Alex H’s Letter Essay #4: Someone Like You

Dear Classmates,

Recently, I finished reading the novel Someone Like You, a 281 page realistic novel by a creative writer named Sarah Dessen. The ALA “Best Fiction for Young Adults” writer published her book, Someone Like You, on May 11, 2004. I decided to read this book in November because I had recently finished, Keeping the Moon, also by Sarah Dessen. I really enjoyed that book so I settled on reading another one of her books. I’m glad I choose to read another one of her books because I really enjoyed it.

Someone Like You is about two best friends named Scarlett and Halley. It’s the summer, Halley is away at sisterhood camp, while Scarlett was riding into the sunset with her knight in shining armor, Michael Sherwood. The summer was going fine for Halley(well as fine as it can get when your mother forces you into going to sisterhood camp), until the call that would change her life forever. Michael had died. In a motorcycle accident she was told. Scarlett has always been the strong one out of the two of them, she always knows what to do when things get rough; but now, after this had happened, she couldn’t be strong anymore, and now it was Halley’s turn to be brave, but how? It won’t be easy for Halley but she has to learn, she can’t leave Scarlett in the dust. Because Halley knows, “A true friend is a promise you keep forever.”

If I was the author I would have made Marion’s life a little more clear to the readers. Even though it left you thinking, as a good book should, it didn’t give enough information to have a background of her life. I felt that since she was Scarlett’s mother she should play a bigger part in the story; I felt like she kept unexpectedly popping into scenes without a purpose, it confused the reader when it shouldn’t have.

The character development throughout this book was very strong. You could see how Halley went from being a quiet and shy-ish girl, into an independent and brave woman who is able to stand up for herself and others. You could also see how Scarlett changed from being an outgoing and crazy partier, into a more mature woman who respects herself and who a lot more respected by others because of it.

I was angry when I found out that Marion had an abortion when Scarlett was around 6 or 7. I got angry at this because Scarlett hadn’t been told this until now, when she was 16, 10 years later. Scarlett could have had a little brother or sister, but her mother got an abortion instead, the saddest part is that Scarlett never knew. I didn’t know what to think when I read that passage, I wasn’t sure what feelings to feel. I felt sympathy towards Scarlett for obvious reasons, but Marion as well; I mean she was probably scared, they barely had enough money with it being just her and Scarlett, but she still should have told Scarlett at some point that was earlier than that.


In this passage, Halley and her mother have just had a very heated conversation. As it started to “cool down”, her mother wanted her to join their family dinner but Halley didn’t want to; her mother wanted her to so badly, just for her to feel like her daughter was hers again-but it was even more complicated than that.

“And in the din of its passing, the shaking and thundering and noise, my mother slipped out of the doorway and down the stairs. When I turned back over, in sudden silence, she was gone.”(123) I liked this passage because I like the way it was written, short and sweet. It gave a better idea of what happened to Halley and her mother’s relationship to the readers, I feel like that is a big part of the novel.


I would rate this book a 6 out of 10 because it was a very good book but I felt the author could have done a lot more to make it even better than it was, but it still left me thinking and hooked on.


Alex Harris

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6 thoughts on “Alex H’s Letter Essay #4: Someone Like You

  1. Alex,
    I really enjoyed reading this letter-essay. I’ve heard a lot about Sarah Dessen and her books and her writing; I don’t see myself reading anything of hers but perhaps I should; I liked the quoted passage you selected; I like writing that is, as you said, “short and sweet.” . . . Very nice letter-essay, particularly the Reflection part.

  2. Dear Alex,
    I think that you described this book very well, but I’m contemplating reading since you only rated it a 6 out of 10… But, even though you said the author could have done a lot more, she must be pretty descent for you to read another one of her books. Maybe I will read one of her books…

  3. Alex-
    I have heard of this book before, Sarah Dessen is a popular author. I may read one of her books. I really liked your letter essay, your summary of the book was very clear and interesting.

  4. Dear Alex,
    I like your letter essay because although i have read the book you gave a very good summary and if i hadn’t read the book i still would have understood the general plot. Also i agree with you that the author could have done more to elaborate on Marion’s feelings and also more about her own life and issues rather than Scarlet’s.
    Melissa Colasante

  5. Dear alex i thought your letter eassy was very well written. I thought you put alot of thinking of what you were going to say and really discribed your emotions. Great job alex.

    from, abby

  6. Dear Alex,
    I really liked your letter essay! I can tell you put a lot of thought into it. It was very well written and really described your emotions. Over all, a very good job!
    – Anthony T

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