Viking Books for Young Readers, copyright 2006, 208 pages
For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She's nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister - the always perfect Ashley - is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley's reenters the picture, and through him, Haven sees the past for what it really was, and comes to grips with the future
It's definitely obvious that this was published early in Dessen's career. The atmosphere and relatable characters that I love in all of her works is present, but there is a simplicity to the story along with the lack of a love interest. Not that that is the only reason I read her books but having my heartstrings tugged at the adorable love interests is definitely one the reasons I've gotten so invested in her titles. I also missed the strong sense of setting. All that being said, it was a good kickoff to the summer.
Someone Like You
Penguin, copyright 2004, 281 pages
Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she's carrying his baby, she was devastated. For the first time ever, 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.
I'm pretty sure I read this once upon a time, but it felt new. Someone Like You plays out like a love story between best friends and the mother/daughter relationship. While neither relationship is perfect, there is something sincere and comforting knowing that there are two people a girl can always depend on - her best friend and her mother. You really start to see the types of relationships that Dessen excels at creating - imperfect family dynamics. I got a little teary eyed when Halley's mother shows up (along with half the student body) when Scarlett is rushed to the hospital after going into labor at prom - strong, determined women who know their mind and face challenges head-on.
Can't wait to keep reading!
Keeping the Moon & Dreamland - June 13th