small argument about Halley’s behaviors, her spending time with Macon and her decision making, but Halley tells her mom that she always assumes that Halley will make the worst decision and do the worst thing like go back to hanging out with someone as selfish and reckless as Macon. The remainder of the story is about Halley and Scarlett’s friendship as Scarlett quickly moves toward motherhood. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, so overall the book was ok. I like that the author chose to highlight the importance of friendship. I think my favorite character would have to be Scarlett – she’s loyal, a good friend, hard working, responsible, strong-willed (or determined), honest, strong and kind. I also like her decision to keep and raise her child and that she gave Halley honest, good advice about whether she should sleep with Macon or not. I’m glad Halley never did and I’m sure she is too. Overall, I think the book was ok – it’s well written and moves along quickly. The story has some funny parts and not as much romance as one may expect from a Sarah Dessen novel. At first I was a fan of Macon, but soon realized he’s selfish and has some more maturing to do; I think that if Michael Sherwood has remained alive, he would have been my second favorite character in the book. I purchased this book at a used bookstore; for readers who don’t want to buy a copy can check their local library for available copies – some let you request a book they should add to their inventory. Anyone who would rather purchase a copy outright can find the paperback copy at Barnes and Noble for $10.99.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading my book review! If you’re interested in reading more, you can find them all here. Don’t forget to check back again next week for another book review of a book written by author Laura Wolf!