Nothing Like You

Nothing Like You

by Lauren Strasnick

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416982654
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 08/03/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,095,785
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: HL580L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Lauren Strasnick grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, now lives in Los Angeles, California, and is a graduate of Emerson College and the California Institute of the Arts MFA Writing Program. She wrote her first short story, “Yours Truly, The Girls from Bunk Six,” in a cloth-bound 5x4 journal, in the fifth grade. She is the author of Then You Were Gone, Nothing Like You, and Her and Me and You. Find out more at LaurenStrasnick.com, and follow her on Twitter at @LaurenStrasnick.

Read an Excerpt

Nothing Like You Chapter 1
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 unceremonious 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.”

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Nothing Like You 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 94 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
trixieontheeastcoast More than 1 year ago
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.
nbmars on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Sixteen year old Holly lost her mother six months previously to breast cancer, and never really dealt with the pain of having done so. There was fear as well: her mother was only forty-two: would Holly get breast cancer and die young also? Holly¿s dad Jeff hasn¿t been much help: he still hasn¿t changed a thing in their bedroom ¿ all her mom's clothes are still in the closet, all the makeup still on the dresser¿ Holly¿s best friend and next-door neighbor Nils tries to talk to Holly about it, but she won¿t let him. Holly somehow ends up losing her virginity with the popular and good-looking Paul Bennett, who has a popular and gorgeous girlfriend named Saskia. Holly knows it was wrong ¿ wrong enough that she won¿t even tell Nils about it - but she has been so numb since her mom died. And having sex with Paul made her feel ¿the opposite of dead, really what I¿d been striving for¿¿Inexplicably to Holly, Paul keeps calling her, and soon is sneaking over her house at night several times a week to have sex with her. He told her Saskia was ¿saving herself.¿ As Holly tries to cope with her jealousy over Paul¿s continuing relationship with Saskia, her feelings get even more complicated when she gets to know Saskia and discovers she really likes her. Meanwhile, Holly and Nils discover what they have may be more than friendship. Holly tries to break it off with Paul, but Paul threatens to tell Saskia if Holly won¿t continue to have sex with him, and Holly doesn¿t want to hurt Saskia. What Holly ends up doing has wide-ranging repercussions for everyone, most of all for herself.Discussion: In some ways this book is simple and predictable, and yet it poses some questions that are really worth consideration and discussion. To what extent does Holly bear responsibility for what choices she made? The book doesn¿t come down either way, although the negative consequences of Holly¿s actions suggest otherwise. In my opinion, rather than blaming Holly, there are three mitigating factors that should be considered: (1) Holly received no counseling or help after her mother¿s death. True, she never asked for any, nor did she give any outward indication she needed any. I wish, however, it could be assumed that any young teen in that position would benefit from professional help. (2) Teenagers are notoriously unable to exercise perfect impulse control (and in fact recent research shows that teenagers are apt to process emotional states through the amygdala rather than the frontal cortex, although it is only the latter that governs reason and forethought). Alcohol only makes the situation worse. I think many teens are told not to drink because it¿s ¿bad¿ or "illegal" or will ¿rot their brains¿ without a good understanding of why it actually may be ¿bad¿ for them. They see their parents drink and the message gets filed into the ¿adults are hypocrites and don¿t want us to have any fun¿ mental drawer. That isn't a good form of ammunition to protect oneself against peer pressure.(3) Holly tried to break it off with Paul several times, but Paul was guilty of manipulation, stalking, and dishonesty. Somehow Holly had to come up with the confidence to be assertive and still think of herself as ¿nice¿ or at least "justified" in order to exercise control over her own body. Such a skill is not something generally taught to young girls, especially vis-à-vis popular boys. Yet as usual, the female takes the blame and pays the price.Evaluation: I think this is worth reading, particularly if you have a teenaged girl.
PhoebeReading on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I finished Lauren Strasnick¿s first novel, Nothing Like You at 4 a.m., with a lump in my throat the size of a fist. This was strange because her book didn¿t contain any of the usual tear-jerker tropes for me: dead grandparents, dead dogs. It is, of course, a story of loss¿but that loss (of the narrator Holly¿s mother) happens off-screen before our story even begins. Nothing Like You is in fact the story of how Holly attempts, and largely fails, to deal with her mother¿s death. It opens with Holly losing her virginity to Paul, a boy she hardly knows and mostly doesn¿t even like. I think it was mostly the tone of the book¿sparse and melancholy¿that hit deep. The raw emotional honesty is clear in passages like these:"She¿s my girlfriend, Holly. I have to kiss her." But he didn¿t have to kiss her. He didn¿t have to date her or love her or run his fingers through her hair. It¿s a choice, love. Even if she were threatening pills or razorblades, blackmailing him into loving her, the least he could do was look miserable loving her back.I mean, ouch.But the plot is accurate and affecting, too. As Holly becomes involved with Paul, a preppy teen whose girlfriend she also ends up befriending, we learn about the complexities of her world: her best friend, Nils, who everyone assumes is her boyfriend; her father, Jeff, who Holly frets over; the psychic she considers visiting to gain some closure over the loss of her mom to cancer. There¿s nothing particularly unusual about Holly¿s situation, but it¿s the accuracy of the details¿the clubhouse she shares with Nils, and the records they listen to; her memories of her New Age mom¿s crystal conventions; the small connections she makes to a drama teacher who once knew her mom¿that make this novel exceptional. Though the language is very contemporary (there is an occasional text-speak aside or instance of multiple exclamation point, though these are dropped naturally and do not seem intrusive or gimmicky), Holly¿s situation rang true for me. Though I ended my high school career in 2002, I couldn¿t help but feel like I knew Holly, or girls very much like her.Hell, there were times when even I was a Holly¿when I made stupid, selfish choices, believing them to be justified or even romantic, because I wanted an escape from my suburban life. Holly¿s California suburbs are a world apart from the universe of my New Jersey adolescence, but her experiences are no less universal. That she can¿t see, for example, how she¿s being manipulated by Paul¿their relationship has an almost-violent and certainly-threatening undercurrent¿makes her sadly accurate, though sometimes a little pitiable. I¿ve seen some reviews online that decry the poor choices Holly makes, but I can¿t help but wonder, in response, if those reviewers were ever teenagers who lived in the shadow of grief.That¿s how I can¿t help but feel about most complaints about Strasnick¿s debut. Yes, Holly makes poor choices. Yes, she has to live with some really miserable ramifications. No, this story does not give you an easy, neat, or morally clean ending.But it¿s real. It¿s so very, very real.I can¿t help but draw comparisons between Nothing Like You and Kody Keplinger¿s 2010 debut, The DUFF. They both involve girls who use sex to escape their bigger real-life problems. However, where Keplinger faltered was in the accuracy of the situation¿in the rosy ending, and the way everything tied together perfectly. And that¿s where Strasnick excels. If Keplinger¿s book is something akin to a pretty good movie about high school--Pretty in Pink, maybe¿then Strasnick¿s book is high school. And though the ending is sad, complex, and emotionally messy, there¿s also a note of bitter sweetness there, one that will likely seem truer to older readers and one which makes fewer saccharine promises to younger ones. Though Holly¿s future will be as complicated as her past, as she embarks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey can you lend it to me please? Reply back titled Marina
RockinRobinRA More than 1 year ago
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!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was recommended to me by a spanish professor who i love and i LOVED this book. Id recommend it to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 KNOW
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Vegranillo More than 1 year ago
IF YOU FEEL VULNERABLE BECAUSE OF A BOY & NEED SUPPORT READ THIS! JUST READ THIS!
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