Note: I still haven't posted about books #14 and #16, Shiver and Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, because I've been waiting to finish the trilogy and review it all at once. My library has the third book, Forever, on order, and I can't wait to get my hands on it!
I just finished reading my 17th book of the year, Someone Like You. I've been pretty heavy on the Sarah Dessen lately, partially because my friend Andrea loaned me three books by her and partially because I tend to get stuck on an author until I read everything s/he has written. But one down side of reading multiple books by the same author in a short time period is that I end up comparing the books to each other, rather than just enjoying each for what it is.
And if I'm comparing Someone Like You to other books by Sarah Dessen (I've now read 5 of hers total), then I don't like it as much. It was still a good read and I enjoyed it, but I didn't find it to be as strong as What Happened to Goodbye or This Lullaby, which are my favorites (so far) by her. So if you're looking to start your own voyage into Dessen-land, I'd recommend one of those as your starter instead.
A brief summary of Someone Like You: As the story begins, best friends Halley and Scarlett are about to start their junior year of high school. Scarlett has been dating a boy named Michael all summer, and as the story begins, he is killed in a car accident. From there, the girls develop more and more problems: Halley's close relationship with her mother falls apart, Scarlett discovers that she is pregnant with Michael's baby, and Halley starts dating bad boy Macon. While Halley's relationship with Macon definitely impacts her relationship with her mother, Scarlett's pregnancy seems oddly compartmentalized in its effects on Halley's life, in spite of the gossip at school and the fact that Halley is Scarlett's labor coach and only supporter. The book seems to tie itself up pretty neatly, with Halley giving cthe boot and restoring her relationship with her mother, then Scarlett giving birth to a perfect baby girl (on prom night, no less), and everything ending on a note of happiness. Obviously there will still be hard times ahead (especially for Scarlett), but they seem to be kind of glossed over. Again, I found the endings of Dessen's other books to be more realistic. All in all, I'd give this one maybe 3 starts out of 5.