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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...
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.
"Nothing Like You is candid and quick-paced, with characters you can't help but want the best for." —Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist for Honey, Baby, Sweetheart
"The fast-paced story will appeal to fans of Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen." —Kirkus Reviews
". . . the playing out of the emotional causes and consequences of high-school sex is honestly handled."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, January 2010
"Sex, alcohol and grief mix with gentle humor to drive Strasnick’s first novel...[T]he writing is tight and avoids melodrama. Secondary characters are strong, and Holly’s emotional growth is believable....The fast-paced story will appeal to fans of Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen." —Kirkus Reviews
"First-time novelist Strasnick reveals the all-too-frequent scenario of a boy using a girl for sex and a girl trading sex for a semblance of love....[T]he book's complex characters and realistic ending will intrigue teen readers and may serve as a none-too-subtle object lesson for future relationships." —Booklist
"[A] realistic portrayal of a teen needing to feel wanted, secure, and loved....[R]egardless of Holly's mistakes and her excuses for Paul's caddish behavior, readers will find it easy to empathize with her." —SLJ
"Nothing Like You is happy, sad, funny, and heartbreaking all at the same time." —Sacramento Book Review
Like everyone in the world, I remember adolescence clearly -- and mostly with horror. It’s not the moments of humiliation that haunt me in the middle of the night, but piercing memories of mistakes I made: errors in judgment, ethical missteps, selfish unkindness. I could have been a case study for research proving that adolescent brain development (or the lack thereof) leads to reckless, foolish decisions. So when I decided to read all the 2009 finalist entries in the Young Adult (YA) category for the RITA, romance’s most prestigious prize, I was curious about how realistic they would be. Would these six heroines engage in anything that I -- or at least my memories of myself -- would recognize?
They do. In fact, all of these novels do a brilliant job depicting a young adult’s scrambled thinking and -- even better -- the first sign of the maturity that scientists promise will eventually occur. Here, the road to love is littered with risk-taking behavior.
In three of these stories, the heroines not only make excruciatingly bad decisions, but the consequences of their actions are front and center to the plot -- and those consequences range from humiliation to gunshot wounds. The heroine of Tina Ferraro’s The ABC’s of Kissing Boys doesn’t make it to the varsity soccer team. So Parker comes up with a desperate plan to get on the team that involves paying for a kiss, tricking her way onto the team and…making a fool of herself. Ouch! The mistakes similarly pile up in Lauren Strasnick’s Nothing Like You; the heroine here is sleeping with a popular guy in secret, while she makes friends with his long-time girlfriend. Can you spell Disaster? Neither of these novels flinch from putting their heroines in really dreadful, self-induced situations. I couldn’t stop reading; fascinated horror kept me turning the pages. Ally Carter's Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover showcases a different -- if no less immature -- aspect of the teenage brain. Cammie Morgan is a spy, attending one of the world’s best high schools for that business. At least she’s conscious of what she’s doing wrong: “Did I know it was against the rules? Yes. Did I think it was foolish? Absolutely.” But (sigh) she goes right ahead and does whatever she wants.
If you happen to be a young adult yourself, or you know a young lady who might be interested, you can’t do better than buy these books. As the mother of a tween, I know how hard it can be to find YA books that appeal to a young girl and don’t horrify the woman with a credit card in hand. Far too many books aimed at this age group are little more than candy floss tales of conspicuous consumption. These novels will satisfy both of you.
We were parked at Point Dume, Paul and I, the two of us tangled together, half dressed, half not. Paul's car smelled like sea air and stale smoke, and from his rearview hung a yellow and pink plastic lanyard that swayed with the breeze drifting in through the open car window. I hung on to Paul, thinking, I like your face, I love your hands, let's do this, let's do this, let's do this, one arm locked around the back of his head, the other wedged between two scratched-up leather seat cushions, bracing myself against the pain while wondering, idly, if this feels any different when you love the person or when you do it lying down on a bed.
This was the same beach where I'd spent millions of mornings with my mother, wading around at low tide searching for sea anemone and orange and purple starfish. It had cliffs and crashing waves and seemed like the appropriate place to do something utterly unoriginal, like lose my virginity in the backseat of some guy's dinged-up, bright red BMW.
