Miss K left a comment recently saying she has "loved watching her writing evolve from Someone Like You to her more recent books," it made me curious to peek at the copyright. When I saw that it was published in 1998 my first thought was, "What!? I could have read this when I was in high school!" So often I think about how there is a much more wider variety of YA books available now then when I was in junior high and high school, but part of it was also just a lack of exposure to all of the great books. At a time when it was just becoming common to have email, I never found out about books to read via the Internet. It is interesting to think that if the Internet and blogging was like it is now when I was in high school, I probably would have heard about it when it was released.
Luckily, as an adult I was still able to enjoy Someone Like You. Earlier this week I was swept up in Scarlett's and Halley's worlds. Right at the start of the book Halley realizes that roles are changing, instead of Scarlett always being the strong one there for Halley, she finds that she needs to provide the supporting role for Scarlett whose boyfriend has just died in a motorcycle accident. All the while Halley is always walking on egg shells with her mother and trying to navigate a new romance of her own.
I noticed some similarities to Just Listen, which I imagine may be key concepts in all of Dessen's books in one way or another, such as exploration of a wide range of relationships and main characters coming of age. I appreciate that she shows a wide range of emotions about the same context throughout the book, a realistic window into teenage girls' lives, helping readers realize that it is natural to be confused when making important decisions.
The girls in my 8th grade class have been enjoying Dessen books this year, and I look forward to reading more of them any chance I get!