Dessen’s fully developed characterizations of charismatic teens are sure to attract readers.
Sarah Dessen has a perfect ear for the details of a teenager’s [life].
In Sarah’s Words
Of all the books I’ve written, I have to say that Someone Like You has the biggest legion of fans. Even my cousins Rachel and Anna, who are usually my very first readers of any book I write, will often tell me that while the new book is good, Someone Like You was better. At the time it was published, I wasn’t so sure. The editing process for Someone Like You was really long and arduous, mostly due to the fact that I always have way more than I need and tend to repeat myself a lot. (Thank goodness I have been blessed with exceptionally good, and patient, editors.) Plus there was a little bit of pressure since That Summer had been well-received. In fact, the worst review I’ve ever received was for Someone Like You, in the campus newspaper of the university where I teach. That was a good day, walking into my classes after everyone had already seen this horrible review, where I was awarded zero of five stars. Gulp. It didn’t matter that I’d gotten a decent review in the New York Times book section that same week: I carried around that bad Daily Tar Heel review for weeks, until one of my friends got sick of me looking at it and flushed it down the toilet. (I tend to be a bit of a glutton for punishment.) So the beginning was a bit bumpy, but I’ve been so pleased with how people continue to respond to Halley and Scarlett’s story. I think one of the reasons is that often in high school, as you’re breaking away from your parents a bit, your friends become your family, and you depend on them so much to get you through. Plus a lot of people can relate to falling in love with a boy who seems like everything you want, only to find out the one thing you really need he can’t give. Someone Like You is also special to me because it’s dedicated to my best friend from high school, Bianca, who was there firsthand for all the real truths of us trying to survive high school, and knows even the stories I don’t tell.
Halley and Scarlett have been best friends for years, sharing secrets, clothes, and crushes. People know Scarlett as the popular, flamboyant one; Halley’s just her quiet sidekick. Then, at the beginning of their junior year, the balance shifts. First, Scarlett’s boyfriend Michael is killed in a freak accident; soon afterward, she learns that she is carrying his baby. For the first time, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it’ll never break–because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever. Sarah Dessen’s poignant, funny voice has earned her raves and legions of teenaged fans.