I didn't really know Paul but that didn't really matter. There we were, making sappy, sandy memories on the Malibu Shore, fifteen miles from home. It was nine p.m. on a school night. I needed to be back by ten.
"That was nice," he said, dragging a hand down the back of my head through my hair.
"Mm," I nodded, not really sure what to say back. I hadn't realized the moment was over, but there it was — our uncere-monious end. "It's getting late, right?" I dragged my jeans over my lap. "Maybe you should take me home?"
"Yeah, absolutely," Paul shimmied backward, buttoning his pants. "I'll get you home." He wrinkled his nose, smiled, then swung his legs over the armrest and into the driver's side seat.
"Thanks," I said, trying my best to seem casual and upbeat, hiking my underwear and jeans back on, then creeping forward so we were seated side by side.
"You ready?" he asked, pinching an unlit cigarette between his bottom and top teeth.
"Sure thing." I buckled my seat belt and watched Paul run the head of a Zippo against the side seam on his pants, igniting a tiny flame. I turned my head toward the window and pressed my nose against the glass. There, in the not-so-far-off distance, an orange glow lit the sky, gleaming bright. Brushfire.
"Remind me, again?" He jangled his car keys.
"Hillside. Off Topanga Canyon."
"Right, sorry." He lit his cigarette and turned the ignition. "I'm shit with directions."
Copyright © 2009 by Lauren Strasnick
Posted October 20, 2009
the tears, the joy, and the read were all terrific. I loved it from start to finish and can't wait till Lauren comes out with her next book. It was a fast read which left me wanting the sequel immediately.
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Posted October 29, 2009
From the first chapter, I was hooked. The characters are original, but easy to relate to. The story brings up dynamics that are universal and feel familiar, but it's written so perceptively- with compassion and wry humor- that it is suspenseful and revelatory. I feel like I know the characters, and watch them learn to know themselves better as the plot progresses. The dialogue is especially great; these sound like real people: young and smart and vulnerable. It made me cry at points, but this is not a sad book. It is fun fun fun to read. Also, there's a dog. My only complaint is that the descriptions of food (which are very grounding) kept me hungry and snacking the whole time I was reading. I would recommend this to young adult readers, and to adults who are able to see beyond stereotypes of teenagers and understand how wrenching adolescent relationships can be.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 14, 2009
Lauren Strasnick's debut novel, Nothing Like You, had me breathless by the end. It was just that good, no scratch that, amazing!
Holly is the girl that anyone can see a piece of herself in. Lost a parent? She has too. Hooked up with someone you really shouldn't have? Ditto. Betrayed your best friend? Same. Well, you get the picture, she was someone who was very real. Though, with saying that, I still wanted to hit her over the head at times when she continued to see Paul even though you knew he wasn't going to break up with Saskia. The other characters, such as Saskia and Nils, were the same way. They were funny, sweet, and honest which made it a toatal blast to read about them.
I loved the plot. Since, even though it was a wee bit predictable at times, it still moved in a way that made you want to keep flipping the pages to find out what happened next. Plus, Lauren Strasnick's writing was fabulous!
Sadly, the ending was what brought it down to the B+ grade for me. I had something totally different and more happy in mind for it, though Lauren took the chance to surprise which made it a bit too unhappy and open for my liking. Though, now that I think about it, I guess I do see the reason for it. Since, this novel's main message was about how time can heal anything and how you can loose someone but still be okay.
Overall, Nothing Like You is happy, sad, funny, and heartbreaking all in one, making it yet another a fablous 2009 debut! I look forward to seeing what Lauren comes up witth next.
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Posted December 26, 2013
Posted March 28, 2013
Posted March 18, 2013
Don't get the book. You could get a way better book than this; it's only 150 pages. I recomend Breathless instead. It was the very first nook book that I got, and absolutley loved. Get that instead.
Also it's a lend me, so I could lend it to you.
Reply: 4579user if you want it! I neex someone to lend me an absolutley amazing teen "romance" book.
Posted November 25, 2012
This book was a really great book.
At first I thought it was going to be kinda boring but It was just so good. I finishes this book in one day. This book is one of my favorite books ever!!!!
