Title: Nothing Like You
Author: Lauren Strasnick
Release Date: 10/20/2009
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Description: 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.
Thoughts: When this book first started I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. The book opens with Holly losing her virginity to Paul, but there’s not really much to the scene. It happens, but it’s not really clear that she’s losing her virginity, that it’s a one-night stand, or really what happens at all.
As the book goes on Holly and Paul’s relationship is always kind of in the background. Holly never tells her best friend, Nil, and she doesn’t have anyone else to tell (she’s not going to tell her dad, Jeff, or her dog, Harry). Otherwise Holly just kind of goes about her life. She goes to school, she goes hiking, she hangs out with Nil, and that’s pretty much it. From time to time she’ll pass Paul in the hallway and wish he was with her rather than his girlfriend Saskia or Paul will come over to have sex, but that’s pretty much it.
Besides mourning her mother, who passed away about six months prior to the book starting, there’s really nothing else going on in Holly’s life. And that left me, about halfway through the book, wondering what it was all about. I liked Holly a lot, she was obviously in a lot of pain and not really coping in the best ways, but I thought she was smart and witty and I enjoyed reading about her. I just wasn’t sure what the point was.
A little more than halfway through the book more things start happening. Holly has befriended Paul’s girlfriend Saskia after working together on an history project and she begins to feel more and more bad for what she’s doing. I really liked Holly’s relationship with Saskia, it was probably my favorite relationship in the book, and that definitely made me more interested and involved in the book than if Saskia had just remained faceless.
I wasn’t shocked when the book reached the top of its story arc, but I was surprised at what happened after that. The wrap up of the story happens very quickly with a few short chapters that go through about six months of time. It was almost like the story just ended with nothing being resolved and there were a few short epilogues that also didn’t offer much in the way of a resolution. On the flip side, I kind of liked that there wasn’t a ton of resolution. As frustrating as it is, sometimes, and this is one of those times, I feel like that method of storytelling is much more true to life. I also appreciate when things aren’t just wrapped up in neat little packages.
Bottom Line: Nothing Like You is a solid book, with an interesting, if not innovative story, and a main character that I really liked. The pacing is a little off and I didn’t necessarily think there was enough driving the story, but it was still an enjoyable read.