Saturday, January 2, 2010

Nothing Like You, Lauren Strasnick

"You think he’s yours but he’s not, I thought. You think he’s yours but really he’s mine.”
When Holly loses her virginity to Paul, a guy she barely knows, she assumes their encounter is a one-night stand. After all, Paul is too popular to even be speaking to Holly, and he happens to have a long-term girlfriend, Saskia. But ever since Holly’s mom died six months ago, Holly has been numb to the world, and she’s getting desperate to feel something, anything—so when Paul keeps pursuing her, Holly relents. Paul’s kisses are a welcome diversion, and it’s nice to feel like the kind of girl that a guy like Paul would choose.
But things aren’t so simple with Saskia around. Paul’s real girlfriend is willowy and perfect… and nothing like Holly. To make matters worse, she and Holly are becoming friends. Suddenly the consequences of Holly’s choices are all too real, and Holly stands to lose more than she ever realized she had."

This book was painfully earnest. You could feel how much the author was trying to be deep and meaningful which usually doesn't work out so well. Or it might just be that most YA realistic fiction bothers me. I might have to blame Laurie Halse Anderson for that. All books in this genre are doomed if I read them within a several month window of time after reading one of Laurie's freakishly amazing books.

But I did feel for Holly as I read. There were some quite sad parts as she struggles to get through her senior year and cope with her mother's death. Mostly I wanted to shake her though and tell her to get a grip. Paul is a serious douche bag (see I'm keeping things classy in 2010, Nora!). That is all I need to say about him. Also who names their daughter Saskia? Isn't that asking for her future classmates to create Sasquatch themed jokes (which they don't do by the way)?

I might just be extra prone to irritation with low self-esteem girls and the jerks who use them after reading The Confessions of Noa Weber. I might also have left this book with a better feeling if I had gotten to have a worthwhile and satisfying happy ending.

I know that authors don't want to be seen as predictable or bourgeois and love to shake things up but this book was so tepid and afterschool-special-of-the-weekish it made the ending seem so much more pretentious to me. I get it if I am reading some hipster, self-reverential ("cause my cousin had leprosy and its not funny...") type book that the ending will be full of angst and despair and the nothingness of life and the importance of finding oneself through solitary living but in a ho-hum teen book about grief? Please. Holly needed to not only completely explain her sad little story to Nils but then they needed to be together. It was next door neighbor kismet. And Nils was portrayed as such a perfect, sensitive, caring friend who would always be there for Holly that it seemed out of character for him to abandon her when she was clearly suffering and being tormented by the entire school. I just don't believe that the Nils we met in the first half of the book would do that to Holly if he knew the entire story about Paul.

Now I need to go cleanse my palate with some Laurie Halse Anderson or at the very least some Sarah Dessen.

Blog Template by