Posted August 8, 2012
Posted June 18, 2012
This story was so sad, and i REALLY wanna know what happens with Nils relatioship with her. Do they, like, get together after college? Do they just stay friends? Do they just stop talking to eachother? I WANNA KNOWWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 22, 2012
Posted June 25, 2011
This book was allright. I didn't like the way holly's "adventure" turned out! I liked her friend nils! I also didnt like all the inappropriateness of it all but i think its very realistic.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 22, 2011
Posted March 20, 2011
i have great taste in books, ah . and i really REALLY REALLY liked this.
so im just gonna tell you once:
TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. BUY IT. READ IT. LOVE IT. THANK ME LATER:)
Posted March 19, 2011
it was actually quite realistic but waayyyyy too depressing to be an easy, fun read. if you want to think about the consequences your choices and actions can have on everyone around you, then this is the book for you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 15, 2011
Posted January 26, 2011
Posted December 14, 2010
The book is not completely hopeless. It was interesting to see the journey Holly had to take. The character of Holly's best friend Nils was great. Also, I can say that Lauren's writing definitely made this book easier to read. She interspersed what was going on in Holly's present with memories from her past. I like her writing style and I will definitely try her out again.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 25, 2010
NOTHING LIKE YOU wasn't a bad book, but I wouldn't say it was my favorite. It was interesting, but I feel let down. Holly's voice reminded me of that of a six year old, and I absolutely despised Paul, which turned out to be the way I was supposed to feel, and Saskia was amazing. But I didn't like the ending. I was disappointed, but overall it wasn't TERRIBLE.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 17, 2010
Originally posted at: www.aurorareviews.blogspot.com ***** Holly isn't exactly the most popular girl in school, but when she starts hooking up with uber-hot Paul Bennett, she thinks her life has turned around. Yeah, that's just the beginning of her troubles.
This book opens with Holly Hirsh and Paul Bennett hooking up in his car at the beach. It quickly gets into a hush-hush type relationship with the two as Paul is already dating a popular, gorgeous, and surprisingly nice girl, Saskia. To make matters worse, Holly is dealing, not-so-well, with the death of her Mother. It doesn't take long for Holly's best friend, Nils (the stereotypical hot boy next door) to start noticing a change in his friend.
This book is filled with very messy friendships that will leave you asking questions and searching for answers that sometimes aren't immediately known. I loved how Strasnick develops Holly as a character, and regardless of her not-so-honorable tryst with Paul, you feel sorry for her and the sticky situation her actions have thrown her into. Nils' character seemed flighty through most of the book and left me heartbroken for him in the end (once you read it, you'll understand). The only thing I wish about this book is that it was a series.
This book was easy to get into, hard to put down, and ultimately a tear jerking story that left me wanting so much more.
Posted September 3, 2010
During her Junior year of high school, Holly lost her mom to cancer. In her Senior year, Holly loses her virginity to Paul. She assumes it's just a one-time thing, because Paul is pretty much out of her league and has a long-time girlfriend, Saskia. But after that day, Paul keeps trying to talk to Holly and pursue her further. Pretty soon, they are regularly sleeping together and Holly feels awful about it, knowing that Saskia is Paul's real girlfriend. But it's really nice to have someone show their feelings for her, even if it is only in secret. Since her mom died, she hasn't been able to feel much until now. While this is going on, Holly's best (and only) guy friend, Nils, has yet another new girlfriend. Holly thinks he has intimacy issues, but should she really be judging him when she is doing what she's doing? Everything changes for Holly when she's partnered with Saskia in class one day. She realizes that Saskia isn't the rude girl that she has always believed her to be. Soon, the two of them become great friends, and Holly is in a tough spot and knows that she has to completely end things with Paul, but how? Things get even worse when Nils and Holly start having feelings for each other.. At first I wasn't sure this book would really go anywhere, but after the first couple of chapters I realized what a pickle Holly had gotten herself into. And when she started talking to Saskia, I was basically holding my breath every page! Holly and Nil's relationship was pretty great, too. He was always there for her, trying to cheer her up and make her smile. I was rooting for them to end up together during most of the book. Paul was just a total sleazebag. I kept wanting Holly to just smack him in the face or something. If you're looking for a great contemporary story to read, then this is definitely it. I couldn't wait to get to the end of the book to find out what happened, and I'm sure you'll feel the same way, too.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.