Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick

“ So here’s where things started to get a little mixed up. I suddenly had a secret. And it made me feel guilty, yeah, but I also felt really fantastic.”

When Holly loses her virginity to popular and definitely not single Paul, she thinks it’s going to be a one time deal. She is thus surprised by his desire to pursue her:  being sweet, calling her and showing up at her house. Before she knows it she’s started a secret relationship with him. While initially excited about the attention and her new relationship, she starts to doubt herself when she becomes friends with his girlfriend Saskia. It isn’t too long before Holly comes to realize the consequences of her actions as she stands to lose more than she ever anticipated.

Nothing Like You stands out as a completely candid look at teen life. While much ‘real-life’ fiction in YA literature focuses on the awkward, sometimes poor decision making teens, there is a general happy resolution at the end (unless we’re talking about problem novels). Often the characters are completely likable and relatable, and there is something comforting about them. This is not the case in Nothing Like You. Holly wasn’t a glossy character, she made incredibly poor decisions throughout the book ( I just wanted to slap her), and there doesn’t seem to be a really good resolution. Frankly this book left me pissed off, not because it was a bad book, just because it was unsettlingly true; boy using a girl for sex and said girl seeing sex as some semblance of love. Everything else about it was relatively average, the pacing was quick and I thought the writing was decent. Paul and Saskia were especially well developed. There are going to be people who love this book because they can identify with Holly’s decisions, and there are going to be those who hate it because they can’t connect to her.  The brilliance lies in that it creates a strong reaction either way. 

You might enjoy Nothing like You if you like books with: real issues, characters that are flawed, fast pacing, relations that are not perfect, raw storylines that aren’t too cheery.

This is Lauren Strasnick’s debut novel. Her second novel Her and Me and You is set to be released in October 2010.

If you liked Nothing Like You, you might also enjoy: The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg, The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard, Leftovers by Laurie Wiess, Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson,

Author website found here.

Rating: W3.5/4   C3/4   P2.5/4   O2/4   PP3/4   CR4/4

Grade: S

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